Can Blues spoil Blackhawks' return home?
As if the Blues-Blackhawks series needed additional drama, Friday’s third period at Scottrade Center featured more plot twists than a Netflix original series.
At the end of a manic evening, Chicago emerged with the 3-2 victory – and knotted up the NHL’s most exhilarating first-round matchup in the process. The two teams return to the ice at 3 p.m. ET this afternoon. With the scene shifting to the Windy City, online sports book BetDSI gives the Blackhawks -155 odds of protecting home ice here.
St. Louis not only enters Game 3 as a +135 underdog, it must shake off the mental shock of that last defeat. Vladimir Tarasenko’s goal with 7:46 left was wiped out after video review confirmed that Jori Lehtera crossed the blue line before the puck. The Blues’ leading scorer slashed Andrew Shaw barely 60 seconds later, and the defending Stanley Cup champs proceeded to pot the winner with the man advantage. That tally, too, came under fire due to Shaw’s jockeying with goalie Brian Elliott.
In any event, Ken Hitchcock’s crew will look to recover in a place that typically produces great sorrow for the visiting club. Chicago owns a 15-1-4 record over its past 20 home clashes against the Note. Wondering about netminder Corey Crawford? He merely boasts a 1.95 GAA in 39 career playoff tilts at the United Center.
Conversely, Elliott’s never started a postseason affair in Chi-Town. The 31-year-old veteran has stopped 61 of 63 shots in this series, though, preventing the Blackhawks from lighting the lamp for the first 5 ½ periods of action. Provided that he keeps showing the same form, we’re looking at another one-goal contest.
SUNDAY NHL FREE PICK: BLUES +135