Have Blues taken wrong turn vs. Blackhawks?
With the Western Conference semifinals within its grasp, St. Louis couldn’t quite close out Chicago on Thursday. Will the weekend prove to be a celebratory one for the Gateway City?
It all depends on whether the Note can prevail in tonight’s Game 6, which starts at 8 p.m. ET. Online sports book Bovada.lv suspects that the Blackhawks have another reserve of energy. The defending Stanley Cup champions are netting odds of -155 to extend the festivities further, whereas the Blues enter the United Center as +135 underdogs.
This opening-round thriller swings back to the Windy City on account of Thursday’s events at Scottrade Center. Art Ross Trophy winner Patrick Kane kept Joel Quenneville’s club alive with a goal three minutes into the second overtime, clinching a 4-3 victory and cutting Chicago’s series deficit to 3-2. Corey Crawford made 43 saves and, for once, got the best of the Note’s sensational Brian Elliott.
But while the Blues must wait at least a bit longer for their first trip beyond the quarterfinals since 2012, confidence shouldn’t be an issue. The team took Games 3 and 4 in Chi-Town. Ken Hitchcock’s group has outscored the Blackhawks in the third period and post-regulation. Three players – Vladimir Tarasenko, Jaden Schwartz and Alex Pietrangelo – even boast five points apiece.
Then again, consider Chicago’s 12-4 in contests when facing elimination under Quenneville. Conversely, St. Louis owns an 11-16 mark in potential series clinching affairs on the road. Sooner or later, we’re getting a non-one-goal bout. One wonders if Kane’s mini-malaise-snapping OT tally could’ve set the stage for a more lopsided match tonight.
SATURDAY NHL FREE PICK: BLACKHAWKS -1.5