The Anaheim Ducks welcome in the Chicago Blackhawks tonight in Game 2 of the NHL Western Conference Finals. The game is scheduled for a 9:00 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on the NBC Sports Network. Currently the betting odds for the game have the Ducks favored to pick up another win in this one.
Anaheim earned a Game 1 victory on Sunday, beating Chicago 4-1 to open the Western Conference Finals. Anaheim will look to lengthen that series lead in tonight's game, one where the Chicago Blackhawks will look to get back on track and find a way to score on the power play. Both of these teams are loaded with talent, but sometimes it's the bench players and depth of a team that make for the best playoff point-scorers.
Hampus Lindholm, Kyle Palmieri and Nate Thompson gave the Ducks the 3-1 lead in Sunday's win. Ryan Getzlaf had one assist in that game, Corey Perry finished without one. Both Perry and Getzlaf are two of the best players in the world and make the Ducks tough to beat, but when they are getting nice contributions from the depth of the team it makes them dangerous. Chicago has to find a way to neutralize that, or find a way to get their stars on the scoreboard enough to make a difference.
Chicago's lone goal came from Brad Richards, his second of the post season. He was one of several Blackhawks that finished with a minus game. Brent Seabrook, Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane all finished -2 for the game, Duncan Keith finished with a minus-3 rating. Only Bryan Bickell finished with a positive rating for the game, something that had to change for Chicago to have a chance here tonight.
Corey Crawford made 23 stops in the opening game of the series, Frederik Andersen had an impressive 32 stops on 33 shots. Many of those stops for Andersen came in the opening period when Chicago poured 16 shots on net. Expect more of that tonight as the Blackhawks look to get an early one on the board to try and take some pressure off themselves.
Tonight, though, the Ducks get it done yet again. Anaheim has just one loss this post season, a 4-3 overtime defeat in Game 3 against Calgary during the second round. They'll continue flying high with a victory here tonight.
Free Pick: Anaheim
NFL Free Pick: Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears
According to professional sports bettor Steve Fezzik, the early bird can catch a profitable worm if they put money down on Green Bay's opening week showing against the Chicago Bears. With the line currently at -4.5 at most Vegas sports books, Fezzik predicts it will move to -6.5 come game day, as no one is going to be betting on the Jay Cutler-helmed Bears, so the money will pour in on Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. With that being the case, time strike early while the iron is hot.
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