Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Chicago Blackhawks Matchup Preview

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Two teams currently on losing streaks, the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Chicago Blackhawks meet at the United Center for an East-West tilt. The match gets started at 8:30 p.m. ET on Monday, January 22, and you can view the game live on NBC Sports Network.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Chicago Blackhawks Odds

Chicago (+115) is entering this one as the underdog to Tampa Bay (-135), and the Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 6 goals (-120 under, +100 over).

Tampa Bay is 31-15 straight up (SU) and has earned 8.0 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 46 regular season matches, 27 of its games have gone over the total, while 19 have gone under and none have pushed. The Bolts are 14-9 SU on the road in 2017-18.

Tampa Bay enters the match up with the third-best power-play unit in the NHL, as it’s converted on 24.5 percent of its extra-man opportunities this season. Its penalty kill is ranked 21st overall, and it’s successfully killed off 79.3 percent of all penalties.

For the team as a whole, Tampa Bay has been penalized 4.1 times per game in the 2017-18 season, 4.2 per game over its past five games total, and 4.2 per game over its last five road outings. The team has had to kill penalties 9.6 minutes per contest over their last five road games.

Averaging 28.4 saves per game with a .927 save percentage, Andrei Vasilevskiy (27-12-2) has been the best option in goal for Tampa Bay this year. If head coach Jon Cooper chooses to rest him, however, Tampa Bay might turn to Louis Domingue (1-7), who has a .870 save percentage and 4.02 goals against average this year.

The visiting Lightning will be led by Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos. Kucherov (61 points) is up to 27 goals and 34 assists, and has recorded two or more points 20 times. Stamkos has 17 goals and 37 assists to his credit (and has notched a point in 31 games).

Chicago is 22-24 straight up (SU) and has lost 6.5 units for moneyline bettors thus far. Through 46 regular season outings, 24 of its games have gone under the total, while 20 have gone over and just two have pushed. The teams 12-11 SU at home this season.

Chicago has converted on just 15.5 percent of its power play chances this season, a mark that places it in the bottom 5 overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 17th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 81.8 percent of all penalties.

Chicago players have been whistled for penalties 3.8 times per game in total this season, 4.2 per game over their past five contests total, and 3.4 per game over their last five at home. The teams had to defend opponent power plays just 8.4 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Corey Crawford has stopped 27.9 shots per game as the top netminder in goal for Chicago. Crawford has 16 wins, 12 losses, and two OT losses and has maintained a .929 save percentage and 2.27 goals against average this year.

Patrick Kane (20 goals, 28 assists) will pace the offensive counter for Chi-town.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Chicago Blackhawks Free Picks

Predictions: SU Winner – Blackhawks, O/U – Under

Betting Trends

  • The total has gone under in three of Chicago’s last five games.
  • The Lightning are 18-8 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 17-8 in games where they’re in the penalty box for fewer than 10 total minutes.
  • Chicago skaters have averaged 6.2 takeaways per game over its last five home games, a drop-off from its season average of 7.5 takeaways per game (ranked 15th in the league).
  • Tampa Bay has scored 3.6 goals per game this year, but has been averaging 1.3 goals per match up over its three-game losing skid.
  • Tampa Bay is ranked 18th overall with 7.2 takeaways per game. That figure has trended lower recently, however, as it has managed 5.7 takeaways over its last 10 games and 6.0 takeaways over its last five.
  • Tampa Bay might have an advantage if this one comes down to the wire. The teams an impressive 12-6 in games decided by one goal, while Chicago is 7-10 in such games.