Minnesota Wild vs. Chicago Blackhawks - 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 +118 / Chicago Blackhawks -130 --- Over/Under: 5 See the Latest Odds
The Blackhawks look to shake off a shutout loss in game three and rebound with a momentum swinging victory on the road in game four.
The Blackhawks lost their first contest in seven tries in Minnesota in their last outing as they dropped a 4-0 decision to the Wild after they had ripped off four straight against the Blues in the first round and the first two here in this series. Chicago is still a big favourite to emerge out of the Western Conference and defend their title in the Cup finals but their path will still be a tough one as this Minnesota team is no slouch and if they get through here they will take on the winner of the Kings-Ducks series. The Hawks do a really good job at bouncing back from adversity and now they will re-introduce Nick Leddy into the lineup after he was a healthy scratch in game three and he will certainly be motivated to perform. Chicago can take a 3-1 series lead and set up a possible clinching effort back at the United Center which would give them adequate rest for what could be a long series between their Pacific division counterparts.
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Minnesota got themselves back into their series with the Blackhawks as they remained undefeated on home ice with a convincing 4-0 victory but the down time between games has to negatively impact the home side as they had all the momentum. A three day layoff is rare for this time of year and after losing earlier in the week I bet he Blackhawks were ecstatic to see such a lag in the schedule as it gave them time to regroup and time for the Wild to cool off a bit which should put this game back on more even terms. The Hawks are actually favoured in this spot which isn’t entirely unexpected as they’re the better team but I do think the Wild are getting overlooked once again as they’re a strong team that can match up with anyone and who have more confidence in their goaltender after he recorded the shutout the last time out. Nonetheless, I think the Hawks come back out here much like they did last year against Minny in the first round and respond after losing in game three on the road with a solid effort and close things out back home. Taking Chicago here.