The Blackhawks of Chicago playing the Lightning of Tampa Bay with the Lightning with home rink-ice advantage as they accumulated 6 more points than the Blackhawks during the regular NHL season
This Wednesday the 3rd of June 2015 the 2015 NHL -Stanley Cup Playoffs begin the 7 Game Series with Game 1 being played in Tampa at the Amalie Arena at 8:05 PM ET and seen on NBC TV.
The Vegas odds makers have the Lightning favored in this 1st Game of the 7 Game Series as on the Money Line they are -120 and the Total is 5 Over -135 and 11 ½ +240 on the Puck Line. The Blackhawks of Chicago on the other hand are EV on the ML with the under 5 +115 and +1 ½ -280 on the Puck Line.
After this 1st Game, the Second Game of the 7 Game Series will also be played in Tampa on Saturday the 6th of June, with the Third Game in Chicago at the United Center on Monday the 8th of June. Then the Fourth Game will also be in Chicago on Wednesday the 10th of June. The Fifth Game (if needed) move back to Tampa on Saturday the 13th of June, with the Sixth Game (if needed) is on Monday the 15th of June in Chicago, and the Seventh and Final Game (if needed) move back to Tampa on Friday the 17th of May 2015.
This appearance by the Blackhawks of Chicago is their 3rd Final in the past 6 season, and advanced to the Finals by beating the Ducks of Anaheim in Game 7 5-3 to win the Series for the Western Conference this past Saturday. Meanwhile the Lightning defeated the N.Y. Rangers in the 7 Game Series to take the Eastern Conference Title.
During the 2014-15 NHL Regular Season the Blackhawks faced the Lightning a total of 2 times and went 1-1-0, and won the game on the 11th of Nov. 3-2 and lost to Tampa Bay 4-0 on the 27th of Feb. in a shootout. This 2014-15 Blackhawks team had relied heavily on their leading four defensive players this season after M. Rozsival went out with an injury to his ankle in Game 4 against the Wild of Minnesota. Their B. Seabrook, J. Oduva and N. Hjalmarsson all average 25 minutes plus each game since. Their starting goalie C. Crawford for the Blackhawks was replaced in round 1 by S. Darling, the Crawford took back the job and since had made 35 game save in that last Game 7 against the Ducks. Remember the Blackhawks in their 1st round beat the Predators in just 6 games.
This season the Lightning of Tampa Bay advanced to the finals as a result of their success in the regular 2014-15 seasons. Their trio line of N. Kucherov, T. Johnson and O. Palat accumulated 28 of the 55 goals scored by the Lightning. During that regular season they were the 3 or the leading 4 scorers, with Palat having 16 goals, Kucherov with 28 goals and Johnson with 19 goals each.
The teams leading goal scorer was Stamkos for the Tampa Bay with 43 goals for the season. Then amazingly he did not score any goals in the team’s 1st 8 games of the playoffs, but then found his scoring ability and in last 6 games scored 4 goals and now in 12 games has scored some 14 goals. During this post season the Lightning is 9-0 when they have scored the 1st goal in these playoff games.