The Chicago Blackhawks have a 3-2 series lead over the Minnesota Wild, and if the previous five contests mean anything, it’s Minnesota’s turn to win in Game Six.
The two teams are set to face off on Tuesday night, as the series returns to Minnesota. Chicago took Games One, Two and Five, remaining perfect at home in the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs. Minnesota is 5-0 this postseason in front of their home fans.
Marian Hossa has been the top performer through five games. He leads all players with nine points, including an assist in the Blackhawks’ Game Five victory. Jonathan Toews only has three points against the Wild, but he has two goals, including a key score in Game Five. His goal early in the third period broke a 1-1 tie, and was the deciding play to give Chicago the victory.
Minnesota’s defense has gotten much better in the final three games, allowing four goals, as opposed to nine in the first two. Goalie Ilya Bryzgalov is stopping 90 percent of the shots that come his way.
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The oddsmakers don’t expect the trend in the series to continue. Even though the home team has won every game, the odds at Las Vegas casinos list Chicago’s chances at -120. Minnesota is a slight underdog at +100.
CNBC will broadcast the game nationally at 9 p.m. ET. Viewers can watch a free live stream online with NBC Sports Live Extra.
The Blackhawks are terrific at closing out series. Since 2009, they are 11-2 when they have a chance to end a series. After being outscored 8-2 in Games Three and Four, Chicago appears to have righted the ship. Minnesota has given the defending champs all they can handle, but the Blackhawks’ experience will help them get to the conference finals.
Chicago 3, Minnesota 1