Anaheim Ducks (+136) at Chicago Blackhawks (-146, 5 o/u)
The Anaheim Ducks (51-24-7, 25-12-4 away) had a quick response to the Chicago Blackhawks’ triple OT win in Game 2, handing the Hawks their first home loss of the playoffs in Game 3 (2-1) to take an identical 2-1 lead in the series. Tonight, Ryan Getzlaf and company will look to go up 3-1 and take a stranglehold on the series when they again face Chicago at the United Center in Game 4 (8:00 PM Eastern).
The 2-1 win by the Ducks in Game 3 came on the strength of 27 saves from goalie Frederik Andersen. Defenseman Simon Despres and left winger Patrick Maroon provided the offense while Getzlaf added two helpers. Patrick Kane tallied for the Blackhawks late in the first period, but Chicago couldn’t find a way to put another past Andersen despite having five power plays (compared to just one for Anaheim).
“[W]e just sharpened up on the PK,” Andersen said to the Associated Press after the win. “We weren’t satisfied with what we did the last game. That was huge for this group coming off a tough loss where we gave up two goals on the PK. We wanted to be better today.”
Chicago outshot Anaheim 10-5 in the third period, desperately trying to find the equalizer. The shots, which finished 28-27 in favor of Chicago, would have been lopsided had the Ducks not blocked 27 more Chicago attempts on net.
“It’s frustrating that we lost, and frustrating because we had some opportunities whether it was the power play or different chances and stuff that would get me back in the game,” Kane said to the press after Game 3. “Other than that, we knew it was going to be a tough series. This is a good team. It’s tough to lose, especially at home, but we’ve got to regroup.”
Even though Anaheim won Game 3 and looked sharp on the defensive side, Chicago was unbeaten at home for a reason. Look for the experienced Blackhawks to rebound on home ice tonight.
Pick: Blackhawks (-146).
(Photo credit: Resolute (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)