Chicago (3-3) at St Louis (3-3)
When: Monday, April 25th 2016
Where: Scottrade Center, St. Louis, MO
Time: 8:35 ET | TV: NBC Sports
The St. Louis Blues have failed to close out their series with the Chicago Blackhawks in two consecutive games and will now face a Game 7 on Monday night at Scottrade Center in St. Louis. The Blues are trying to avoid being bounced out in the first round for the fourth straight season despite having home-ice advantage in each series. Vladimir Tarasenko scored his series-leading fourth goal and 14th in 19 career playoff games on Saturday to give St. Louis a 3-1 lead before the roof caved in. The Blackhawks scored five unanswered goals en route to the 6-3 victory over St. Louis to force Game 7. Tarasenko reportedly was upset after seeing limited time during a power play despite scoring 12 of his career-best 40 goals with the man advantage, but coach Ken Hitchcock told reporters that St. Louis had the puck in the offensive zone and couldn’t get Tarasenko on the ice. Veteran Troy Brouwer will play in his seventh consecutive Game 7 on Monday, having competed in one with Chicago in 2011, two with Washington the following year, one in 2013 and two more with the Capitals in 2015.
Artem Anisimov, Trevor van Riemsdyk, and Dale Weise each scored a goal in the 2nd period to give the Blackhawks a 4-3 lead. Andrew Shaw and Marian Hossa closed out the scoring in the final period. Goalie Corey Crawford surrendered three goals in a five minute span in the first period, but settled down to help the Blackhawks complete the comeback. Brent Seabrook has recorded at least a point in all four of his previous Game 7s, including a goal to help Chicago oust Anaheim in the 2015 Western Conference final. The Blackhawks overcame a 3-1 series deficit to eliminate a rival in 2013, having done so versus Detroit in a second-round matchup. Captain Jonathan Toews scored twice in Game 7 versus the Ducks last season, but is still searching for his first goal of this postseason. Chicago is 13-4 when facing elimination under head coach Joel Quenneville.
History is not on the Blues side. St. Louis has repeatedly choked in the playoffs and are about to do it again. There is too much pressure on them and Chicago has been here and done that. I’ll take Chicago to advance, even though I would personally like to see St. Louis win.
Pick: Blackhawks -105