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Thread: Cnotes 2017 NHL Playoffs Trends-Stats-Picks-News !

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  1. #126  
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    NHL roundup: Penguins, Senators win series openers
    April 27, 2017



    WASHINGTON -- Nick Bonino scored the go-ahead goal with 7:24 remaining, Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 33 shots and the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Washington Capitals 3-2 on Thursday night to take a 1-0 lead in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series.


    Bonino's second goal of the playoffs came 4:31 after Washington tied the score on Evgeny Kuznetsov's goal. Fleury then withstood a barrage of shots in the final minutes to hold the lead.


    Sidney Crosby scored two goals 52 seconds apart to give Pittsburgh a 2-0 lead early in the second period. Patric Hornqvist assisted on both. Crosby has four goals and nine points in six playoff games this season and 10 goals and seven assists in 14 playoff contests versus the Capitals.


    Washington's Alex Ovechkin scored his fourth goal of these playoffs to cut the deficit to 2-1 late in the second period.

    Senators 2, Rangers 1



    OTTAWA -- Erik Karlsson's shot from the goal line with 4:11 left in the third period snuck past Henrik Lundqvist to give Ottawa a victory over New York.


    Senators goaltender Craig Anderson made 34 saves, beaten only by Ryan McDonagh in the second period. Ryan Dzingel also scored for Ottawa, which leads the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal 1-0.


    Lundqvist was exceptional in the scoreless first period, stopping 21 shots while the Rangers tested Anderson 12 times.
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    NHL notebook: Predators' Fiala out for rest of playoffs
    April 27, 2017



    Nashville Predators forward Kevin Fiala sustained a broken left femur during Game 1 of the Western Conference second-round series and has been ruled out for the remainder of the playoffs, the team announced Thursday.


    Fiala was injured after being checked into the boards by St. Louis Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo at 1:46 of the second period of Wednesday's contest, which Nashville won 4-3. The 20-year-old Fiala was taken off the ice on a stretcher and brought to Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, where he he underwent surgery.


    Fiala scored two goals in the Predators' first-round sweep of the Chicago Blackhawks, including the overtime tally in Game 3.


    --Washington Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner will miss his fifth straight contest Thursday when he sits out the Eastern Conference second-round series opener against the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins.


    Alzner, who participated in the optional morning skate on Thursday, has been sidelined with an upper-body injury since Game 2 of the first-round series versus the Toronto Maple Leafs.


    --Dallas Stars forward Mattias Janmark signed a one-year, $700,000 contract extension.


    Janmark, who missed the entire 2016-17 season due to a knee injury, collected 15 goals, 14 assists and a plus-12 rating in 73 games in 2015-16. The 24-year-old Swede also registered five points (two goals, three assists) in 12 career postseason contests.


    --Columbus Blue Jackets left winger Nick Foligno, Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf and Calgary Flames defenseman Mark Giordano were named the three finalists for the 2016-17 Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award.


    Mark Messier solicits suggestions from club and NHL personnel as well as NHL fans to compile a list of potential candidates for the award. However, the selection of the three finalists and ultimate winner is Messier's alone. The winner will be announced June 20 in Las Vegas.
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    Blues, Ducks must respond at home to even 2nd-round series
    April 27, 2017



    ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) After Nashville and Edmonton took their second-round series openers in remarkably similar fashion, St. Louis and Anaheim are under pressure to respond in Game 2.


    Two road teams blew a couple of two-goals leads in the third period, but then got a couple of fortunate bounces and scored a couple of opportunistic goals in the Western Conference semifinals. Both series are back at it on Friday night with the stakes raised for the home teams, which face the prospect of a quick series hole.


    ''This one is big for us on Friday,'' Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler said. ''We know what we have to do, though. The first one wasn't a bad effort by our group, but there are things we've got to clean up.''


    Vernon Fiddler got the biggest goal for the Predators, who have a lead in a second-round series for the first time in franchise history after holding off the Blues.


