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NHL ♦ Stanley Cup Playoffs ♦ Friday 4/15/16

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    “Stanley Cup Playoffs”

    Friday’s NHL betting previews

    Preview: Detroit at Tampa Bay

    When: 7:00 PM ET, Friday, April 15, 2016
    Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida

    The Detroit Red Wings can draw plenty of positives from the series opener and hope to build off them to avoid a 2-0 hole when they visit the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday. Detroit rallied to take the lead in the second period, drew five power plays and produced 36 shots on goal in a 3-2 loss in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference first-round series Wednesday.

    “I thought we did a good job in a lot of areas,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill told reporters. “I don’t like the result, but from a process standpoint, we did good things. I was happy with most of our guys, but I also think there’s another level.” Detroit will have to find an answer for the line of Alex Killorn, Tyler Johnson and Nikita Kucherov, who combined for three goals and four assists with captain Steven Stamkos (blood clot) and top-pair defenseman Anton Stralman out indefinitely. “You can’t sulk in it,” Johnson, who suffered an upper-body injury in the final regular-season game, told reporters. “Detroit isn’t doing us any favors. We’ve got to play our game, and guys have to step up like they did (Wednesday).” The Lightning won Game 2 in all four series last season, including the first round against the Red Wings.

    TV: 7 p.m. ET, CNBC, CBC, TVAS, FSN Detroit, FSN Florida (Tampa Bay)

    Detroit still needs to get captain Henrik Zetterberg going after he was held to one shot on goal in Game 1 and has managed one goal in his last 25 games. His linemates Pavel Datsyuk (seven shots) and Justin Abdelkader (goal) each contributed and defenseman Mike Green had the other goal for the Red Wings. Rookie forward Dylan Larkin, who primarily played with Darren Helm and Brad Richards, did not have a shot on goal in his playoff debut.

    Jonathan Drouin, who had asked for a trade before leaving the team and getting suspended for almost two months, played 18:09 in the series opener – second-most among forwards. Drouin had three shots, two hits, two takeaways and teamed with linemates Valtteri Filppula and Ondrej Palat to create several opportunities while helping shut out Zetterberg and Datsyuk. Defenseman Victor Hedman led all players in ice time with 28:56.


    * Red Wings are 1-5 in their last 6 road games.
    * Lightning are 0-4 in their last 4 games following a win.
    * Over is 5-0-4 in Red Wings last 9 vs. a team with a winning record.
    * Over is 7-1-1 in Lightning last 9 games following a win.
    * Red Wings are 0-4 in the last 4 meetings in Tampa Bay.


    1. The Lightning won the battle in the faceoff circle 36-29 on Wednesday, led by Filppula (17-10)

    2. Detroit rookie F Andreas Athanasiou had four shots on goal and three hits in 8:45 on Wednesday in his first playoff game.

    3. Killorn, who had nine goals and 18 points in 26 playoff games in 2014-15, has a plus-12 rating in his last 16 games overall.

    PREDICTION: Lightning 4, Red Wings 2


    Preview: NY Islanders at Florida

    When: 7:30 PM ET, Friday, April 15, 2016
    Where: BB&T Center, Sunrise, Florida

    The Florida Panthers won’t have long to lick their wounds after relinquishing home-ice advantage in their first-round series with the New York Islanders. The Atlantic Division-champion Panthers will have less than 24 hours to rebound after watching three one-goal leads evaporate in a 5-4 setback when the clubs reconvene at BB&T Center for Game 2 on Friday.

    “I thought our defensive game was bad and some of the (Islanders’ goals) were great,” Florida coach George Gallant told the Miami Herald. “I’m not going to blame (goaltender Roberto Luongo). He’s been our key guy all year long.” Captain John Tavares has been the Islanders’ main man since he was selected with the top overall pick of the 2009 draft — and the 25-year-old didn’t disappoint Thursday. Tavares continued his torrid stretch as he followed up a nine-point performance over his final four games of the regular season with a playoff-best three-point effort (goal, two assists) in the series opener. “It’s one game,” Tavares told reporters. “We’ve got to put it behind us and move on to the next one. I think that’s what we’ve learned from the past.”

    TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, NHL Network, SN360, TVAS3, MSG-Plus (New York), SUN (Florida)

    Thomas Greiss made 42 saves in his first playoff start, but perhaps none bigger than thwarting Jaromir Jagr’s point-blank chance with a sliding pad stop in the final minute of regulation. “I felt it hit me, then I had no clue where it went after that,” the 30-year-old netminder told Newsday. Playing in place of the injured Jaroslav Halak, Greiss stopped 69-of-77 shots to post a 1-0-1 mark while playing his second game in as many nights this season.

    Reilly Smith scored twice in the opener, but was more interested in preventing Thursday’s result from lingering longer than necessary. “It’s frustrating, but we weren’t expecting this to be a short series anyway,” Smith said. “There were a lot of positives we can take out of the game tonight. Luckily we play (Friday), so we don’t have to think about it too much.” Fellow forward Jussi Jokinen scored a goal and set up two others to increase his point total to 12 in as many playoff games.


    1. Jagr has recorded 16 assists — but no goals — during his last 32 playoff games.

    2. New York is vying for its first 2-0 series lead since the 1983 Stanley Cup Final. The Islanders went on to sweep Edmonton for their fourth consecutive championship.

    3. Luongo has lost his last seven postseason starts dating to the 2011 Stanley Cup Final when his Vancouver Canucks failed to seal the deal versus Boston.

    PREDICTION: Islanders 3, Panthers 2


    Preview: Chicago at St. Louis

    When: 8:00 PM ET, Friday, April 15, 2016
    Where: Scottrade Center, St. Louis, Missouri

    St. Louis Blues captain David Backes isn’t going to apologize for scoring an aesthetically unappealing goal. After his pinball tally in overtime gave the Blues a series-opening victory, Backes’ Blues look to put the defending Stanley Cup-champion Chicago Blackhawks in an early hole when the Central Division rivals reconvene in the Gateway City for Game 2 on Friday.

    “That’s an ugly goal,” Backes told reporters after his attempted centering feed banked off the skate of Chicago defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk and between the pads of Corey Crawford at 9:04 of overtime in the Blues’ 1-0 win on Wednesday. “I specialize in those and rightfully so. … (Our team) put this in perspective. It’s one game, start 0-0 again on Friday and do it all over again.” The Blackhawks will welcome back a familiar face on Friday as reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner Duncan Keith returns from his six-game suspension for high sticking Minnesota’s Charlie Coyle on March 29. “You want to be out there helping the guys to try and win the hockey game. That in itself is frustrating especially it being as big a game as it was,” Keith told CSN Chicago. “But I’m excited to get back and play again and try to do everything I can to help get a win.”

    TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, SN, TVAS2, CSN Chicago, FSN-Midwest (St. Louis)

    Patrick Kane didn’t appear fazed after Chicago found itself on the receiving end of a physical performance by St. Louis, which enjoyed a lopsided 41-24 edge in hits on Wednesday. “Ninety percent of the games we’ll be outhit because we have the puck,” the NHL’s leader in points (106) told CSN Chicago. “We’ll focus on what we do best.” Kane, who became the first American-born player to win the league scoring title this season, saw his best chance go by the boards on Wednesday when he was denied by Brian Elliott on a 2-on-1 rush early in the second period.

    Elliott continued his scintillating play as he followed his 11-1-0 stretch to end the regular season with a 35-save performance in his first playoff start in three years. The 31-year-old denied Jonathan Toews’ bid on a breakaway at 6:58 of the second and thwarted the captain and Kane on solid chances in overtime. “I think he’s comfortable in that element now, which, to me, is a big change for Brian,” St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock said. “Because he’s comfortable in this setting now: You see his athleticism come out now. You see his confidence come out now.”


