An impressive showing by the Tampa Bay Lightning last night have put them in a position to try and end things in game 6 in Florida. The Lightning were able to blank the Rangers by a score of 2-0. Lundqvist wasn’t the problem this night, it was back to the offense not being able to generate much of anything at all. The Rangers have won games in a multitude of ways this series, and then they have lost them in a variety of ways. Last night it had to be a tough loss for Henrik, because for the second straight game he put a complete game together. That game, though, is a clear example of how fast things can change in the playoffs. The Rangers looked like they were going to run away with this series after the way they played the other night, but they were unable to keep it going at home. An offensive explosion in Tampa seemed to set the stage for a big outcome at home in New York, but that wasn’t to be the case, and that is why they play the games. The Lightning will look to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals with a win in game 6. I said I thought there was going to be a game 7 in that series, so we’ll see what transpires in Florida.
Another exciting series continues tonight in California, where the Chicago Blackhawks and Ducks turn their attention to Anaheim for game 6 of this series. Both of these series are unfolding in similar manners, with both looking like they very well could go to 7th games. No surprise really, as I think all four teams are worthy of being here at this point in the game. If the Rangers can’t win two in a row though, what another tough way to end their season. Henrik felt the sting last season and it’ll be another tough pill to swallow this time, too. But they are still alive and still have a good chance at winning the series. The Lightning still need to win that last and final game, which can be one of the hardest to win. After losing in double OT, the Ducks are back where they feel comfortable at home on the west coast. Huge game for the Blackhawks and Ducks tonight, that of course goes without saying.
Chicago Blackhawks @ Anaheim Ducks
Whoever loses this series it’s going to be a tough one to accept. Especially the Ducks though, after choking so many times in recent memory after such good regular seasons, coming up empty in the playoffs would be another kick to the gut. While they have gotten much further, it still would leave a sour taste in their mouth, because the Ducks are a team built to win Stanley Cups. Corey Perry has been playing well enough in the playoffs to finally justify his contract with the Ducks. Great regular season player, but disappearing in the playoffs has been his mantra. Not this year though, as the guy has been playing great hockey.
Here is one interesting tidbit that I pulled from the Blackhawks: following an overtime win in each of the following games this season they lost. Also, the Ducks have won every game after an overtime loss. Not a perfect formula or anything, but its something worth noting. I’m not basing my pick primarily on that notion, but I think the Ducks will be able to pull this one out tonight. I think they’ll do what the Rangers couldn’t do and win at home. The physicality of the Ducks has to be wearing down on the Blackhawks after now going through two extended overtimes. I took the Hawks last game, but I’m back with the Ducks in game 6 tonight.
PICK: DUCKS TO WIN -129 5DIMES – BEST ODDS