Look for home ice edge to prevail this week

May 13, 2008 7:00 PM

Power Plays by Kevin Stott |

PLAYOFFS
SEASON
PCT
21-13-1
152-87-1
63.6

So the NHL’s cream has risen to the top. Who would have thought the Flyers – last in the league with 56 points last year, the worst performance in team history – and Stars would be in the conference finals before the season started?

And what about the Red Wings’ Johan Franzen (11 points) and the Flyers’ R.J. Umberger (9) being the leading scorers so far this postseason? Ah, hockey. Well the puck has dropped so let’s bang the boards baby…

Tuesday, May 13

Penguins at Flyers (G3) (VS): The Battle of the Keystone State heads to Philly for this pivotal game. Flyers went a perfect 4-0 vs. Pitt, outscoring rivals, 19-7 in the regular season (6.5 GPG) at the Wachovia Center. Favor the homies in first game on their home ice. FLYERS, OVER 5½.

Wednesday, May 14

Red Wings at Stars (G4) (VS): Osgood and Turco have been top-shelf in the playoffs but if the total is set at 5, the OVER is worth a shot with so many snipers on the ice despite the fact there were only four goals scored in two meetings (Detroit 3-0, 0-1) in Big D during the regular season. OVER 5.

Thursday, May 15

Penguins at Flyers (G4) (VS): Despite being dominated by Flyers away in regular season, Penguins will need to win one in Philly and Crosby, Malkin, Stahl and Hossa good with the stick. Hedge with the OVER in a fast-paced, hard-checking skate. PENGUINS, OVER 5½.

(All games "If Necessary" beyond this point.)

Saturday, May 17

Stars at Red Wings (G5) (VS): Game 5 always telling so the Winged Wheels should strut their stuff on a Saturday in Hockeytown when it matters most. Detroit 2-0 (9-4 goals) vs. Dallas in regular season (6.5 GPG) in Motown and beat them up pretty good in Games 1 and 2 to improve playoff mark in Detroit to perfect 6-0 (as of May 9). RED WINGS, OVER 5.

Sunday, May 18

Flyers at Pens (G5) (NBC): Pittsburgh 3-1 in The Igloo (16-9 goals) vs. Pennsylvania rivals and if "The March of the Penguins" is to end in the Stanley Cup finals, the homeboys will need to win a big game like this. Games played at Mellon Arena have been averaging 6.25 goals. PENGUINS, OVER 5½.

Monday, May 19

Red Wings at Stars (G6) (NBC): If played, expect top performance by Dallas at American Airlines Center with Turco (1.89 GAA, .924 save pct.) and Osgood (7-0, .939 save pct. in playoffs after G1) locked in a low-scoring "pitcher’s duel" where a mistake may end up being the difference in a possible must-win situation. STARS, UNDER 5.