    * Blackhawks are 2-10 in their last 12 vs. Central.
    * Blues are 7-0 in their last 7 vs. Central.
    * Over is 10-2-5 in Blackhawks last 17 games playing on 1 days rest.
    * Over is 8-0-1 in Blues last 9 games playing on 1 days rest.
    * Blackhawks are 3-9 in the last 12 meetings in St. Louis.


    1. Chicago LW Andrew Ladd is expected to play on Friday after his wife, Brandy, gave birth to the couple’s third child, a boy named Walker Gordon.

    2. St. Louis D Alex Pietrangelo has scored two goals and set up five others in his last five contests.

    3. Blackhawks D Niklas Hjalmarsson recorded five of his team’s 21 blocked shots in Game 1.

    PREDICTION: Blackhawks 3, Blues 2


    Preview: Nashville at Anaheim

    When: 10:30 PM ET, Friday, April 15, 2016
    Where: Honda Center, Anaheim, California

    The Anaheim Ducks did not secure the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference until the final day of the regular season and, in doing so, avoid a first-round matchup against Pacific Division rivals Los Angeles and San Jose. Nonetheless, Anaheim is bracing for a rugged test when it hosts the Nashville Predators on Friday night in Game 1 of the best-of-seven series.

    The Ducks overcame an ugly start – losing nine of their first 10 games (1-7-2) – before regrouping with a huge stretch run to earn their fourth consecutive Pacific title. Anaheim lost two of the three matchups to the Predators, but the teams haven’t played since Nov. 17. “It’s been 60-something games since we played them,” Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said. “Can we trust anything we see on the tape?” Nashville, which lost to eventual Stanley Cup champion Chicago in the first round a year ago, navigated a series of ups and downs before putting together a franchise-record 14-game point streak to earn its ninth playoff berth in 12 seasons.

    TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, TVAS, FSN Tennessee (Nashville), Prime Ticket (Anaheim)

    ABOUT THE PREDATORS (41-27-14):
    Filip Forsberg scored 33 times and James Neal was right behind with 31 tallies, marking the second time in franchise history that Nashville has had a pair of 30-goal scorers, but the Predators also tied for the league lead with 203 points from their defense. “It’s been a big part of who we are all year,” Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. “I think you need contributions from everybody. But our guys have done a good job back there playing our system and being involved when they can.” Pekka Rinne had the most second-most regulation losses (21) one of of the highest goals-against averages (2.48) in his career, but he’s 12-5-4 lifetime versus Anaheim.

    ABOUT THE DUCKS (46-25-11):
    Reinforcements could be on the way for Anaheim, with forwards Rickard Rakell (appendix) and David Perron (shoulder) and defenseman Kevin Bieksa (upper body) all back at practice and looming as game-time decisions for the series opener. “We’re anxious, excited and ready to get going,” said forward Corey Perry, who led the Ducks for 34 goals. “We’ve had some good practices. Yesterday, there was a lot of skating, but today, we worked on a little bit of what they like to do and what we want to do against it.” Boudreau still has to decide on a starting netminder between the Jennings Trophy-winning tandem of John Gibson and Frederik Anderson, who combined for 43 victories.


    * Predators are 0-4 in their last 4 road games.
    * Ducks are 6-0 in their last 6 Conference Quarterfinals games.
    * Under is 4-0-1 in Predators last 5 games playing on 3 or more days rest.
    * Under is 5-1-1 in Ducks last 7 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
    * Over is 5-0 in the last 5 meetings in Anaheim.
    * Predators are 1-5 in the last 6 meetings in Anaheim.


    1. The Ducks led the league in power-play efficiency (23.1 percent) and also had the No. 1 penalty kill (87.2 percent).

    2. Predators captain Shea Weber scored 14 goals with the man advantage, tops among league defensemen.

    3. Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf, who led the team in scoring despite just 13 goals, has 37 points in 34 games versus Nashville.

