Lightning vs Blackhawks Picks and Predictions for March 5

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Updated: March 5, 2021

Tampa Bay came from behind to steal an OT win against the Blackhawks last night, and will try to assert themselves tonight without Kevin Lankinen between Chicago’s pipes.

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The Tampa Bay Lightning and the Chicago Blackhawks face off for the second night in a row Friday at the United Center in Chicago. 

The defending Stanley Cup Champion Lightning lead the NHL in point percentage and come into this matchup as significant -210 road favorites against the Blackhawks. 

With the Blackhawks squandering a 2-0 lead last night, can they pull off the upset today? 

We let you know what we think with our best free Lightning vs. Blackhawks picks and predictions for NHL betting action on Friday, March 5, with the puck dropping at 8 p.m. ET.

Tampa Bay Lightning at Chicago Blackhawks betting preview

Injuries

Lightning: Erik Cernak D (Out), Mitchell Stephens C (Out).
Blackhawks: Dylan Strome C (Out), Andrew Shaw RW (Out), Zack Smith LW (Out), Alex Nylander LW (Out), Kirby Dach C (Out), Jonathan Toews D (Out), Brent Seabrook D (Out).
Find our latest NHL injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Lightning are 9-3 in their last 12 games playing on 0 days rest, while the Blackhawks are 2-5 in their previous seven contests on the tail end of a back-to-back. Find more NHL betting trends for Lightning vs. Blackhawks.

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The line opened at Tampa Bay -210 with the total at 6.5. Early action favored Chicago and the Under moving the line to Tampa Bay -185 and the Over/Under to 6. Check back later for a full report from Patrick!

Check out the full line movement for this game

Puck line pick

The Lightning sit atop the Stanley Cup futures board and are once again looking like the team to beat in the NHL. They actually opened their season with a pair of dominating performances against Chicago, outscoring the Blackhawks 10-3 over the first two games of the year. 

However, after losing seven of nine games to begin the year, the Blackhawks have turned things around. Chicago has gone 10-3-2 in its last 15 contests and now sits fourth in the Central Division. The Blackhawks’ recent competitiveness showed last night, as they took a 2-0 lead into the third period before the Lightning evened things out with a pair of quick goals and then won in overtime. 

That said, there is one big factor working against Chicago tonight: their situation between the pipes. The Blackhawks’ success has been due to the emergence of rookie Kevin Lankinen. The Finish netminder is 9-3-4 with a 2.57 GAA and a save percentage of .924, and he played well last night despite taking the OT loss. 

However, on the tail end of a back-to-back, Chicago will likely start backup Malcolm Subban. Subban last played on Saturday and leaked five goals against the woeful Red Wings. He also happened to be the guy in nets on opening day, when he gave up five goals on 33 shots against Tampa Bay.

While the Lightning will also likely rest their star goaltender in Vezina favorite Andrei Vasilevskiy, they simply have a much better squad surrounding second-string Curtis McElhinney. The Bolts lead the league with 3.52 goals per game, are seventh on the power play, tied for first on the penalty kill, and allow the fifth-fewest shots in the league. 

That’s bad news for a Blackhawks squad that has struggled to generate offense with many of their forwards sidelined. With the Lightning an impressive 13-8 on the puckline as favorites, back them to win by multiple goals again. 

PREDICTION: Puckline Tampa Bay -1.5 (+138)

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Over/Under pick

Although McElhinney is certainly a downgrade from Vasilevskiy, the Lightning have a strong defense in front of him and he likely won’t be tested much. Especially with Chicago ranking just 26th in the league in high-danger chances per 60 minutes.

The Bolts have been easy money for Under bettors lately, going 6-0-1 to the Under in their last seven games, and the Under is also 14-6-1 in the previous 21 meetings between these teams. 

Don’t forget that there could also be some tired legs among the skaters after playing until late in the overtime frame last night. With the Blackhawks 6-1 to the Under in their last seven contests without rest, back the Under again. 

PREDICTION: Under 6 (-104)

Lightning vs Blackhawks betting card

  • Puckline Tampa Bay -1.5 (+138)
  • Under 6 (-104)

NHL parlays

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Use our NHL parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

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