The Chicago Blackhawks will be looking to goaltender Corey Crawford for another spectacular performance when they take on the Vegas Golden knights in Game 5 of their Western Conference first round series at Rogers Place.
Photo by @DawindycityP (twitter)
- The Chicago Blackhawks will once again face elimination when they take on the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 5 of their first round series as betting underdogs
- The Blackhawks stayed alive with a gutsy 3-1 win on Sunday, and now trail Vegas in the series by a 3-1 margin
- We’ve got you covered with the odds and trends ahead of this NHL Western Conference matchup
The Chicago Blackhawks staved off elimination with a character performance on Sunday, knocking off the Vegas Golden Knights by a narrow 2-1 score. Now trailing in the series three games to one, Chicago will get a chance to do it again on Tuesday night at 10:30 pm EST, when they face off against the Golden Knights in Game 5 of this series as +180 underdogs in the NHL odds.
Blackhawks vs Golden Knights Game 5 Odds
|Team||Moneyline||Puckline||Total at FanDuel|
|Chicago Blackhawks||+180||+1.5 (-152)||O 6.0 (-103)|
|Vegas Golden Knights||-210||-1.5 (+128)||U 6.0 (-120)|
*Odds taken on Aug. 16th.
Crawford Steals Win in Game 4
With their backs against the wall, the Blackhawks played their hearts out, steadily seeking to create opportunities while also providing a last line of defence in front of goaltender Corey Crawford against a sustained offensive assault by Vegas. Amid that effort, which featured 32 blocked shots, Crawford was spectacular, turning aside 48 of the 49 shots he faced to preserve the win for Chicago.
Corey Crawford is now 14-5 (.737) in playoff elimination games in his Blackhawks career.
— Mark Potash (@MarkPotash) August 17, 2020
The Blackhawks seized the opportunities they could, putting 25 shots on goal, and enjoyed the benefit of a bounce off Vegas goaltender Robin Lehner’s head on Matthew Highmore’s game-winning goal in the first period.
2020 Stanley Cup Odds Tracker
What Needs to Happen Next
The question now is whether Chicago has any hope of withstanding another relentless offensive by the highly skilled Golden Knights in Game 5?
A few things need to happen if the Blackhawks are to extend this series any further. Most importantly, the club needs more offense out of its top shooters. Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, and Brandon Saad have yet to score in the series, and Alex Debrincat’s empty net goal is his first marker of the series.
Very rare sighting of Patrick Kane missing from a prime scoring area pic.twitter.com/DQpMsaWpTa
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) August 16, 2020
The club’s defense must remained disciplined. On Sunday night, the Blackhawks were happy to leave Vegas circling the perimeter, and did an excellent job of controlling the front of their own net. And Crawford needs to be the best player on the ice once again. The two-time Stanley Cup winner was flashing championship form on Sunday, and has now stopped 72 of 75 total shots over the past two games after surrendering eight total goals over Games 1 and 2.
Despite Loss, Vegas’ Odds Shortened
The Golden Knights were pegged as -186 favorites going into their first loss inside the bubble, and have opened as a shortened -210 bet to clinch the series with a win in Game 5. In addition, Vegas has rocketed to short -10000 chalk to eventually win this series.
first loss since March 6
(that’s a long time)
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) August 17, 2020
Vegas has been dominant since long before the return to play, and has avoided losing in consecutive games while winning 17 of their past 20 contests, a run that began on February 13th. The club has been similarly successful against Chicago, with Sunday night’s loss marking just their second defeat in 13 all-time meetings.
Blackhawks Simply Overmatched
In addition to outshooting Chicago by a wide 49-25 margin, the Golden Knights also outhit them (40-26), held the edge in the faceoff circle (51.7%), and made 96 total shot attempts. Four Vegas players had five or more shots on goal, with Alex Tuch leading the way at six.
Accprding to @NatStatTrick the Golden Knights had 71.8% of the 5-on-5 shot attempts (CF%) tonight against the Blackhawks and lost.
It’s the 2nd-largest rate in a playoff loss in the last 3 seasons behind the Hurricanes at 71.95% in Game 1 of the 2019 1st Round series at WSH
— Vin Masi (@VinMasi) August 17, 2020
The Golden Knights also showed an edge at times, although it resulted in needless penalties. However, with the Blackhawks clearing causing some frustration, expect a surlier Golden Knights squad to hit the ice on Tuesday. Barring any as of yet unreported injuries, there is little reason to expect that Vegas won’t mount another 60-minute assault on Crawford and the Blackhawks. That makes it just a matter of time before the Golden Knights dispatch the Blackhawks from the postseason.
Picks: Vegas Golden Knights win in regulation (-125); UNDER 6.0 (-120)
Daniel has been writing about sports and sports betting for over 23 years. The seasoned pro has contributed to the likes of Sports Illustrated, Sportsnet, NESN, Bleacher Report, OddsShark, the Globe and Mail, and The Nation magazine.