The Tampa Bay Lightning underwent all kinds of criticism for the way they played Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals, because it appears they got away from what got them there in the first place, which involved an onslaught of offense. They seemed to go into a defensive shell, as they tried to rely on back checking and goaltending. Not that those things were so bad, but the plan backfired when the Chicago Blackhawks scored two goals in a period of two minutes. As BetAnySports patrons are aware, Tampa Bay pledged to get a little more assertive on the offense of and in Game 2, and that is exactly what they did. When you add in the factor of the Chicago goaltender who might be a little shaky as far as his confidence is concerned, that became a formula for victory.
The 4-3 verdict evened the series up at a game apiece, and it was so critical because Tampa Bay had to win at least one of the first two games at home. Now they travel to the United Center for Monday’s Game 3, which begins at 8 PM ET. Hopefully in this game, the Lightning’s goalie, Ben Bishop, will not have to take any bathroom breaks, or whatever it was that forced him to leave the action not once, but twice, in the third stanza of Saturday’s contest. And remember, BetAnySports customers have the opportunity to wager on this game while it is in progress, through the facilities of Live Betting Extra.
There was an encouraging sign for the Lightning on Saturday, in that they got a couple of goals from the “bottom six” forwards in the rotation. That had not happened all that often in the playoffs; in fact, it occurred only 18% of the time. Now Tampa Bay is 8-1 when coming back after defeat. And so as you can imagine, this is a confident bunch as they stride into the Windy City.
In the Game 3 Stanley Cup odds, as they have been established by the people at BetAnySports, the home team is the favorite:
Chicago Blackhawks -155
Tampa Bay Lightning +135
Over 5 goals -150
Under 5 goals +130
Tampa Bay got a power-play goal at just the right time on Saturday. And it was a real gaffe on the part of Patrick Sharp, who had been sent off for slashing, then, almost immediately upon coming out of the penalty box, committed yet another penalty, which gave the Lightning, in effect, four minutes with a man advantage. That was too much for the Blackhawks to handle, apparently.
Yes, it was a little bit of comic relief for BetAnySports patrons in this game as well, which added to some of the bizarre festivities. Then Bishop, the 6-foot-7 goaltender for Tampa Bay, went in and out on two different occasions during the third period of play, replaced by Andrei Vasilevskiy, who had to make some critical saves. Interestingly enough, coach Jon Cooper didn’t offer any comment about it after the game, which led some people top thinking Bishop simply had to go to the bathroom. Joel Quenneville, on the other hand, described Crawford’s effort as “just OK,” which carried a message with it, for certain – perhaps that his performance had gone in the toilet as well, in a sense.
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