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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 27 at United Center. Cappers Picks provides free NHL handicapping tips all season long.

The Anaheim Ducks will try to book their ticket to the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday night when they head to the Windy City to take on a desperate Chicago Blackhawks team.

Daily NHL Hockey Odds

Ducks lead series 3-2
Anaheim at Chicago
When: 8:00 PM ET, Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Where: United Center, Chicago, Illinois
Broadcast: CBC, TVA, NBCSN
Anaheim Ducks +1½ -245 +125 Ov 5 -131
Chicago Blackhawks -1½ +205 -138 Un 5 +119
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The Ducks almost let one slip away in Game 5 but emerged in Overtime to put the Hawks on the brink. But if the pattern in the series holds true it is Chicago’s turn to win – the teams have alternated wins so far in what looked from the outset like a series that was destined to go seven games.

The Anaheim Ducks still have yet to lose a game in Regulation in the playoffs – pretty impressive. The Ducks jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead on Monday night and looked in control but some sketchy goaltending allowed the Hawks to climb back and force Overtime. That sketchy goaltending has to be a concern heading into Game 6.

Frederik Andersen looked unsure in Game 5 – plain and simple. It could be the lack of playoff experience or it could be a sign that the Hawks have found something in his game. Chicago threw the puck at Anaheim’s net from every angle and in any situation catching Andersen off guard on four occasions.

Andersen is 1-1-0 with a 3.67 GAA and lousy .868 save percentage in his last two starts – not good enough to shut down the high-powered Hawks.

At least the Ducks’ offense hasn’t slowed down.

They still lead the playoffs with an average of 3.71 goals per game. Ryan Getzlaf collected two more assists in Game 5 and now has an assist in every game of the series – 19 points in the playoffs so far, Jakob Silfverberg has three points in two games and Matt Beleskey, Andrew Cogliano each have two points in two games and Ryan Kesler had a goal and an assist on Monday night.

The Ducks got four points from their defensemen on Monday and now have 42 points from defensemen in 14 playoff games so far. Anaheim’s top line of Patrick Maroon, Ryan Getzlaf, and Perry have combined for six goals and seven assists thus far in the conference final.

Translation – everyone is contributing offensively – points are coming from all over the ice making Anaheim a very dangerous and unpredictable offensive squad.

The Chicago Blackhawks displayed their patented playoff experience in Game 5 – they never quit, they scored two goals in the final 1:50 of the game and gave themselves a chance to post victory in a game that they had no business winning.

The bad news for Chicago is that Corey Crawford hasn’t been great – his numbers almost mirror Andersen’s. In the last two starts Crawford is 1-1-0 with a 3.72 GAA and .886 save percentage. Crawford surrendered five goals on just 24 shots Monday – not good.

That said I’d take the experience of Crawford over Andersen any day. Crawford has been solid between the pipes at United Center, going 4-1 with a 1.92 GAA and .935 save percentage this postseason.

Offensively Chicago has to be a confident team heading into Game 6. They buried four goals on 26 shots and had Frederik Andersen scrambling at times. Jonathan Toews score twice and Brent Seabrook had a goal and an assist Monday night.

Teuvo Teravainen, Patrick Sharp and Brandon Saad each have three points in two games and Marian Hossa and Duncan Keith each have two points in two games.

Patrick Kane was held pointless for the third time in five games of the series Monday night – you have to think an outburst is overdue for arguably the most talented offensive player in the series. Kane has scored in each of the Blackhawks’ last five home games.

NHL Gambling Trends

• ANA are 8-2 in their last 10 road games.
• Over is 8-3-2 in ANA last 13 games following a win.
• ANA are 40-16 in their last 56 vs. Central.
• Over is 9-3-4 in CHI last 16 overall.
• CHI are 7-3 in their last 10 vs. Pacific.
• CHI are 7-3 in their last 10 overall.
• Under is 10-2 in the last 12 meetings in Chicago.
• Under is 19-7-2 in the last 28 meetings.

Chicago is 0-4 in games following an overtime contest but Wednesday night’s affair should be different.

NHL Betting 4* Free Play

The Hawks have been money at home, their defense is still one of the best in the game despite some sketchy play the last few games and the experience on hockey’s biggest stage is almost second to none.

Chicago Blackhawks -138

It is said that the clinching game is always the hardest one to get – that cliché rings true again as Chicago forces a Game 7!

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