After taking a 2-0 series lead, the Phoenix Coyotes look to move within just one step of their first Western Conference Finals appearance in NHL betting action on Wednesday when they take on the Nashville Predators in Game 3.
The Coyotes haven’t always been able to get the most out of their offense over the course of the season, but in these first two games, they have nine goals to show for their work against one of the best goalies in the game. No, the defense hasn’t been great for a change, and that seems to be a bit odd for a team that only got into the playoffs because of the great play down the stretch by Mike Smith, but the offense just keeps finding ways to score goals. Amazingly, Phoenix tried to blow another lead in the third period, giving up a goal just 53 ticks into the period to watch a 4-2 lead get cut in half, but in the end, Shane Doan was able to get the goal to break Nashville’s back. Martin Hanzal had his second goal of the playoffs, while Radim Vrbata, Taylor Pyatt, and Antonie Vermette all had goals as well. Keith Yandle picked up two assists, raising his total up to seven helpers in eight games here in the postseason.
The argument could be made that it is do or die time for the Predators. They know that they have done enough offensively to win games in this series, and their defense has had some truly great moments as well. Yet somehow, even with a team that, for our money, is a lot more talented than the Coyotes, Nashville just hasn’t been able to finish games off. Andrei Kostitsyn and Patric Hornqvist scored in the first and second periods respectively, while Ryan Suter scored his first goal of the playoffs on the power play in the first minute of the third. However, allowing 39 shots on Pekka Rinne just wasn’t good enough, and in the end, the Vezina Trophy finalist yielded five times, costing his team a shot at the victory. Back at home though, Nashville has been great all season long, but never before has it been in this type of a position, knowing that it really has to have this game if it wants to move on to the Western Conference Finals for the first time.
The Final Word: We still really think that Nashville has the better of these two teams, and we are going to take a rare shot at a goal line play in the playoffs. The Predators should be able to get out of the blocks in good form in Game 3, and we think that that might lead to a romp to cut this series deficit in half.
Phoenix Coyotes @ Nashville Predators Pick: Nashville Predators -1.5
Aaron Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.