    Adam Larsson was the unlikely offensive hero for the Oilers, getting two goals in 7 1/2 minutes in the third period after scoring only four goals in his first 85 games this season. The Swedish defenseman got the go-ahead score on an unlikely deflection .


    ''There's not usually going to be a smooth ride through 16 games to get there,'' said Ducks center Antoine Vermette, who won a ring with Chicago two years ago. ''You have to go back and forth. You have to face a lot of challenges. We know that in here.''


    Here are some things to watch for Friday (all times Eastern):


    Oilers at Ducks, Edmonton leads 1-0 (10:30 p.m., NBCSN)


    The Ducks came unglued defensively in the third period of Game 1, yielding four goals. That was a stark contrast with their first-round sweep of Calgary, when the Flames didn't score a third-period goal in the entire series.


    ''I think we're giving teams way too many looks in games,'' said Jakob Silfverberg, who scored in the opener. ''We're playing some teams that really know how to move the puck and shoot the puck, but we have to limit their opportunities to take good shots or make plays.''


    Ducks defenseman Kevin Bieksa is doubtful for Game 2 after incurring a lower-body injury in the series opener, but help could be on the way. Sami Vatanen participated in Thursday's skate and pronounced himself ''really close'' to returning from the upper-body injury that has kept him out for four games.


    ''I want to know that I can help the team to win the games before I come back,'' Vatanen said.


    NHL scoring champion Connor McDavid was limited to one secondary assist in the opener, but the Oilers got four points from German star Leon Draisaitl and another big chunk of help from lesser-known talents. Larsson is the latest unlikely scorer of a game-winning goal for Edmonton, which also got winners from Zack Kassian, David Desharnais and Anton Slepyshev in the first round.


    ''The guys have always believed in our depth,'' McDavid said. ''They may not score all the time, but they're always working hard and getting chances.''


    Predators at Blues, Nashville leads 1-0 (8 p.m., NBCSN)


    Nashville is unbeaten in the postseason, while St. Louis is still looking for a rhythm. The first two periods of Game 1 looked much like the Blues' entire first-round series against Minnesota, with St. Louis getting massively outshot and goals coming sparingly.


    The Blues' top scorers have largely been silent so far in the playoffs: Vladimir Tarasenko has just one playoff goal after scoring 39 in the regular season. But Blues coach Mike Yeo isn't concerned.


    ''Again, he's getting chances,'' Yeo said. ''That doesn't mean that we don't want him scoring goals. We've got to find a way, and that's on us. But there's not much concern. ... My concern would be if his head wasn't in the right place, and I've got no concerns about that.''


    It's not just Tarasenko. Second-line mainstays Patrik Berglund and David Perron are still searching for their first postseason goals and Jaden Schwartz and Alexander Steen are the only two forwards with multiple playoff goals.


    Face-off struggles may have something to do with that. Nashville won 38 of 61 faceoffs (62 percent) in Game 1, including a massive 16-1 advantage in the second period.


    ''We have to be better at that,'' Yeo said. ''Certainly they went in there and they dominated that area. I thought they dominated a lot of the 1-on-1 battles in the game, too, so they were better than us in all the small areas of the game and that's why they won.''
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    Armadillo: Friday's six-pack


    — Spurs ousted Memphis, Raptors eliminate the Bucks, both in six games.


    — Detroit scored 19 runs Tuesday; they scored 0-1 runs the next two days.


    — Mets are 8-13; Cespedes/Syndergaard are both hurt now. No bueno.


    — If I ever write a book, one of the chapters will be “Baseball players get hurt a lot.”


    — Baltimore is 14-6, with a run differential of +9. Texas is +11; their record is 10-12.


    — I’m still amazed that no one drafted Florida State RB Dalvin Cook; young man is a FOOTBALL PLAYER.


    **********


    Armadillo: Running Diary of the 2017 NFL Draft……..


    7:41: Trying to decide which channel to watch the draft on; NFL Network or ESPN, assuming ESPN has enough employees left to do live programming.


