The Tampa Bay Lightning are slight betting favorites at -130 on the NHL moneyline in Game 1 of the best-of-seven 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Finals when they host the Chicago Blackhawks (+110) who are gunning for their third Cup in six years.
Both teams have played well all post-season, which makes picking the winner of the Stanley Cup Finals Game 1 even more difficult. Keep reading to decide which team you will bet on to win Game 1.
Stanley Cup Final Game One Free Pick – Chicago Blackhawks Vs Tampa Bay Lightning
Matchup: Chicago Blackhawks at Tampa Bay Lightning
Date: June. 3, 2015
Start Time: 8:00 PM ET
Location: Tampa, Florida
Stadium: Amalie Arena
TV Info: NBC
Spread: Chicago +110 vs Tampa Bay -130
Game Total: 5
Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra
Radio: Chicago vs Tampa Bay
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The Chicago Blackhawks Will Win Game 1 If
Chicago’s duo of Kane/Toews can rattle Ben Bishop early.
Chicago did a number on Anaheim goalie Frederik Andersen in both Game 6 and Game 7 of their Western Conference Finals’ win. The Blackhawks took early leads in both games, putting immense pressure on Andersen to just do enough to keep his team in the game.
— NHL (@NHL) June 2, 2015
Andersen actually played well after the Blackhawks rushed to a 4 to 1 lead. But, it wasn’t enough. Like Andersen, Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop has a tendency to fall apart when his team gets behind and the Stanley Cup playoffs are not a time when you want to let your team down. Just check out what happened to Bishop and the Lightning when the Rangers jumped out to a 2 to 1 lead after the first period in Game 6. After no score in the second period, Bishop ran and hid while the Rangers dumped 3 straight goals onto the Lightning in the third.
If Patrick Kane and Jonathan Towes can get to Bishop early then the Hawks are a great Stanley Cup Playoffs game 1 pick.
The Tampa Bay Lightning Will Win Game 1 If
Tampa Bay can bottle their mojo after beating the Rangers, Habs & Wings
Tampa Bay faces their fourth straight Original 6 team in the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs and are favored to beat the Hawks in game one. Can you pick the Lightning in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals to beat the Blackhawks?
— 4 – @TBLightning (@TBLightning) June 1, 2015
So far in the NHL Playoffs when the Lightning plays team defense, they’ve been unbeatable. In their 4 wins versus Detroit in the first round, the Lightning didn’t give up more than 2 goals in a single win. Versus Montreal in the second round, Tampa didn’t give up 2 goals in any single win again.
Things changed somewhat versus the Rangers. The Lightning gave up 5 goals in a 6 to 5 overtime victory over New York in Game 3. But, for the most part, when Tampa Bay plays team defense, they win because they give up 0 to 2 goals and their top scorer, Captain Steven Stamkos is able to control the flow of the game. The problem for Tampa is that at times they forget to play defense altogether or goalie Ben Bishop loses focus. That shouldn’t happen in Game 1 since this series is for the Stanley Cup. Expect the Lightning to come up with a great defensive effort.