NHL playoff odds: Chicago Blackhawks at Minnesota Wild, Game 4
The Chicago Blackhawks were huge series favorites over the No. 8 Minnesota Wild, but all of a sudden this Western Conference quarterfinal would get rather interesting if the Wild can tie things up at two games apiece on Tuesday night. The Hawks opened as -160 favorites on WagerWeb.com. Check our current lines.
Minnesota won Game 3 on Sunday 3-2 in overtime. Jason Zucker scored at 2:15 of the extra period to give the Wild the victory. Pierre-Marc Bouchard had a goal for the Wild after Johnny Oduya scored for the Blackhawks late in the first period. Patrick Kane had two assists for the Blackhawks and has five in the series. Zach Parise’s first goal of the series came early in the third period, but Duncan Keith got one back for the Blackhawks with 2:46 left in regulation after a slow line change by the suddenly conservative Wild.
The Wild outplayed the Blackhawks in nearly every category after Wild coach Mike Yeo asked his team to play with more hatred toward the Blackhawks. Chicago coach Joel Quenneville wants to see something similar to that from the Blackhawks in Game 4.
“I’d like to see a very intense team,” Quenneville said after Monday’s practice. “You watch other playoff series, you can see whether it’s the animosity, the hatred, the battles; that’s playoff hockey. I think that’s the level we got to get to and go from there.”
Quenneville said he’d like to especially see his team hit and shoot more than it did in Game 3. The Wild outhit the Blackhawks 34-13 and outshot them 37-27. The numbers were drastically different than the Blackhawks’ 5-2 win in Game 2 where they had 35 hits and 48 shots.
After getting both goals in Game 3 from defensemen Oduya and Keith, Chicago is looking to get more production from its top line of rookie Brandon Saad – who was named a Calder Trophy finalist on Monday – captain Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa. Aside from Hossa’s power-play goal in Game 1 and assist on Oduya’s goal, the line has been shut out and largely shut down by goalie Josh Harding and the Wild’s top defense pair, Ryan Suter and rookie Jonas Brodin.
Blackhawks forward Dave Bolland and goaltender Ray Emery returned to practice Monday, but they will not play Tuesday against the Wild in Game 4. Bolland has missed six consecutive games due to a lower-body injury. He suffered the injury against the Vancouver Canucks on April 22. He had seven goals and seven assists in 35 regular-season games this season. Emery has missed five consecutive games due to a lower-body injury. He suffered the injury against the Edmonton Oilers on April 24. He was 17-1-0 with a 1.94 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage during the regular season.
WagerWeb.com trends: Wild are 3-7 in their last 10 games playing on 1 days rest. Wild are 2-6 in their last 8 home games. Wild are 4-14 in their last 18 Tuesday games. Blackhawks are 5-0 in their last 5 Tuesday games. Blackhawks are 7-1 in their last 8 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game. Blackhawks are 4-1 in their last 5 vs. Northwest. Under is 3-0-1 in the last 4 meetings in Minnesota. Home team is 6-1 in the last 7 meetings. Blackhawks are 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.