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NHL Free Pick: Ducks vs. Blackhawks Betting Lines & Preview

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Weekly NHL Betting action sees the Anaheim Ducks taking on the Chicago Blackhawks May 23 at United Center. Cappers Picks provides free NHL handicapping tips all season long.

The Chicago Blackhawks will attempt to bounce back from their first home loss in the 2015 postseason when they host the Anaheim Ducks in Game 4 of the Western Final on Saturday night.

Daily NHL Hockey Odds

Daily NHL Hockey Odds
Ducks lead series 2-1
Anaheim at Chicago
When: 8:00 PM ET, Saturday, May 23, 2015
Where: United Center, Chicago, Illinois
Broadcast: CBC, NBC, TVA
Ducks NHL Betting Odds: +1½ -225 +131
Blackhawks NHL Betting Odds: -1½ +195 -145
NHL Over Under Betting Odds: Ov 5 -130, Un 5 +118
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Goals have been a hard to come by for both teams – goaltending has truly been the story in this matchup of two of the most prolific offenses in the game. Will Anaheim be able to bring the same intensity Saturday and return home with a commanding 3-1 series lead or will the resilient Blackhawks bounce back and even what looks like a series that could go seven? Let’s take a look.

The Anaheim Ducks have stuck to their game plan brilliantly, they have executed in almost every aspect of the game and they have forced the Chicago Blackhawks into playing their style of game so far in the Western Final. Hence their 2-1 series lead. Anaheim is big, they are physical, they are quick and they are a nightmare to play against – just ask the Blackhawks defensive corp.

Defense and a furious fore-check has paid dividends for Anaheim so far – no reason to think they change anything heading into Game 4. Special teams has also stepped up for the Ducks so far in the series – they killed five Chicago power plays in Game 2 while allowing just one shot on goal during those opportunities – and they scored their first goal on a power play Thursday for a 1-0 lead.

Offensively the Ducks have been getting just enough done. Corey Perry was held pointless in Game 3 but has 16 points in the playoffs – tied with Ryan Getzlaf who registered his 14th assist in Game 3 – Getzlaf also did his part in the faceoff circle. The forward depth of the Ducks has become more and more impressive during the series as well – they have made the Hawks look ordinary indeed – a tough thing to do.

And then there is Frederik Andersen who continues to make quite a name for himself in the playoffs. He surrendered just one goal on 28 shots Thursday and now has a 1.27 GAA and .957 save percentage in the first three games of the series. Who saw that coming?

If you are a tad worried as a Chicago Blackhawks fan you have every right to be. They lost their first home game of the season in Game 3 and looked ordinary in that game. Patrick Kane scored his first goal of the series but Patrick Sharp is still pointless in four games, Brandon Saad hasn’t recorded a point in six games, Duncan Keith has one point in five games and Brent Seabrook has just two points in the last eight games.

It is hard to imagine anyone keeping Toews, Hossa, Keith and Kane down although the Ducks have done a remarkable job so far. The Hawks have to be better Saturday and my guess is that they will indeed be.

You can’t blame Corey Crawford for Chicago’s 2-1 series hole. He is 1-2 in the series but has a 1.80 GAA and .939 save percentage in the three games. At home in the playoffs Crawford is 3-1 with a 1.59 GAA and .942 save percentage.

NHL Gambling Trends

• Under is 9-1-2 in ANA last 12 Sat. games.
• ANA are 8-1 in their last 9 road games.
• ANA are 22-6 in their last 28 Sat. games.
• CHI are 6-2 in their last 8 vs. Pacific.
• CHI are 6-2 in their last 8 overall.
• CHI are 6-2 in their last 8 vs. Western Conference.
• Under is 10-1 in the last 11 meetings in Chicago.
• Under is 19-5-2 in the last 26 meetings.

The Ducks have won four of five playoff road games thus far and have deserved each and every one of those wins – Thursday night’s game included.

NHL Betting 4* Free Play

But like in Game 2, I expect Chicago to make the necessary adjustments and to claim victory in the sea-saw Western Conference showdown.

Chicago Blackhawks -145

This series is destined to go 7 – it is Chicago’s turn to win.

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Dave B has been a Fantasy Football writer for us for 10 years. A couch potato wannabe, Dave’s insights have been read by 10’s of people for years. He hope’s for world peace + global relaxation. Enjoy and remember only smoke things that are completely natural.


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