Could we possibly see a 3rd consecutive game go into overtime in this highly contested chase for Lord Stanley’s Cup? Let's evaluate and make our NHL picks on game 3.
Game 3 is set for Wednesday at 8:00 pm ET at TD Garden in Boston Massachusetts.
Bet 365 Sportsbook lists Boston as a -125 betting favorite and the NHL odds makers expect another low scoring affair with the total listed at 5 goals.
I really don’t think home ice is very important in this series until we hit a game 7 and there’s a possibility that this can happen. Look for Boston to feel rejuvenated after a huge victory in game 2 in a game that Chicago had many chances.
A Closed Lid
Even though Chicago outscored Boston 1-0 in the 1st period of game 2, goalie Tuuka Rask is a big reason why this series is tied.
Rask was peppered with shots in the 1st period and Chicago could’ve easily scored 3 or 4 goals. Instead, he allowed the lone goal and it took the Blackhawks 5 tries to finally score.
For the game, Rask saved 33 out of 34 shots on goal and although he was the official “2nd star” of the game, he really saved Boston’s bacon.
For the game, the Hawks outshot the Bruins 34-28, but Boston was more physical, led by the play of Milan Lucic (10 hits) and more efficient with the puck.
Jagr a Factor?
Even at 40 years old, Jaromir Jagr, one of the all-time greats in hockey, was a factor in game 2.He led the Bruins with 5 shots on goal and almost scored the winning goal if it weren’t for an unfriendly post.
Jagr has played with one of the best 2 players in hockey history in Mario Lemieux and he can only help this Boston team with his leadership as he’s in top physical condition.
Jagr sees a lot of his playing time on the power play because this is a big money player. I wouldn’t be surprised if he plays the role of hero.
Sharp Was Sharp
Center Patrick Sharp was “sharp” once again after he was finally able to put the puck past a gamed Tuuka Rask in the 1st period.
Along with offensive leader Patrick Kane, Sharp has held his own as he now has 15 shots on goal in this series to go along with 1 goal in game2, which was assisted by who other than Patrick Kane.
Along with veteran Marian Hossa (7 SOG in game 2), Sharp has been the go to guy in these playoffs. Sharp has 9 goals to go along with Hossa’s 7 goals.
Scoring is very difficult in this series as you have the top two goalies in the playoffs in Tuuka Rask (.944% 13 wins) and Corey Crawford (.935%, 13 wins). This series couldn’t be more evenly matched and that’s how we go in to game 3. One shot can make the difference.
Boston has home ice now and game 3 can possibly set the tone for the rest of the series. Chicago has been the more active team, but Boston’s physical style of play and excellent goaltending makes this a great matchup against the Blackhawks. Boston has the momentum here and look for them to take a 2-1 lead in this series.
Pick- Boston -125 at Bet 365