The Chicago Blackhawks (13-7-5) will look to ‘double down’ on the Tampa Bay Lightning (16-4-2) when they meet for the second straight game on Sunday.
The Blackhawks have been one of the biggest surprise teams in the NHL so far this season. Chicago will look to record consecutive wins over Tampa Bay after recording a thrilling win on Friday night.
Now, in fourth place in the division standings, Chicago has heated up nicely since opening the season with four straight losses. Despite their loss to start the weekend, Tampa Bay sits atop the Central standings with one of the best records in the NHL.
Can Chicago make it two straight online betting road wins? Are the defending champs the better sportsbook betting pick to get it done at home? The NHL odds for this Sunday showdown will be value-packed when they go live.
Tampa Bay Lightning at Chicago Blackhawks
When: Sunday, March 7, 2021, at 2:30 p.m. ET
Where: United Center, Chicago, IL
TV: NBCSN, SN1, SNW, TVAS, NBCSCH
Tampa Bay Lightning Look Formidable Again
Tampa Bay might have suffered a crushing loss on Friday night, but the Lightning look formidable again this season. The Central Division leaders had won six straight prior to Friday.
Anthony Cirelli, Alex Killorn and Ryan McDonough scored for the Lightning, and Curtis McElhinney stopped 24 shots, but it wasn’t enough to get the win.
“They were probably better last night, and we win,” Tampa Bay coach John Cooper said. “Both teams probably know who was a little better tonight, and they end up winning. It comes out even.”
Despite the loss, Tampa Bay ranks second in scoring (3.5 GPG) and a league-leading first in goals allowed (2.0 GPG).
Chicago Blackhawks Better Than Advertised
Chicago alternated wins and losses over its last five games, but managed to get past Tampa Bay 4-3 on Friday night in a shootout.
Alex DeBrincat scored twice and Dominik Kubalik added a goal in regulation for the Blackhawks. Malcolm Subban made 42 saves and Philipp Kurashev scored the only goal in a tight shootout.
“We were resilient tonight,” Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton said. “We gritted it out, whether it’s the saves we got or the penalty kills. We blocked a lot of shots and got clears when we needed to.”
After finishing either sixth or seventh in the Central Division the last three seasons, Chicago suddenly has some legitimate playoff hopes. The Blackhawks are ranked a modest 13th in scoring (3.1 GPG) and 15th in goals allowed (2.9 GPG), but Chicago is finding ways to win. They head into this weekend’s matchup having gone 4-0 in their last four Sunday contests.
Analysis and Prediction
Chicago might be playing at home in this affair, but I’m going with Tampa Bay to get it done despite being on the road. The Lightning have only lost consecutive games once this season. Tampa Bay has gone 5-1 in the last six road games against Chicago, and 11-2 in the last 13 meetings overall.
Chicago is 10-4 over its last 14 games, but Tampa Bay has gone an insane 73-35 in its last 108 road games. The Lightning are the superior team at both ends of the ice, and I believe we’ll see that play out on Sunday.
Pick: Tampa Bay 5 Chicago 3
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