The Wild will host the Blackhawks on Tuesday at the Xcel Energy center in Saint Paul, Minnesota with the opening faceoff slated for 9:05 PM ET. This will be Game 3 of their Western Conference Semifinals series in which Chicago holds a 2-0 lead. According to NHL betting odds Chicago is a -130 money line road favorite and the posted total is 5.0. The home team has won the last 5 meetings between these clubs. These teams have seen just 1 of their last 8 meetings stay under the total. This is the 2nd consecutive year these teams have met in the playoffs, and Chicago has won 6 of those 7-games played.
Need of a Momentum Shift
The Minnesota Wild is hoping by getting back to the friendly confines of the Xcel Energy Center, it will provide them with the needed boost to swing the momentum in their favor. They will be in desperate need of a win on Tuesday to avoid what would be a disastrous 3-0 series deficit against the defending Stanley Cup champions. The Wild have been very good at home this season going 29-15 including a perfect 3-0 in the postseason. Surely losing both games to start the series was a disappointment, but even more so was the manner in which they lost. The Wild were outscored 9-3 despite outshooting the Hawks 51-41 in the 2-games. Ilya Brysgalov played poorly in the first 2-games allowing 7-goals, and posting a terrible .833 save percentage. Bryzgalov has now gone 0-3 in his 3 playoff starts. The Wild has seen 9 of their 11 home games this season go under the total following a road loss. Prior to the start of the playoffs the Wild had defeated the Blackhawks in 3 of their 5 regular season meetings.
Champs are Heating Up
The Blackhawks got off to an inauspicious start to the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs by losing their first 2-games. However, since that occurred they’ve now reeled off 6 consecutive wins, and have outscored the opposition in the last 3-games by a combined score of 14-4. The Hawks goaltender Corey Crawford hasn’t been called upon for any heavy lifting in the first 2-games of the series, but was outstanding in Chicago’s 4-2 series win over St. Louis. This is a Chicago team that’s clicking on all cylinders right now. They roll 4 very talented forward lines, have an outstanding group of agile defensemen, and are superbly coached. The only cloud hanging over the Hawks head right now is the fact that they’re just 2-9 in the previous 11 road games. All 3 of their road games in the St. Louis series were decided in overtime, with the Chicago winning the Game 6 series clincher at the Scottrade Center. Chicago has seen just 1 of their last 12-games go under the total versus a Western Conference opponent.
Any money line home underdog that allowed 4-goals or more in their previous game, versus an opponent that allowed 2-goals or less in each of their previous 4-games, has gone 98-70 (58.3%) during the last 18 seasons. Bet Wild over Blackhawks for your NHL picks.
Free Hockey Pick: Minnesota +110 over Chicago