Saturday's NHL playoffs: What bettors need to know

May 24, 2013 |
Saturday's NHL playoffs: What bettors need to know
The Bruins are 0-7 in their last seven Saturday games.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports
The Bruins are 0-7 in their last seven Saturday games.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports
New York Rangers at Boston Bruins (-145, 5)

Bruins lead best-of-seven series 3-1.

Tuukka Rask tripped over his own skates in Game 4, opening the door for the New York Rangers in their Eastern Conference second-round series. Rask would like to end the threat and lift the fourth-seeded Boston Bruins into the conference finals when the teams reconvene at TD Garden on Saturday. Rask's gaffe gave sixth-seeded New York a lift before former Boston College star Chris Kreider scored 7:03 into overtime as the Rangers skated to a 4-3 triumph on Thursday.

While Rask didn't have much of a chance on the final tally, he did his best to keep the first one in perspective. "You can either cry about it - or laugh about it," Rask said on Friday. "I choose to have a sense of humor." With a 1-5 mark away from Madison Square Garden, New York is hardly laughing about its road record in the playoffs.

TV: 5:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports, TSN, RDS

ABOUT THE RANGERS: Brian Boyle scored the team's first power-play goal of the series and third of the postseason midway through the third period of Game 4. Defenseman Ryan McDonagh helped set up the tally and logged over 3 1/2 minutes of ice time with the man advantage. "I think he helped us (in Game 4) on the power play," New York coach John Tortorella said of McDonagh. "It's me. I (messed) that up not using him early enough and I should have." Veteran Brad Richards, who was a healthy scratch in Game 4, was missing from practice on Friday and will likely miss his second straight contest.

ABOUT THE BRUINS: Defenseman Torey Krug has provided a jolt to Boston's ailing power play. The defenseman has scored two of his team's three goals with the man advantage during the series while also scoring in three of the last four games overall. "I think that we're just not passing up those good opportunities," Krug said of the team's improving performance on the power play. "You'd see sometimes in the past we'd be passing the puck and we'd want to make that extra pass. But this time, we're shooting pucks, we're getting pucks to the net, and guys are taking away Henrik's (Lundqvist) ice."


* Rangers are 1-5 in their last six road games.
* Bruins are 0-7 in their last seven Saturday games.
* Over is 4-1-1 in the last six meetings.


1. Boston Ds Dennis Seidenberg and Wade Redden skated with the team during Friday's practice. Seidenberg is dealing with a lower-body injury while Redden has been sidelined with an undisclosed ailment.

2. The Rangers are 6-1 in their last seven elimination games - including 3-0 in 2013.

3. Should New York emerge victorious, Game 6 will be at Madison Square Garden on Monday.

Detroit Red Wings at Chicago Blackhawks (-197, 5)

Red Wings lead best-of-seven series 3-1.

The top-seeded Chicago Blackhawks had a glorious start to the lockout-shortened season, recording an NHL-record 24-game point streak. They look to avoid a disastrous ending to the campaign as they host the seventh-seeded Detroit Red Wings on Saturday in an attempt to stave off elimination from the their Western Conference second-round series. Chicago cruised to the second Presidents' Trophy in club history and made easy work of the eighth-seeded Minnesota Wild in the first round before opening the matchup against its Original Six rival with a 4-1 victory thanks to a three-goal third period.

Things have since taken a turn for the worse, as the Blackhawks enter Game 5 in the midst of their first three-game slide of 2013. Chicago has scored a total of two goals in the three losses, with Patrick Kane recording both. Detroit pushed its Central Division rival to the brink of elimination Thursday, when Jimmy Howard made 28 saves for his second career playoff shutout and defenseman Jakub Kindl scored the first power-play goal allowed by the Blackhawks this postseason to snap a scoreless tie in the second period.

8 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS

ABOUT THE RED WINGS: After waiting until the final day of the regular season to qualify for the playoffs, Detroit is one victory away from advancing to the conference final for the first time since 2009, when it went on to lose to Pittsburgh in the second straight Stanley Cup final matchup between the clubs. Captain Henrik Zetterberg is not surprised the team is in such a position, even though it finished seventh in the West. "We don't really look at where we finished in the regular season," he told the Detroit Free Press. "It's a new season. You can't really care what you did in the regular season." While Chicago has been strong on the penalty kill, Detroit has been no slouch in that department as the Blackhawks are just 1-for-12 with the man advantage. "We've gotten better," said defenseman Jonathan Ericsson, whose team allowed seven power-play goals in its first-round series against Anaheim. "They're not getting as much and the puck seems to stay on the boards and doesn't come into (Howard) as much."

ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS: With the exception of Kane, Chicago's top players need to raise their game in order to keep the season alive. Topping the list is captain Jonathan Toews, who has yet to score a goal this postseason and let that frustration get the better of him in Game 4. Toews, who committed only 11 minor penalties during the regular season, was called for three in a span of just over 5 1/2 minutes in the middle period, with the second infraction leading to Kindl's power-play goal. "It's in the heat of the moment," said Toews, who was called for two high-sticking penalties and one for hooking. "I've got to be careful of my stick. That doesn't help my team." Defenseman Brent Seabrook refused to put any blame on Toews for the dire situation the team is in. "I think we all take the burden," Seabrook said. "We all win as a group, we lose as a group. Just because one guy's not scoring doesn't mean he's going to win the game or lose the game for us."


* Red Wings are 1-4 in the last five meetings in Chicago.
* Home team is 4-1 in the last five meetings.
* Under is 8-2-6 in Red Wings’ last 16 road games.


1. After allowing five goals in the first two games of the series, Howard has stopped 86-of-88 shots over the last three contests.

2. Chicago's Joel Quenneville is one loss away from falling to 0-6 as a coach in playoff series against Detroit.

3. The Blackhawks were a perfect 30-for-30 on the penalty kill before Kindl's goal.

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