NHL Playoff Betting Advice On Monday
Which NHL Teams To Back
By Bob Duff
The series switch locales Monday for Game 3 of each of these sets, key swing dates in every series. Who to pick, with odds from BetOnline.ag:
This is how bad things are for the Blackhawks – not only did Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne shut them out in the first two games at the United Center, with two assists in Game 2 he also has two more points than any Chicago player.
Nashville became the fifth team in NHL history to record road shutouts in their first two games of a postseason. All of those teams won the series, three of them via sweeps.
Going back to the regular season, Western Conference champion Chicago has lost six in a row. The Blackhawks are 1-1 in series where they’ve been shutout in consecutive games at home.
Chicago stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews have combined for one goal in their last nine playoff games. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville put the duo on the same line late in Game 2 to see if it could shake them out of their doldrums.
Pick: The Blackhawks (-104) and the over (5)
All season long, people have been waiting for the young Leafs to act their age but it hasn’t happened yet. Kasperi Kapanen was the latest rookie to steal the show. Kapanen became the eighth rookie in Maple Leafs history to score an overtime goal in the postseason and first since Gerry Ehman in Game 3 of the 1959 Semifinals against Boston.
It’s not all good news for the Leafs, though. Already minus Nikta Zaitsev, they lost another key defenseman when Roman Polak suffered a season-ending leg injury in Game 2. Defenseman Jake Gardiner logged 40:34, the most time on ice in a game by any player so far this postseason, and you have to wonder what toll that will take as this series continues.
Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored his 14th career power-play goal in the postseason to pass Peter Bondra (13) for the most in franchise history. Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby made 47 saves, tying his career high from Game 3 of the 2012 Conference Semifinals.
Pick: The Capitals (+155) and the over (5)
Freed from their house of horrors that is the Honda Center, where they’ve now lost 29 in a row, the Flames need to make hay at home. But to do so, they must find a way to slow down Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf.
Getzlaf has two points in each game so far and netted his sixth career game winner in Game 2. He’s been a dominant force, while Calgary’s second line of Mikael Backlund, Matthew Tkachuk and Michael Frolik has scored once.
The positive for the Flames is that they’ve been right there in both games of the series. Their power play is clicking at 25 per cent and they scored a shorthanded goal.
Pick: The Flames (+120) and the under (5)
The Senators overcame a two-goal deficit to win Game 2, just the second time in franchise history they’d accmplished that feat in a playoff game. Dion Phaneuf scored the OT winner and leads all defensemen in scoring with 1-2-3 numbers.
Both the Bruins (Adam McQuaid) and the Senators (Mark Borowiecki) lost defensemen to injury in Game 2. But Ottawa got defenseman Marc Methot (lacerated finger) back from injury.
Pick: The Senators (+151) and the under