Can Blackhawks draw even with Blues?
Having finally cracked the playoff code at the United Center, the Blues now have an opportunity to put the defending Stanley Cup champions on the brink of elimination.
St. Louis can seize a commanding 3-1 series lead over the Blackhawks with another stellar road showing tonight. The two arch-nemeses drop the puck at 9:30 p.m. ET in a matchup that intrigues fans and handicappers alike. Online sports book BetDSI sides with Chicago in this spot, giving Joel Quenneville’s crew odds of -155 to knot up the festivities.
The Blues, entering as +135 underdogs, looked anything but apprehensive on Sunday afternoon. Jaden Schwartz scored on a third-period power play to give the Note a 3-2 edge that it would not relinquish. Brian Elliott continued his superlative work in net for St. Louis, stopping 44 of 46 shots.
In the end, it was the Blues’ first postseason victory in the Windy City since 2002. Yet Ken Hitchcock’s current crew has thrived when outside of Scottrade Center for some time. St. Louis is undefeated in its last six away tests, while the Blackhawks are stuck in a 2-6 rut at the Madhouse on Madison.
Hardcore hockey fans in the Gateway City desire a return to the second round in the worst way, but Chicago recognizes such a position all too well. Look for Corey Crawford to actually outduel Elliott in a rare non-one-goal clash between these Central Division stalwarts. Then anything goes in a best-of-three scenario.
TUESDAY NHL FREE PICK: BLUES/BLACKHAWKS UNDER 5 GOALS