Chicago Blackhawks (46-21-15) at St. Louis Blues (52-23-7)
|Date & Time||Friday April 25, 2014, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: St. Louis Blues -110 / Chicago Blackhawks +100 --- Over/Under: 5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Blues look to reclaim the series lead against the Blackhawks as they shift back to the Scottrade Center in St. Louis for game five.
The Blackhawks shook off two heartbreaking losses to start the series on the road with back to back victories at the United Center as what was predicted to be one of the most exciting opening round series’ has lived up to the billing. Chicago had both games one and two locked up in the late stages of the third period but a lack of killer instinct and some perseverance from the Blues led to a late tying goal and ultimately an overtime winner in back to back contests. Fortunately for the Hawks, they gathered their composure and have rallied their way back into this series and have all the momentum heading into St. Louis in what should be another exciting show down. Patrick Kane has returned in a big way and his presence will be vital once again as he has a knack for scoring big goals and if the Hawks can steal this one on the road and head back to the United Center with an opportunity to close out the series they will be foaming at the mouth. Corey Crawford, who continues to play well in the Chicago crease, will get the nod once again as he goes up against Ryan Miller for the home side.
The Blues were lucky to escape the first two games victorious but you have to give them full credit for battling for a full 60 minutes as it is clear they belong in these playoffs as they are a battle tested team that will never give up. That being said, their play on the road over the last month has been dreadful and if they’re going to win this series and make a push towards the Cup finals they need to rectify that and quick. The Blues were without David Backes once again in game four’s loss and there is no certainty whether or not he will be back for this one as he is still recovering from a nasty hit in game two from Hawks defenseman Brent Seabrook. As I stated before, the suspension/injury involving these two hurts the Blues more than the Hawks as Backes is a top forward for the Blues and while Seabrook is very strong at the back the Hawks have plenty of depth and as we have seen in his absence, they haven’t skipped a beat. While the Blues are very strong at home and desperately need to win here I think Chicago, who has started to find their game, will come away with a victory here in another tight contest.