at BOSTON BRUINS
NHL Playoffs – Stanley Cup Finals
Game 6 – Vancouver leads series 3-2
Puck drops: Monday, 8:05 p.m. EDT
Line: Boston -150, Vancouver +130, Total: 5
Facing elimination for the third time this postseason, the Bruins will look to extend their season again on Monday when they host Vancouver in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Boston won both Game 7s it played in this postseason, defeating the Canadiens in the first round and Tampa Bay in the Conference Finals, so the team is accustomed to performing under pressure. The B’s will look to get back the form that saw them outscore the Canucks 12-1 in winning Games 3-4 at home. Odds.
The Canucks fell to 2-6 all-time on the road in the Stanley Cup Finals after they were beaten 4-1 in Game 4. However, Vancouver recovered to win Game 5, 1-0, behind an incredible performance by Roberto Luongo, who stopped all 31 shots after allowing 12 goals on 58 shots (.793 Save Pct.) in Games 3-4. Luongo has now allowed just two goals on 97 shots (.979 Save Pct.) faced in the three home games this series. With his second 1-0 win of the series in Game 5, Luongo became just the second goalie in Stanley Cup Final history to win two 1-0 shutouts in a single series, joining Frank McCool of Toronto, who did it in 1945 against Detroit (Games 1 and 3). He is also the first goalie with multiple shutouts in a Stanley Cup Final since Chris Osgood had two in 2008.
On the negative side for the Canucks, they continued to struggle offensively as they have scored just two goals in their past three games, and six goals total in the series. Their power play continues to be non-existent, going 0-for-3 in Game 5, which puts them at 1-of-25 with the man-advantage this series. The Brothers’ Sedin also continue to be invisible, as they have combined for just two points (1 G, 1 A), both coming from Daniel. After totaling 12 points against the Sharks in the Conference Finals, Henrik has zero points and is a minus-2 this series.
Despite allowing just two goals in the past three games, and six total goals this series, the Bruins find themselves on the brink of elimination. Like the Canucks, Boston’s power play has been nearly invisible this series, going 3-for-21 with the man-advantage. Tim Thomas has been incredible, stopping 102 of 104 shots (.981 Save Pct.) in his past three games. If the Bruins want to send this series back to Vancouver, they need to do what they did so effectively in Games 3-4, which is pressure Vancouver up and down the ice, and try to create more turnovers that can be turned into odd-man rushes that will turn into goals. Scores.
David Krejci has 11 points (3 G, 8 A) at home this postseason, tying him for the NHL lead for most points at home this postseason. All his 11 points have come in his past seven home games after being held scoreless in the four home games against the Canadiens in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.
The Canucks will attempt to win their first ever championship on Monday, despite being outscored 14-6 so far this series. In the history of the Stanley Cup Final, this is the first occasion on which, at any point of any series, the team leading the series has been outscored, to that point, by greater than a 2-to-1 margin. In fact, it’s happened only once in any preliminary playoff round: in the 1966 semifinals, the Blackhawks took a 2-1 lead despite having been outscored by the Red Wings, 9-4. (Detroit won the next three games and took the series, four games to two).
Tim Thomas currently owns a .938 save percentage this season, including playoffs. It would be the highest save percentage in any season including playoffs since 1982-83 when it was first officially tracked. Because Thomas has been so great, I like him and the Bruins to outlast Luongo and the Canucks in a tight, gut-wrenching game that will be decided late. I like Boston to force Game 7, which it will lose, back in Vancouver.
The FoxSheets provide two more trends backing the Bruins on Monday night.
BOSTON is 21-9 ATS (70.0%, +9.8 Units) against explosive offensive teams – scoring 3+ goals/game – 2nd half of the season this season. The average score was BOSTON 3.4, OPPONENT 2.1 – (Rating = 2*). Las Vegas odds.
BOSTON is 33-17 ATS (66.0%, +9.4 Units) after playing a road game this season. The average score was BOSTON 3.1, OPPONENT 2.2 – (Rating = 1*).