by Kevin Stott | Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Rangers (-145, 5o -135) (G3) (Versus TV): The series shifts from Pittsburgh to New York but expect little to change here as the Penguins are playing the best hockey in the postseason (6-0) so far as rookie goaltender Marc Andre-Fleury has been absolutely fabulous. The Penguins made Ottawa (Outscored 16-5) look like an average team in the East quarterfinals and are now doing the same with NY which desperately needs a win here in MSG tonight.
Pittsburgh has outscored the Blueshirts, 7-1 in winning the first two games at The Igloo and has now outscored its’ playoff opponents 23-6 in reeling out six straight W’s. With the Pens top line performing so well and Fleury turning into the playoff’s toughest goalie, the logical approach is to simply take the team that hasn’t lost yet and the one that’s given up just one goal per game so far this postseason. PENGUINS +, UNDER 5.
San Jose Stars at Dallas Stars (-135, 5u -105) (G3): Just like last series, San Jose needs a win here. The Sharks came out slow against the Flames, and are doing the same here against the upstart Stars. Not scared of battling on the road, San Jose should wake up a bit and play better in this situation realizing that sooner or later if they lose enough games in the playoffs they will have no chance of even making the Stanley Cup.
As far as the trends in this matchup, it’s all Dallas. After Sunday’s game, the Stars have now gone 8-0-1 in their last nine at San Jose and have outscored the Sharks, 31-16 at HP Pavilion. On the Sharks side, they have won three of four in Dallas. As much as San Jose has to win this Game 3, Dallas could care less and will try to make the series 3-0 but expect a do-or-die effort from the Sharks in this one. SHARKS +125.
Detroit Red Wings (-108, 5o -123) at Colorado Avalanche (G3) (Versus TV): The series heads to the Rocky Mountains but until now, the Avalanche have had absolutely no answer for the Red Wings who are up 2-0 in the series and are now 6-0 this year against Colorado. Ever since making Chris Osgood their starting netminder over Dominik Hasek, Detroit has been unbeatable (5-0 in Hockeytown) and is playing like the best team in the West.
And when guys like Johan Franzen, and not Datsuk or Zetterberg or Chelios, are notching hat tricks, as he did Saturday against the Avs (his first-ever), look out… For the Avalanche, nothing is going right and they will have a great deal of pressure on them tonight – not a good thing, having to win. And with Peter Forsberg’s status still uncertain, this selection is a lot like the Penguins pick … So why not back the team that’s winning every game? RED WINGS.