Our very own NHL handicapping expert provides a betting preview article on Game 6 between the Ducks & Blackhawks. What will be our most valuable NHL pick tonight?
NHL Western Conference Finals Game 6
Chicago will look to stave off elimination tonight when they host Anaheim in Game 6 of the NHL Western Conference Finals. According to the NHL betting odds at Heritage, Chicago is a -137 money line favorite, and the posted total is 5.0. Three of the first five games of this series were decided in overtime, including Monday’s pivotal 5-4 win by Anaheim. That win enabled the Ducks to take a 3-2 series lead, and maintain home ice advantage. The five games in this series have gone 2-1-2 over the total. Three of the four games played between these teams this season in Chicago have gone under the number.
First Elimination Game in 2015 for the Blackhawks
Tonight will mark the first time during the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs where Chicago is facing elimination. The good news is that they’re 6-1 at the United Center during this postseason. The Blackhawks have gone 4-2-1 over the total in their seven home playoff games. During this Western Conference Finals, Chicago has gone 3-for-19 (15.8%) on the power play. Considering the physical nature in which Anaheim has played during this series, it’s paramount that Chicago takes advantage of their power play chances moving forward. On a positive note, they’ve been disciplined during the first five games of the series, allowing just eleven man advantage opportunities by Anaheim, and only surrendering one goal while being shorthanded.
The Anaheim Ducks find themselves just one win away from reaching the Stanley Cup Finals. They will look to avoid a Game 7 in this series by closing out the Blackhawks tonight in their own building. The #1 seed in the Western Conference has gone 4-2 in six road games during these 2015 NHL Playoffs, and five of the six games went over the total. An area of major concern for the Ducks heading into tonight’s Game 6 is the erratic play of goaltender Frederik Andersen during the previous two games. Andersen allowed 9 goals on 68 shots for a terrible .868 save percentage in Games 4 and 5.
The core group of players for Chicago has remained intact that have been to four of the previous six Western Conference Finals, and have won two of the last five Stanley Cups. Although depth of its defensive corps has been diminished by injuries, and the Ducks continue to pound their blue line players at every opportunity, I look for Chicago to come up with a monumental effort tonight. I’m siding with the home side in this one for one of my NHL picks.
NHL Pick: Chicago -137 on the money line over Anaheim at Heritage.