Blackhawks at Red Wings Picks and NHL Game 3 Odds
by Dave Schwab - 5/20/2013
The Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings will resume their best-of-seven battle in the Western Conference Semifinals this Monday night at Joe Louis Arena with the series knotted at one game apiece. Game 3 is scheduled to get underway at 7:30 p.m. (ET), and it will be broadcast nationally on the NBC Sports Network.
Chicago drew first blood in this heated rivalry with a dominating 4-1 victory last Wednesday as a -191 home favorite. The early lead did not last long after the Blackhawks were pounded by an identical 4-1 score in Game 2 as a -196 favorite at home. Both games ended as a “push” on the total line.
The Red Wings came into this series fresh off having to go the distance to get by Anaheim in the opening round. The clincher was a thrilling 3-2 victory in Game 7 as +126 road underdogs. The final four games of that series were decided by one goal either way, and the total has now ended as a push in five of their last six games.
Blackhawks at Red Wings Betting Storylines
The Blackhawks needed only five games to get by Minnesota in the opening round, and with the way they played in Game 1 of this series it appeared they were going to cruise right into the conference finals. A three-goal explosion in the third period sealed the win as Chicago peppered the Red Wings with a total of 42 shots on goal. Patrick Sharp had the hot hand with two goals and an assist, and after adding another assist on the team’s only goal in Game 2 he raised his postseason total to six goals and four assists in seven games.
Corey Crawford has gone the distance in goal for the Blackhawks in these playoffs, and after posting six very solid games between the pipes he suddenly looked very beatable this past Saturday night. After turning away all 12 shots he faced in the opening period, he was torched for four goals on 18 shots in Periods 2 and 3. Overall, Crawford has a goals-against average of 1.64 in the postseason with a .937 save percentage.
Detroit may have been suffering from jet lag in Game 1 after its trip back from the West Coast, but it quickly recovered from that third-period collapse to swing the home ice to its favor in this series with a complete effort in Game 2. The most impressive aspect of this win was a stifling defense that held Chicago to just 20 shots on goal. This has been the key to the Red Wings success all season long. They averaged only 2.5 goals a game in the regular season but were ranked fifth in the NHL in goals allowed with a GAA of just 2.3.
Henrik Zetterberg leads the team in total points in the playoffs with three goals and seven assists, while Damien Brunner and Johan Franzen have each tallied four goals, but this team still lives and dies on the play of Jimmy Howard in goal. It has been a mixed bag for Howard in these playoffs so far after allowing three or more goals in five of Detroit’s nine postseason contests. However, when he is on it becomes very difficult to score on this team. His overall GAA is 2.58 in those nine games with a .916 save percentage.
Blackhawks at Red Wings NHL Game 3 Betting Odds and Trends
The Blackhawks are 21-7 in their last 28 road games and 8-3 in their last 11 games in the conference semifinals. The total has stayed under in seven of their last eight games on the road.
The Red Wings are 4-10 in their last 14 games against teams from the Central Division and 1-4 in their last five games following a win. The total has stayed under in seven of their last 12 division games.
Head-to-head in this matchup, the road team is 15-7 in the last 22 meetings, and the total has stayed under in the last four games played in Detroit. Chicago is now 8-1 in the last nine meetings dating back to the 2011-12 regular season.
Blackhawks at Red Wings Picks and Game 3 Betting Predictions
The top teams in every sport have a habit of responding very well to a wake-up call, and that is exactly what the Blackhawks were slapped in the face with this past Saturday night. They remain the more talented team in this showdown in every phase of the game, which will be made extremely evident on Monday night with a win.
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