If you like NHL playoff action, you’re in luck because Thursday night features three games, including one series that could end with a sweep, and a pair of recent Stanley Cup champions who find themselves in a dogfight in the Western Conference. Here’s a look at the NHL betting lines for all three games along with our predictions:
Boston Bruins @ New York Rangers
Odds: Rangers -125
The Rangers are favored to pull one back and pride should kick in, especially on home ice. Boston has been the better team throughout this series and even if Henrik Lundqvist was 100% healthy, it would be a stretch to say the Rangers would be in this; they can’t score any goals. But they’ll show some life on Thursday and even though it will be a close game (possibly going to overtime), the Rangers will live to fight one more day and they’ll send this series back to Boston for a tough Game 5.
Chicago Blackhawks @ Detroit Red Wings
Odds: Blackhawks -145
The Red Wings have surprised everyone to take a 2-1 series lead heading into this critical Game 4, and the Blackhawks know they’ve been outplayed over the last two games in which Detroit has outscored them 7-2. While the Red Wings have a lot of veteran players, remember, the Blackhawks won the Cup in the last three years and a lot of those players are still there, so they know what they need to do. The concern is that Chicago peaked far too early in the regular season when they went on their amazing winning streak, but the Blackhawks are too good for that to be an excuse. They’ll be heading into a tough place to play in Detroit, where the Red Wings have won two of three in the postseason. This game will be a battle to the end, but look for the favored ‘Hawks to edge Detroit on the betting lines and tie the series at two games apiece.
San Jose Sharks @ Los Angeles Kings
Odds: Kings -155
This series has been dominated by poor officiating and you could argue that three of the four have been decided by bad calls. In Game 4, the Kings had a goal disallowed because of a quick whistle and ended up losing 2-1 and in a series where three of the four games have been decided by a goal, the margin for error is minuscule. The Kings return home to the Staples Center and should be playing with a chip on their shoulder, but the Sharks have been hard done by in this series as well, so that shouldn’t make a difference. The key will be home ice and the Kings are 5-0 so far in the playoffs at home, and that is a big reason why they’re favored in this massive Game 5. Neither team is going to give an inch, but you have to think that the defending Stanley Cup champs will defend their home ice and take a 3-2 series lead over their California rivals.