    PREDICTION: Ducks 2, Predators 1



    Nashville Predators (Series)


    Dominic Brando Sports


    NHL Center Ice Club 1 Unit (10*) Western Conference Round 1 Game 1 Inner Circle Side:
    NASHVILLE +150 over Anaheim


    NHL Center Ice Club 0.75 Unit (7.5*) Western Conference Opening Round Series Investment:
    NASHVILLE +170 over Anaheim


    Flyers won seven of last ten games with Washington; they won three of last five games here. Under is 5-2-1 in last eight series games. Philly won last two games overall, but lost three of last four on foreign ice. Caps lost four of last five games, with two OT losses, two shutouts- three of their last four games went over total. Flyers missed playoffs two of last three years; they won in first round three of last four times they were there. Washington is 4-3 in last seven first round series.

    NY Islanders-Florida
    Islanders lost four of last five games with Florida; they lost three of last four visits here. Islanders won last three rtoad games, with two OT wins; they’re 6-3 in last nine games overall- over is 4-0-1 in their last five games. Panthers won five of last six games (over 5-2-1 in last eight)- they won last three home games. Islanders are in playoffs for third time in four years but haven’t won a playoff series since 1993. Florida is in playoffs for second time in 15 years; their last playoff series win was in 1996.

    Dallas Stars used to be the Minnesota North Stars. Minnesota Wild lost four of last five games against Dallas, but won three of last five visits here, in series where visitor won six of last nine games. Six of last eight series games went over the total. Minnesota lost its last five games, outscored 16-6; under is 3-1-3 in their last seven. Dallas won six of last seven games; four of their last five stayed under. Wild is 3-3 in first round series, winning each of last two years. Dallas is in playoffs for just second time in last eight years- their last series win was in 2008.

    San Jose-Los Angeles
    Teams split last ten series games; road team went 6-4 in those games. Over is 3-0-2 in last five in series. San Jose won five of last seven games; three of last four stayed under- they won last three road games. Kings are 4-6 in last 10 games, 3-2 in last five at home– three of their last four at home stayed under. Sharks missed playoffs LY for first time in 11 years; they’re 9-4 in last 13 first round series. LA won Stanley Cup twice in last four years, but missed playoffs LY- they won last three first round series. .


    Hockey Crusher

    Chicago Blackhawks + St Louis Blues – OVER 5
    (System Record: 71-5, lost last 3 games)
    Overall Record: 71-83-23

    Detroit Red Wings +140 over Tampa Bay Lightning



    Steam Rot#: 65
    Team: Nashville
    Line: +140

    Steam Rot#: 69
    Team: NY Islanders
    Line: +163

    Steam Rot#: 69
    Team: NY Islanders/Florida
    OVER Line: 5



    Chicago Blackhawks (+105)
    8:00 ET


    NHL Hockey Betting Trends – Fri – April, 15

    Nashville at Anaheim, 10:35 PM ET
    Nashville: 0-5 SU on Friday nights
    Anaheim: 24-7 SU off a road win by 2 goals or more

    Detroit at Tampa Bay, 7:05 PM ET
    Detroit: 13-5 SU in road games after having lost 3 of their last 4
    Tampa Bay: 4-10 SU off a close win by 1 goal over a division rival

    NY Islanders at Florida, 7:35 PM ET
    New York: 10-2 SU off a road win by 1 goal
    Florida: 41-63 SU after having won 5 or 6 of their last 7

    Chicago at St Louis, 8:05 PM ET
    Chicago: 2-7 SU after losing their previous game in overtime
    St Louis: 21-7 SU after scoring 2 goals or less in 2 straight games



    OVER 5 – islanders


    Ace Line Beaters

    71 Chicago Blackhawks +105


    Alan Berg

    Predators vs Ducks
    OVER 5


    Gaming Today

    ‘Consensus Pick’
    66 Anaheim Ducks -165

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