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It was a great night last night with my NHL pick as the Dallas Stars marched in to the TD Garden in Boston and defeated the Big Bad Bruins by a 5-3 score. This was exactly the kind of game I had expected these two to engage in as Dallas usually plays a back-and-forth game and, as expected, the Stars had no problem putting pucks in behind backup goaltender Niklas Svedberg. Svedberg was eventually yanked in this one as Tuukka Rask only got one period of rest after starting 11 straight contests for the Bruins. Boston couldn’t quite get out of the 3-1 deficit they faced after the first period and despite throwing 44 shots at Kari Lehtonen, the Stars were able to hang on for the victory. A nice upset win for my NHL picks as we cashed in at +130 with this Stars victory, and I will look to keep that momentum going tonight with just three games on the NHL schedule.
Vancouver Canucks @ Chicago Blackhawks
My Pick – UNDER 5 (+125)
A good ol’ fashioned Western Conference rivalry game is in store tonight as the Vancouver Canucks will invade the Madhouse on Madison to do battle with an old foe in the form of the Chicago Blackhawks. These two teams know each other very well as they have met several times in the playoffs over the years and even though some of the pieces have changed, the rivalry definitely remains. Vancouver is coming off of a disappointing 5-3 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Monday night while the Blackhawks are coming off of an even more disappointing loss, a 3-2 shootout loss to the Arizona Coyotes after Chicago thought they had won the game in overtime. Nonetheless I am certain this game will not resemble a back-and-forth affair as the Blackhawks only give up 2.26 goals per game and they will have Corey Crawford in net this evening with his spectacular 2.25 goals against average and .921 save percentage. For Vancouver it is actually going to be Eddy Lack between the pipes tonight as the backup goaltender came in and stopped all 14 shots he faced in relief of Ryan Miller in Minnesota, and the way Miller has been playing lately it is a good thing Lack gets the nod this evening if your are a Canucks fan. Lack has been real solid in backing up Miller this year as his 2.47 goals against average and .916 save percentage would suggest, and he is likely beaming with confidence after his stellar performance in Minnesota. While both of these team’s powerplays sit around 18% and right in the middle of the pack at number 15 and 16 in the league, it is the penalty kills that really shine for these two clubs. Chicago has the NHL’s best penalty kill unit this season at an impressive 87.5% while the Canucks aren’t too far behind at 4th in the league with an 85.6% success rate. With solid goaltending and very strong penalty kills, these two teams seem primed to play a low-scoring game tonight where goals will be at a premium. Look for a typical hard checking Western Conference-style game tonight in Chicago and take the UNDER 5 at a fantastic price.