    Seeing how I boycotted Chris Berman for the last 20 years or so, since he and Steve Young took delight in mocking the Rams when they sucked in the 90’s, I’ll give post-Berman ESPN the first shot. Plus, Deion Sanders is on NFL Network; can’t stand him.


    7:46: NFL is lucky as hell; when they foolishly put a Super Bowl in New Jersey a few years ag0, they missed a big snowstorm by a day. Tonight, on April 27, it is 74 degrees in Philly. Unusual; they just as easily could’ve gotten cruddy weather- Phillies got rained out at home two nites ago.


    7:53: NFL started moving the draft a few years ago, when Radio City Music Hall was unavailable for draft weekend- they’ve struck gold. Now 14 cities want to host the draft- you know it’ll be in LA when the Rams’ new stadium is finished. I’m guessing Dallas will get it soon, too.


    8:07: Roger Goodell makes $32M a year or so to be NFL’s Commish; he can take getting booed. Philly fans oblige by booing the hell out of him. Weird thing is, he isn’t a lawyer. Thought you had to be a lawyer to be a commish.


    Goodell family trivia: When Robert Kennedy was assassinated in 1968, the man who replaced him as a US Senator from New York was Charles Goodell, Roger’s father.


    8:10: Mel Kiper Jr, draft expert, touts Myles Garrett as a smart #1 pick for Cleveland, who is on the clock. Jon Gruden touts LSU safety Jamal Adams as the #1 pick. Gruden insists that Garrett isn’t the best player in this draft and he shows video evidence why, citing inconsistent effort.


    Earlier this week, former Cowboys’ exec Gil Brandt tweeted that only 14.5 of Garrett’s 31 sacks in college came against SEC competition.


    8:14: Browns take Garrett, the 5th SEC player taken #1 in the last 11 drafts. Cleveland also has the #12 pick in this round, so we’ll hear from them again in a few hours.


    8:17: 49ers/Bears flip-flop the #2/#3 picks; looks like John Lynch will be trying to stockpile some draft picks in his first draft running the 49ers.


    8:22: Bears take QB Mitchell Trubisky, meaning he gets to freeze his butt off for the next 10 Decembers in Chicago. Mike Glennon (3 years, $45M in Chicago) must be happier than hell; he signed with the Bears as a free agent, now it looks like he’ll be moving along again in a year or two.


    The film of Trubisky that Gruden shows isn’t flattering; Trey Wingo points out that the only North Carolina QB to ever start an NFL game is TJ Yates. Trubisky started only 13 games at UNC, but then again, he isn’t going to start for a while.


    8:29: 49ers take DE Solomon Thomas from Stanford; Lynch was a great DB, so it makes sense that his first draft pick is a defensive end. The young man once lived in Australia for five years; his first favorite sport was swimming.


    49ers gave up 2,600 yards rushing last year; unlike Trubisky, Moore will play right away.


    8:35: Jacksonville picks in the top 5 for the 6th year n a row; they take Leonard Fournette from LSU, who missed five games last year, including one by choice. He didn’t seem to be great with catching balls out of the backfield.


    College coaches use the draft to be seen on TV: Stanford’s David Shaw is working on NFL Network, Ed Orgeron, Nick Saban, Dabo Swinney, Brian Kelly are all in Philly with their players. Recruiting season in college football is 365/12/7/24- tonite is no exception.


    Fournette’s agent, by the way, is Jay Z.


    8:43: Tennessee, with one of the picks acquired in the Jared Goff trade, selects WR Corey Davis of Western Michigan, the only D-I team to offer him a scholarship out of high school.


    49ers, by the way, got two extra draft picks from the Bears for dropping from #2 to #3.


    8:51: Jets draft LSU safety Jamal Adams; Todd Bowles was a DB when he played, so this makes perfect sense. Gruden loves Adams- this is a good pick. Jets allowed 30 TDs LY, had only eight INT’s. Louis Riddick praises Adams’ constant effort.


