Tampa Bay Lightning at Chicago Blackhawks Game 6 Betting Lines - Prediction
The Tampa Lightning and the Chicago Blackhawks will lace them up at least one more time in Game 6 of this season's NHL Stanley Cup Finals this Monday night at the United Center with Chicago holding the 3-2 series edge. The game is slated to get underway at 8 p.m. (ET) and it will be broadcast nationally on NBC.
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Tampa Bay is suddenly faced with elimination in this series after losing Game 5 at home this past Saturday night by a score of 2-1 as a -116 favorite. This followed another tough 2-1 loss in Game 4 of this series as a +162 underdog on the road. The first five games of this best-of-seven clash have all been decided by one goal and the total has stayed UNDER in four of the five contests. The Lightning will head back on the road where they are 8-4 in this season's playoffs, including a 3-2 victory against Chicago in Game 3 of this series as +146 underdogs.
If Tampa Bay is going to force a Game 7 with a win on Monday night, it will probably have to do it without one of its top scorers. Nikita Kucherov left the ice in the first period of Saturday's game with a shoulder injury and he is listed as questionable for Game 6. Even the sharpshooters that the Lightning do have on the ice have been ineffective for a good part of this series. Team captain Steven Stamkos has just one assist though the first five games and he has not posted a goal in his last seven outings. Tampa Bay, as a whole, has averaged just two goals over its last nine playoff games as opposed to a regular-season scoring average of 3.2 goals a game that was tops in the NHL.
Chicago is rapidly closing in its third Stanley Cup title since 2010 as it continues to find ways to win games in this series. The entire push through the playoffs has been filled with a number of bumps in the road, but every single time that the Blackhawks needed a key win, they have been able to nail one down. After trailing 1-0 in the first three games of this series, Chicago has been setting the pace by jumping out to a 1-0 lead in the last two games. Another big reason why Chicago is just one more win away from another title is its 10-4 record in the postseason in games decided by one goal.
The Blackhawks are starting to get the production they were lacking from their big guns earlier in this series. Jonathan Toews gave his team the early lead in Game 4 and Patrick Kane added an assist in Brandon Saad's game-winner in the third period. On Saturday night, Patrick Sharp scored the first goal of the game with Toews getting an assist. Antione Vermette went on to score the eventual game winning goal early in the third. You also have to credit goalie Cory Crawford for Saturday's win after stopping 31 of the 32 shots he faced.
The Lightning are 4-1 in their last five road games and they have won their last five games played on a Monday. The total has stayed UNDER in their last four games on the road.
The Blackhawks have now won six of their last eight games in the Stanley Cup Finals and they are 8-3 in their last 11 games playing on one day's rest. The total has stayed UNDER in 16 of their last 27 games after allowing two or less goals in their previous outing.
The home team in this matchup has won five of the last eight meetings and the total has stayed UNDER in the last six games played in Chicago. Tampa Bay is just 4-9 in its last 13 road games against the Blackhawks.
Tampa Bay at Chicago Prediction
The swing in momentum towards the Blackhawks in this series following Saturday night's huge Game 5 victory is going to be too hard for Tampa Bay to overcome playing this game on the road. Chicago has been here before and this team has already proven it knows how to seal the deal. Go big on the Blackhawks in the final game of the 2014/2015 NHL season.