#7 Philadelphia Flyers
#2 Chicago Blackhawks
Blackhawks Lead Series 1-0
If you’re a fan of NHL betting action, you absolutely loved the up and down nature of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Saturday night! The Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers are back at it on Monday night at the United Center, as the hosts look to take a 2-0 series lead back to the City of Brotherly Love, while the visitors attempt to tie the series at a game apiece after their 6-5 loss two nights ago.
For HC Peter Laviolette, the decision about starting either G Michael Leighton or G Brian Boucher in net is going to be a very tough one. Leighton started the game and gave up five goals on just 20 shots, a couple of which proved to be incredibly weak goals. After conceding his fifth, Boucher, the original starter for this team, came out and stopped 11 of his 12 shots faced. He was handed the loss having given up the game-winning goal, but no one is going to fault Boucher for allowing just one goal in almost a period and a half of action. Offensively speaking, Philadelphia has to be incredibly careful with its power play. Yes, RW Scott Hartnell did put the biscuit in the basket on the power play in the first period, but the Flyers also conceded a short-handed goal. Mistakes like that have to be avoided in order to win the Stanley Cup.
G Antti Niemi had the worst game of his postseason on Saturday night, but he won’t care about that considering the fact that he escaped with a ‘W’. Chicago recorded 32 shots on goal, but its offense didn’t look fantastic during long stretches of the game. Part of that might be because the Blackhawks didn’t get one attempt at a man advantage, as there were exactly zero penalties called on the Flyers in the game. Still, RW Troy Brouwer made a name for himself with a pair of goals, which helped pick up the slack that neither RW Patrick Kane nor C Jonathan Toews could muster. Both Toews and Kane were held pointless, and each posted a -3 on the evening.
Still, knowing that the Blackhawks scored six goals when they weren’t at their best gives us reason to believe that they are going to be the team to play on for the foreseeable future in this series. Unless either Leighton or Boucher brings their ‘A Game’ and can turn away the Chicago offense, we only see things getting worse for the Flyers before they get better.
Selection: Chicago Blackhawks -200 at BetEd Sportsbook
The Blackhawks have now won six straight NHL playoff betting battles and haven’t been defeated at home since May 9th. BetEd is your one stop shop for all things related to the Stanley Cup Finals, including moneylines, puck lines, ‘totals’, and props. Sign up for an account today!