    I would love to know how many kids get drafted by the Jets/Giants but aren’t aware that the teams play in New Jersey, not New York. There have to be at least one or two.


    Adams’ father is George Adams, who played RB for the Giants 30 years ago, so we know he knows the Jets play in the Garden State.


    Since 1987, Adams family is 8th father/son combo who were both drafted in the first round. Two of those eight are Mannings.


    9:00: Chargers are on the clock; it still saddens me that they left San Diego, screwing their loyal fans for no decent reason, other than abject greed. They’re not the only ones who have done it, but they seem to be the team who left a pretty good situation to be a tenant in Los Angeles.


    Chargers took WR Mike Williams instead of his college teammate, Deshaun Watson. Philip Rivers had to like this pick. Williams comes from a hometown of 170 people.


    9:04: Carolina takes Christian McCaffrey from Stanford; his dad played for the Broncos, his granddad was once the fastest man in the world.


    Fallout of this: Fournette/McCaffrey both skipped their bowl game to avoid injury, and they both benefitted with a solid draft position— will that makes this an increasing trend this fall?


    Four of the first eight players taken went to LSU or Stanford.


    9:12: Bengals take WR John Ross from Washington, whose pee-wee coach as a kid was Snoop Dawg (seriously). Ross is really, really fast, but he is going to play a decent amount of games in cold weather and he has had injury issues (shoulder. knee). Has he ever played in cold weather?


    9:15: Chiefs trade up to the #10 spot in the draft; Buffalo trades down, but they get an extra #1 pick next year, to drop down 17 spots— KC has to be taking a QB, right?


    9:18: ESPN fires Andy Katz, Ed Werder, Jayson Stark, but we’re supposed to watch the 6:00 SportsCenter because Ice Cube plays dominos with Jemele Hill? Oy.


    9:20: Chiefs take Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes, whose dad pitched in the big leagues; he is the first QB taken in the first round by the Chiefs since Todd Blackledge, in 1983.


    Gruden is tight with Andy Reid (Packer assistants together in early 90’s); he compares Mahomes to Brett Favre— seriously, he did.


    As ESPN goes to commercial, Deshaun Watson doesn’t look very happy. Hey, Thurman Thomas once sat in a diner for half a day waiting to be drafted- his career turned out pretty well.


    9:28: Saints take a DB from Ohio State that Jon Gruden doesn’t like that much. I like it when there is criticism; not every player is the greatest player ever.


    Random rant: I bought a MacBook Pro last August; the keyboard sucks, with G and T keys often sticking. For $1,300, thought I’d get a decent keyboard. Otherwise, the laptop is fine.


    9:35: Houston Texans traded up to draft Deshaun Watson, who won a lot of football games in college, but did throw 30 INT’s over the last two years, most in the whole country in I-A.


    Texans have started 8 QB’s in three years under Bill O’Brien (QB guru). What makes this guy such a guru if he couldn’t make any of those eight QB’s serviceable players?


    9:43: Arizona is on the clock; Carson Palmer turns 38 in December, so of course, they take a linebacker from Temple, where Bruce Arians was once the head coach. Local Philly fans eat up the local kid makes good angle.


    Good news for Drew Stanton, Arizona’s current backup QB.


    9:52: Hometown Eagles are on the clock: Gruden says they have to draft a CB. The crowd of roughly 70,000 is VERY EXCITED.


    Eagles select Derek Barnett, a DE from Tennessee. He had more sacks in college than Reggie White— this is the pick Philly got from the Vikings for Sam Bradford. Eagle fans do not seem real happy, but unlike Myles Garrett, 29 of his 33 career sacks were in SEC games.


    10:00: Colts take S Malik Hooker, who wanted to play basketball at Pitt, but Jamie Dixon never offered him, so he went to play football at Ohio State.


    Louis Riddick says he needs to tackle better, Gruden says he has been hurt too much and hasn’t played enough football to be taken this high- he only played two years of HS football.


