Rangers Fight Back, Still in the Red
The New York Rangers aren’t about to go gently into that good night. With back-to-back victories over the Washington Capitals, New York has evened this Eastern Conference semifinal at three games apiece, with Game 7 set for Wednesday night (7:30 PM ET, NBCSN) at Madison Square Garden.
Despite adding those two wins, the Blueshirts are still five units in the red at 3-8 against the puck line. All seven of their playoff victories were decided by one goal, and with the Rangers skating into the postseason as the 6/1 Stanley Cup favorites, they’ve been coated in chalk from the get-go. Unfortunately for Washington supporters, the Capitals are also down 1.33 units (6-7 ATS) after Sunday’s 4-3 loss as –114 home faves.
This isn’t the only playoff series that’s gone longer than expected. The Tampa Bay Lightning had a 3-0 lead over the Montreal Canadiens in their Eastern Conference semifinal, but the Habs staved off elimination with two wins of their own, forcing Game 6 this Tuesday in Tampa (7:00 PM ET, NBCSN). Montreal remains down one betting unit at 5-6 ATS; the Lightning have made 3.06 units in earnings thus far at 7-5 against the puck line.
We almost had another series extended on Sunday, but the Anaheim Ducks finally put away the Calgary Flames with a 3-2 overtime triumph, cashing in as –243 home faves to eliminate the Flames in five. The Ducks relied heavily on winning close games during the regular season, but Sunday’s series-clincher was just the third out of their eight playoff victories that was decided by one goal. As a result, Anaheim is the most profitable team in the postseason, pulling in 6.69 units at 6-3 ATS.
Rock, Chalk, Blackhawks
The Chicago Blackhawks definitely would have liked to see Calgary get the win on Sunday. The Hawks have already punched their ticket to the next round, sweeping aside the Minnesota Wild in four games to improve to 5-5 ATS – yet Chicago is still 1.38 units in the hole. The heavily-favored Hawks have seen six of their eight victories thus far come by a single goal. The Blackhawks were 9/5 Cup favorites going into Sunday’s action, but the NHL odds will be on the move now that the Western final has been set.
Both Chicago and Anaheim will welcome the opportunity to get some rest while the Eastern contenders battle each other. Neither of these two teams has any injury concerns of note, although Ducks fans got a scare Sunday night when Corey Perry (33 goals, 22 assists, 8.4 Point Shares) hobbled off the ice following a questionable hip check from Calgary’s Matt Stajan. Perry was able to return and score the winning goal in overtime. If Perry keeps this up, he might soon be adding the Conn Smythe to his trophy case – he leads all playoff scorers with 15 points on seven goals and eight assists.