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Chicago Blackhawks vs. St. Louis Blues Predictions, Picks and Preview – 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs – Western Conference First Round Game Five – April 21, 2016

Chicago Blackhawks vs. St. Louis Blues Predictions, Picks and Preview – 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs – Western Conference First Round Game Five – April 21, 2016

The defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks are on the brink. The St. Louis Blues claimed both games in Chicago to build a 3-1 lead, and now have a golden opportunity to close the series out at home. Can the Blackhawks, who are set to lose a key forward due to suspension, manage to stave off elimination on the road?

Get a full breakdown of this potential close-out game below. And for more of Thursday’s Stanley Cup Playoff action, check out our previews of the Pens vs. Rangers Game 4 and Red Wings vs. Lightning Game 5.

NHL News and Predictions

Chicago Blackhawks vs. St. Louis Blues Game 5 Preview

Where: Scottrade Center, St. Louis

When: Thursday, April 21, 2016, 9:30 PM ET

Line: Chicago Blackhawks (+110) vs. St. Louis Blues (-130); total 5.0 – view all NHL lines

Betting on the Chicago Blackhawks

The Chicago Blackhawks just can’t seem to solve the St. Louis Blues. It looked as if they finally got the measure of Brian Elliott as they scored three goals and outshot the Blues by 22 in Game 4. But then Corey Crawford gave up four goals on just 20 shots, and they’re now staring at a 3-1 series deficit.


The Blackhawks are supposedly the team with the experience and the championship poise, but they just haven’t showed that in this series. Patrick Kane’s untimely penalty late in Game 3 ultimately cost them that game. And in Game 4, Andrew Shaw was the goat as he was sent to the box with the Hawks searching for an equalizer in the final minutes.

As if Shaw didn’t cause enough damage, he’ll also miss Game 5 due to suspension after shouting out a slur. With stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews still goalless, Shaw has been the Blackhawks’ most prolific forward in this series with two goals. He also had three points in Game 4 alone, so his absence will definitely be missed.

Kane, Toews and reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner Duncan Keith (two goals in Game 4) will all need to step up in a do-or-die Game 5, but goalie Corey Crawford’s performance could be the most crucial of all. After an impressive first two games, Crawford surrendered seven goals in 56 shot attempts in two games at home. Crawford has also struggled recently on the road, going just 2-5 in his last seven starts.

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Betting on the St. Louis Blues


It’ll take a meltdown of pretty epic proportions for the St. Louis Blues to throw away a 3-1 series lead, especially with two more games at home. That’s not entirely out of the question considering the Blues’ playoff history, but this looks like a much different team, one that’s entirely capable of ending it in five.

It all starts with the spectacular play of Brian Elliott. The Blues goalie had 39 more saves on Tuesday, giving him 144 in 151 shots faced in the series. Elliott’s great play between the sticks has been a big reason why the Blues have gone 5-1 in their last six games against Chicago (all by just one goal) despite getting outshot by a wide margin, particularly in this series.

Meanwhile, they’ve been able to capitalize on the Blackhawks’ spotty penalty kill. After going 0-for-5 on the power play in the first two games, the Blues scored two goals apiece on the man advantage in two games in Chicago.

Whether on the power play or 5-on-5, Vladimir Tarasenko just continues to come up with big playoff goals. He had two more goals and an assist in Game 4 to give him three goals and five points this series and 13 goals in 17 career playoff games. He’s a man for the big occasion, and it hardly gets bigger than a closeout game at home.

Writer’s Prediction

The Blues (-130) send the champs packing with a series-clinching 3-2 home win.




Written by Brad

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