Toronto Maple Leafs vs Boston Bruins Game 5 (Tied 2-2)
Money Line: Toronto+125/Boston-145
Puck Line: Toronto-210/Boston+176
In the history of the NHL in a best-of-seven series, the winner of Game 5 when the series is tied 2-2 has gone on to win the series over 78% (205-55) of the time. The Bruins evened up the series last game with a 6-4 win. The Bruins were up 5-2 in the third period before the Leafs scored two quick goals in 1:35 to get within one. Toronto made a great effort late in the game to try and tie it up before the Bruins ultimately scored an empty netter with two seconds left.
Toronto outshot Boston 42-31 in the game, including 30-17 after the first period. Neither goalie had a great night during the high scoring affair, but Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen had the worst night, allowing five goals on 30 shots (.833).
The Bruins scored on both of their power plays and won nearly 59% of the faceoffs. Boston has regained the home-ice advantage in what is now a best-of-three series. The Bruins have shown that their offense is more than capable of keeping up with the Maple Leafs high scoring offense that was fourth best during the regular season, outscoring them 13-12 so far in the series. If Boston can get back to playing the type of hockey that earned them the third best defense in the league, they should be able to take this game and the series.
Toronto 1 – Boston 3
Colorado Avalanche vs Calgary Flames Game 5 (COL Leads 3-1)
Money Line: Colorado+151/Calgary-175
Puck Line: Colorado-180/Calgary+155
So far in this series, ice has been better than fire. The Avalanche pulled of a great comeback in Game 4 after being down 0-2 with 12 minutes left in the third period. A power play goal with 2:50 left in regulation tied the game up at two a piece, eventually sending the game to overtime. A power play early in overtime gave Calgary a great opportunity to even the series up 2-2, but they failed to get a shot on goal. Shortly after killing the penalty, the Avalanche broke away and Mikko Rantanen scored the game winning goal after a great pass from Carl Soderberg.
Avs goalie Philipp Grubauer made 35 stops, but one in overtime was worthy of “save of the year”. Laying sprawled out on the ice, Grubauer was facing Mikael Backlund with the puck on his stick down low and after a split second Grubauer raised his left pad ever so slightly as Backlund took a shot. The leg lift was just enough to prevent the game winning goal for the Flames.
This has been a physical series from the start. The Avs set a club playoff record in the last game with 46 hits. Heading back to Calgary the Flames should have the advantage against an Avs team that has struggled away from home this season. Look for the Flames and Avs to keep the physical play up. With the home crowd energy, Calgary should be able to pick up a win here to send the series back to Colorado, where it will be a different story.
Colorado 1 – Calgary 4
*NHL predictions are 24-14-4 in last 4 days*