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Chicago Blackhawks vs. Minnesota Wild - 5/1/15 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Minnesota Wild (50-30-8) at Chicago Blackhawks (52-30-6)

NHL Hockey: Friday, May 1, 2015 at 9:30 pm (United Center)

The Line: Chicago Blackhawks -149 / Minnesota Wild +125 --- Over/Under: 5 See the Latest Odds

TV: NBCS

The Minnesota Wild open up the semifinals with a trip to the United Center to face the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Minnesota Wild are very familiar with the Chicago Blackhawks with both teams residing in the Central Division. They have been even more familiar in the postseason where they face each other for the third consecutive time. The Wild pulled a six game upset of the St Louis Blues who challenged Anaheim for the best record in the Western Conference. Minnesota has had an unsettled goaltending situation in the last few trips to the postseason but have Vezina Tropy finalist Devan Dubyk between the pipes who has given up just a single goal in the last two meetings with Chicago and posted a 2.32 GAA and .913 save % versus the Blues. Zach Parise led the attack against St Louis with three goals and four assists while the line of Parise, Mikael Granlund and Jason Pominville combined for 17 points.

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Minnesota Wild - 5/1/15 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Nashville Predators in six games to advance to the Western Conference semifinals as they try to add another Stanley Cup to their accomplishments. The Blackhawks have eliminated Central Division rival Minnesota in consecutive years and now face them a third time. The situation between the pipes is a question for Chicago with Corey Crawford experiencing difficult challenges in the first two games with the Predators with Scott Darling getting the call in the next four although Crawford relieved him in game six so that’s a situation to watch. Jonathan Toews is the leading scorer in the playoffs with three goals and five helpers with Patrick Kane posting two goals and five helpers while Patrick Sharp added three tallies and a pair of assists.

These teams are infinitely familiar with one another so neither will be able to pull any surprises. The Wild have proven to be balanced on offense and stingy on defense with Dubnyk in goal but that was against St Louis who has had a history of failing in the postseason. Few teams can match the talent and offensive firepower of the Blackhawks but the key in my eyes is who is in the nets and how will they perform as goaltending was a huge concern against the Predators. No line is out and I’m assuming Crawford starts for Chicago  so please check back…

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