Detroit Red Wings (-150, 5) at Nashville Predators (NBC): Stop thinking so much. That’s what the Red Wings need to do after losing in the first round in the last two years and then dropping Games 3 and 4 in Opryland. Nashville’s not yourt Momma’s average No. 8 seed with rookie goalie Ellis (.924 save percentage, tops in NHL!) and proven scorers in Arnott and Dumont (70 points).
Detrroit heads into this game as losers of four straight playoff skates on the road while the Predators have scored eight goals in their two wins at home. Nashville has nothing to lose here while Detroit can almost hear the critics chirping about its’ third-straight postseason upset loss in the first round if it listens carefully. And all that pressure should result in three scores by each side. After putting Osgood back in goal in Game 5, expect the President’s Cup Trophy winner’s to try and end this series this afternoon. RED WINGS, OVER 5
San Jose Sharks (-130, 5u) at Calgary Flames (Versus TV): The Flames have the Sharks attention in this series marked by no real domination by either team and very close games. For the hottest team to end the season (18-2-2), San Jose, and the team with the league’s best road record (27-10-4), this is the game to impose its’ will and take control of those pesky Flames.
Calgary went 3-1 versus SJ in the regular season and with Kiprusoff in net and Iginla on the fly, can hang with anyone. But the Sharks think they’re more than just anyone this season and can’t win the Stanley Cup unless they get out of the first round. Nabokov (2.14 GAA) will stand on his head if he has to carry the Sharks to that end. SHARKS.