Tonight in Game 6 of a Western Conference semifinals series the Blackhawks will try to close out the series in Vancouver, but that will not be easy since the Canucks had best home record in the West this season.
Chicago Blackhawks at Vancouver Canucks
Bovada has a moneyline for this game with the Canucks as the home favorites posted at -130 with the Blackhawks at +120 with a total of 6 goals.
The Blackhawks lead this best of 7 series 3-2.
The Canucks staved off elimination by winning Game 5 in Chicago 4-1 on Sunday.
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Even though the Canucks were great at home in the regular season the Blackhawks won Game 3 and 4 in Vancouver. Those games were the first consecutive home losses for the Canucks all season.
The Canucks have to stay out of the penalty box tonight, as in the two home losses in Game 3 and 4 Chicago was on the power play 14 times and scored six goals. Most of those goals came on rebounds and Canucks’ G Roberto Luongo has to control the puck better.
In the five games in the series the Canucks have logged 34 more minutes in the penalty box.
Luongo had a solid Game 5 only allowing one goal, but he has been up and down in the playoffs with a GAA of 3.06 and a save percentage of 89.9%. He will have to play well tonight for the Canucks to force a Game 7 in Chicago.
The away team has won four of the five games in this series.
Vancouver’s best defensive player Sami Salo may miss this game after taking s shot to the groin and having to go to the hospital after Game 5. He will be a game-time decision for tonight’s game. If he can’t go tonight Vancouver will turn to Lawrence Nycholat, who was in the AHL all season and has not played in the NHL since 2009 and has never been in a playoff game.
Chicago G Antti Niemi has to play better tonight than he did at home in Sunday’s loss when he gave up four goals.
The Canucks’ defense has to key on Jonathan Toews, as he leads the Blackhawks in goals, assists, and points in the playoffs.
The winner of this series will face the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference finals.
In the Eastern Conference there are no games tonight, but tommorow night the Penguins host the Canadiens in Game 7 and the Flyers will be at home to try force a Game 7 being down 3-2 to the Bruins.
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