It was a cracker of a season opener that featured the Stanley Cup champions, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Chicago Blackhawks. Both teams will be meeting for the second time in three days. The 2021 season fixtures are unique, in that teams are not allowed to travel outside Canada based on covid-19 regulations. Hence, teams in the same region will meet more than they are used to in the season.
The Tampa Bay Lightning will host the Chicago Blackhawks for the second time this season. Their first win against the Blackhawks on January 13 brought their season opener win to seven straight years. The defending champions put five past the Blackhawks goalie to continue their impressive run in the league.
Betting Odds at FanDuel Sportsbook
Spread: Chicago Blackhawks +1.5 (-110) | Tampa Bay Lightning -1.5 (-110)
Moneyline: Chicago Blackhawks +250 | Tampa Bay Lightning -300
Total: Over 6.5 (-110) | Under 6.5 (-110)
Odds via FanDuel as of Friday, January 15, 2021 (8:45 am ET)
Date: Friday, January 15, 2021
Time: 7:00 PM EST
Venue: Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL
Tampa Bay Lightning Will Strike Again
It was a total obliteration in their last matchup as the Blackhawks found it difficult to respond. The Stanley Cup champions were off to a bright start, putting three past the Blackhawks in the first period of the game and one in each of the following two. The Blackhawks’ 0-1-0 record extended to 1-4-1 following the 5-1 thrashing at the hand of Tampa Bay. The Blackhawks were only able to pull one back towards the end of the game after Dylan Strome tallied on one of Chicago’s three power-play opportunities.
Tampa Bay will obliterate the Blackhawks again as their offense and defense are very impressive. Five different players were responsible for the five goals scored against the Blackhawks on Wednesday. They achieved this without their best player in front of the goal – Nikita Kucherov – who is out for the season with a hip injury. The lightning is 9-1 in ten games against the Blackhawks and will possibly make it 10-1.
The BlackHawks Will Look to Turn Things Around
We are not sure the Chicago Blackhawks have what it takes to secure a win over the defending champions. Their poor form was exploited yet again as they found it difficult to get going in front of the goal. They were outshot 33-23 and also gave up three power-play goals. They managed to get one past the keeper late in the third period. For them to have a shot at a win in match two, a lot of changes need to be made in the offense and defense.
Malcolm Subban was on goal duty for the Blackhawks. He made 28 saves out of 33 shots, registering a .848 save percentage. Who will be called upon for the second game against the Lightning is yet to be decided, but Collin Delia may start, as he made an appearance late in the third period and did not concede any goal.
The Tampa Bay Lightning are obvious favorites in this game, working like a well-oiled machine offensively and defensively. The Blackhawks are yet to get in their stride this new season, and it is unlikely they can manage it with this game. With the first game, Tampa Bay has shown that they can score the puck and also, protect their goal. Taking Tampa Bay on the Moneyline and spread is safe and profitable.
Losing the first game 5-1, the Blackhawks have shown that they will be unable to cover the spread, except a radical change is made. Their best player, Patrick Kane, who led the team last season in goals and points, was unable to register a point in the first game with four shots on goal.
With the way the ‘Hawks are playing, it will be an easy win for the Tampa Bay Lightning as they are determined to continue their 10-4 run in 14 games and a chance at the Stanley Cup this season.