Chicago Blackhawks at Minnesota Wild Pick-Odds-Prediction - 5/9/14
Chicago Blackhawks (46-21-15) at Minnesota Wild (43-27-12)
NHL Hockey: Friday, May 9, 2014 at 9:30 pm (Xcel Energy Center)
The Line: Minnesota Wild +115 / Chicago Blackhawks -127 --- Over/Under: 5 See the Latest Odds
The Minnesota Wild play host to the Chicago Blackhawks looking to even their series on Friday.
Chicago saw their run through the postseason end for at least another day in a 4-0 defeat at Minnesota on Tuesday night. The Blackhawks have been seemingly scoring at will but could not solve Ilya Bryzgalov and the Wild defense which kept the number of shots to a minimum. The situation between the pipes for the Wild with Darcy Kuemper out has been the topic of many conversations and even more after Chicago took a 2-0 series edge.
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The conversation was all positive after Tuesday with Bryzgalov recording 19 saves to post his first shutout in the playoffs since 2006 when he was a rookie with the Ducks. This was a classic game seven atmosphere with neither team blinking through 40 minutes of scoreless hockey. Minnesota changed that at 1:41 of the third when Erik Haula tipped in a pass from Justin Fontaine to give the Wild their first lead of the series. Mikael Granlund doubled the lead for his first of two goals around three minutes later before Zach Parise provided some insurance with a power play tally with only 2:35 remaining in regulation. Granlund finished off the scoring with an empty netter to salvage their series. Corey Crawford was charged with three goals on 17 shots to take the loss.
Minnesota did salvage their season Tuesday but have to do it all over again Friday. I say this because the series stands at 2-1 and a loss Friday makes it 3-1 which is not much different with the series heading back to the United Center where the Blackhawks haven't experienced many losses. The keys for Minnesota begins in the nets where Bryzgalov has to control the scoreboard once again with the defense limiting the rubber he sees. A few early goals would obviously alleviate some of the pressure as well with Chicago capable of scoring in bunches. With the Wild needing everything to fall in to place I lean to the visitors while waiting for lines...