The Chicago Blackhawks were the only Western Conference team to be a series favorite in the first round of these playoffs, but the sixth-seeded Hawks’ season will end on Saturday night in Phoenix if Chicago can’t beat the Coyotes. Phoenix opened as a -135 favorite on Bovada’s NHL hockey odds.
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All four games of this series have gone to overtime, the first time the first four games of a first-round series have ever done that. Actually, the Blackhawks have played in a record six straight overtime playoff games dating to last season’s first-round loss to Vancouver.
Chicago battled back from a 2-0 deficit in Game 4 on Thursday only to see Mikkel Boedker score the winner for the second game in a row. Those are his only two career postseason goals. Phoenix won despite having only 19 shots on goal. For the second straight game, the Coyotes were without center Martin Hanzal and left wing Lauri Korpikoski, both of whom were injured in Game 2. Both are questionable for this one.
The Hawks played Game 4 without winger Marian Hossa, their leading scorer during the season. He was demolished in Game 3 on a vicious hit by Raffi Torres. Hossa won’t play in this one and probably not again this series. Torres remains suspended. Chicago’s Andrew Shaw also remains suspended.
Chicago’s best offensive players, not including Hossa, are Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews and Viktor Stalberg. That foursome has combined for just two goals in the first four games of the series. Toews, Kane and the normally shoot-first Sharp combined for only six shots in Game 4.
It’s quite possible that the Hawks will make a switch at as Corey Crawford has given up three goals in all four games. And the past two overtime goals he has allowed have been rather soft. Crawford has a 2.64 goals-against average and .900 save percentage in the series. Backup Ray Emery was 15-9-4 with a 2.81 GAA and .900 save percentage this season. He appeared in 18 road games, starting 15, and went 5-9-1 with a 3.36 GAA.
The gloves are off! Now the real season starts. Every big play, every penalty, it’s like you’re calling it. Live betting available throughout playoffs at Bovada.