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Stanley Cup Finals: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Chicago Blackhawks

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The Stanley Cup Final has its’ match up, The Chicago Blackhawks vs. The Tampa Bay Lightning. The finals will start on Wednesday June 3rd in Tampa Bay. Both teams played 7 games in the Conference Finals to get to the Stanley Cup Finals. In the regular season, they spilt the two meetings. Chicago topped the Lightning 3-2 in a shootout on November 11th and The Lightning beat the Blackhawks 4-0 on February 27th.

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Tampa Bay Lightning
Regular Season Record: 50-24-8 (108 points; 3rd in the East)
Home Record: 32-8-1; Away Record: 18-16-7
Regular Season Goals For: 262; Goals Against: 211
Road to the Stanley Cup Final: 4-3 over Detroit Red Wings; 4-2 over Montreal Canadiens; 4-3 over New York Rangers
Goaltender Ben Bishop is allowing just 2.15 goals per contest in the playoffs. The Lightning led the NHL with 3.16 goals per game, but dropped to 2.75 in the post season. They lead all teams with 16 power play goals in the playoffs.

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Chicago Blackhawks
Regular Season Record: 48-28-6 (102 points, 4th in the West)
Home Record: 24-12-5; Away Record: 24-16-1
Regular Season Goals For: 229; Goals Against: 189
Road to the Stanley Cup Final: 4-2 over Nashville Predators; 4-0 over Minnesota Wild; 4-3 over Anaheim Ducks
Chicago has been scoring 3.19 goals per game in the post season. Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, and Duncan Keith have combined for 56 points in the playoffs. Kane’s 10 playoff goals are the second most behind Lightning’s Tyler Johnson. This will be their 3rd Stanley Cup Final appearance this decade.

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How Tampa Bay Wins: Tampa Bay has the speed and skill level to give Chicago a run for their money. They did defeat the Hawks 4-0 in the regular season and took them into a shootout where the Blackhawks eventually won. So beating Chicago is definitely possible, but the Blackhawks are aware so Tampa Bay has to play good offense against Chicago’s defense.

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How Chicago Wins: The Lightning are 9-0 when scoring first in the post season and also lead the NHL with 16 power play goals in the playoffs, the Blackhawks will need to stop them and not let them get the early lead. Chicago just needs to be their regular self and play good defense.

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Prediction: The Blackhawks will be hoisting that Stanley Cup again, winning in six games.

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