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2021-01-16
Chicago Blackhawks
Tampa Bay Lightning
League : NHL

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Chicago Blackhawks Prediction & Preview



 

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

 

 

The defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning picked up right where they left off crushing the Blackhawks 5-1 in the season-opener.

Chicago did not look good on either side of the ice in the opener and the game showed the team has issues at the C position. The team was 16-16-4 on the road last season and they have lost nine of their last 10 games against the Lightning.

The Lightning are the reigning Stanley Cup champions and are still loaded. The team led the league last season averaging 3.47 goals per game and lit up Chicago for five goals in the opener.

 

Not the Best Start

Not only did the Blackhawks get off to a bad start to the season in the 5-1 loss to the Lighting in the opener but got off to a bad start in the game. They were outscored 3-0 in the first period and scored the lone goal late in the third period when they were down 5-0. Dylan Strome scored the goal for the Blackhawks, who were outshot in the game 33-23 and they gave up three power-play goals.

 

Malcolm Subban won the #1 goaltending job for the Blackhawks but was lit up in the opener giving up five goals on 33 shots. Collin Delia came in late in the third period and a starter has not been named for this game.

The Blackhawks only ranked 18th in the league in goals per game last season and their offense stalled in the season-opener. Patrick Kane led the team last season in goals and points and he did not have a point in the opener with four shots on goal. The team will miss C Jonathan Toews (60 points last season), as he is out indefinitely with an undisclosed medical issue.

 

Lighting It Up, Again

The Lighting were a high-scoring team last season and lit the lamp five times in the opening win over the Blackhawks. Five different players scored in the game with Ondrej PalatSteven Stamkos, and Brayden Point all scoring on the power play. Alex KillornVictor Hedman, and Stamkos each had two assists in the game.

 

Andrei Vasilevskiy turned away 22 of 23 shots in the win and last season he had a solid campaign going 35-14-3 with a GAA of 2.56.

The loaded Lightning had four players that had at least 25 goals last season. Even though Nikita Kucherov, who led the team in goals and points last season, is out for the season with a hip injury Tampa is loaded up front. The defense also shone in the opener and even after only one game the Lightning may have shown they are THE team to beat this season.

The Lightning are 10-4 in their last 14 games after scoring at least five goals in their previous game.




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