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Chicago Blackhawks vs. Detroit Red Wings Free Game 6 Pick | NHL Preview

Hawks vs Red Wings Handicapping

The Chicago Blackhawks already passed a huge test in their second round series with the Detroit Red Wings – they survived their first elimination game Saturday night. Another huge test looms Monday night – another elimination game – this time in what is sure to be an amped up Joe Louis Arena.

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Chicago Blackhawks (42-10-1-5) at Detroit Red Wings (31-20-4-5)
When: 8:00 PM ET, Monday, May 27, 2013
Where: Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Broadcast: NBCSN, CBC, RDS
Red Wings lead series 3-2
Hawks vs. Wings Betting Lines
Chicago Blackhawks -1½ +245 -126 Ov 5 +117 Ov 2½ -115 Un 2½ -115
Detroit Red Wings +1½ -290 +114 Un 5 -129 Ov 2½ +125 Un 2½ -155

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Hawks Look to Stay Alive – Game 6 vs. Detroit Monday Night

Chicago’s stagnant offense woke up in Game 5 which is an ominous development for the underdog Wings but if there is one thing that we have learned from the 2013 seventh seeded Detroit Red Wings – they will come to play and will certainly make it very difficult on any team put in front of them.

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The Chicago Blackhawks looked like the team that went undefeated for the first 24 games of the regular season this year when they directed 45 shots at Jimmy Howard and won 4-1. Captain Jonathan Toews finally got the monkey off his back when he scored his first goal of the playoffs Saturday – he has only scored four times in 23 games over the last three playoff years. The team didn’t let up despite heading into the third up two goals – the outshot Detroit 17-4 in the final frame. The key now is to carry the momentum over into what is certain to be an insane Joe Louis Arena.

Surprisingly, Chicago’s offense had struggled before scoring 4 in Game 5 scoring two goals combined in three straight games to fall behind Detroit 3-1. The play of Jimmy Howard has a lot to do with that! But Marian Hossa has just one point in four games, Bryan Bickell has one point in five games, Patrick Sharp is pointless in three games and Brandon Saad and Michael Frolik are pointless in five games and. This can’t last can it?

Corey Crawford stopped 25 of 26 shots Saturday and has allowed one or fewer goals in six of his 10 starts this postseason, posting a 1.66 goals-against average. There is little reason to worry about Chicago defensively – they were the best unit in the NHL during the regular season and look terrific again heading into Game 3.

The Detroit Red Wings have to be a little uneasy despite leading the series 3-2. They were totally outplayed on Saturday and need a serious rebound effort to get the swagger back. They’ve already eliminated the #2 seed but the #1 seed is a totally different challenge. Game 6 at home is crucial – going back to Chicago for Game 7 isn’t exactly optimal!

The mix of youth and experience continues to propel the Wings offensively although they have just 11 goals through the first five games of the series so far.[ad-4437448]

Damien Brunner and Gustav Nyqvist represent the youth and superstar forwards Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk represent the experience – all are contributing in big ways for the “Cinderella” Wings. Danny Cleary scored his fourth goal of the postseason Saturday for the Red Wings – he provides the necessary depth for this team to be successful.

Make no mistake about it – Jimmy Howard is the reason the Wings are where they are at this point. Detroit has been outshot 175-134 so far in the series and still lead – thanks to Mr. Howard. In two games at home in the series, Howard has given up a grand total of one goal although he did allow four in Game 5 on the road.

It will likely have to be up to Mr. Howard again in Game 6 – the Hawks looked like they found a spark in Game 5 and will be coming hard Monday night.

Betting Prediction

A few trends to consider:

• CHI are 43-15 in their last 58 vs. Central.
• CHI are 42-16 in their last 58 overall.
• Under is 18-7-1 in CHI last 26 road games.
• Under is 7-2-2 in DET last 11 home games.
• Under is 15-5-9 in DET last 29 overall.
• DET are 356-158-16 in their last 530 home games.
• Under is 19-5-4 in the last 28 meetings.
• CHI are 9-3 in the last 12 meetings in Detroit.

It is somewhat hard to believe that the Wings are a home dog especially after allowing the Hawks just one goal in the two games already played at the Joe. But the Hawks are the President’s Trophy winners for a reason! They are darn good! This series is destined for a Game 7 – I like the Hawks to prevail in a typically tight, low scoring game between the clubs.

Pick: Chicago Blackhawks -126

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