    10:07: I don’t care if people boo Goodell, he seems like a good man. When the Ravens take a CB from Alabama, a 14-year old Make-a-Wish kid announces the pick, and Goodell introduces the young man. Then again, having the kid there means Goodell doesn’t get booed.


    Mel Kiper’s five best available players are all SEC players, three from Alabama.


    Random fact: Joe Flacco’s cap hit this year is $24.55M, highest in the NFL.


    10:16: Redskins take Jonathan Allen, DE from Alabama, a pick applauded by the ESPN panel. Gruden is shocked he was available at #17, but apparently he has injury issues (shoulder).


    10:20: “Who knows what they’re going to do?” Gruden on the Titans, who are up next.


    Tennessee takes Adoree Jackson, a CB from USC who also played some WR for the Trojans and is a return threat. Jackson apparently also runs track; curious to see if that continues.


    This will all be a lot more fun tomorrow, when the Rams have picks. Should’ve hung a #16 Rams jersey in the room tonight as a reminder of why we don’t have a pick in the first round.


    10:27: Last year was Tampa Bay’s first winning season since 2010, but they didn’t make the playoffs. They took OJ Howard, a TE from Alabama, who should help open up their offense. He is Alabama’s 20th #1 draft pick since 2010, nine more than any other school.


    Bucs are on Hard Knocks this summer; their CB Brett Grimes is married to a woman who is a real character— she is very outspoken on social media and doesn’t hold back. If HBO gets a mike on her, Hard Knocks will be highly entertaining TV.


    10:31: First offensive lineman comes off the board at #20, Garrett Bolles to Denver; this kid was kicked out of five schools. Five. He brought his little baby up on stage with him.


    Apparently the kid’s lacrosse coach wound up getting thru to him and straightening him out. Hopefully Mr Bolles will send that man a nice gift- he is also a 25-year old rookie, by the way. Denver really needed a good offensive lineman.


    This is the latest the draft has ever gone before an offensive lineman was selected.


    10:40: Detroit Lions take Jarrad Davis, a LB from Florida, who gets high marks for having good character. Was fun to hear that. Gruden thinks he will start as a rookie.


    10:42: Dolphins take a kid from Missouri who has someone dressed as a Star Wars character sitting behind him in his house.


    Wonder if Missouri alums are happy with their move to the SEC? I’m guessing the school’s accountants are happy; the SEC is a freakin’ gold mine, but on the field/court, Mizzou has mostly sucked in the SEC.


    10:46: How in God’s name is Dalvin Cook still available? The Florida State RB is a FOOTBALL PLAYER.


    Giants take a tight end from Ole Miss, further proof that Eli Manning runs the franchise.


    10:54: Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders take a CB from Ohio State who, according to Raiders’ tradition, was accused of sexual assault recently. Wouldn’t be the Raiders if they took a solid citizen, though the young man hasn’t been charged with any crime and he strongly denies the accusation. Hopefully the kid was a victim of a potential scammer.


    11:03: Cleveland is back on the clock: they take Jabril Peppers, a safety from Michigan who had a diluted drug sample at the Combine. This is the 5th time in 11 years, the Browns have had two first round picks.


    One of the guys who runs the Cleveland Browns’ front office now was the Jonah Hill character in Moneyball, an Ivy League nitwit who played WR at Harvard in college, but made his reputation in baseball front offices.


    Appears as if the Browns upgraded their defense tonight; Gregg Williams is the Browns’ new defensive coordinator- as a Rams’ fan, I think highly of Williams after he was our DC the last few years.


    11:10: Atlanta Falcons trade with Seattle to move up to the #26 slot; Falcons have two new coordinators this year, unusual for a team that did so well last year- they take Takkarist McKinley, a LB from UCLA who was a sprinter in high school and who was raised by his grandmother after his mother deserted him at age 6.


    11:18: Buffalo takes another LSU CB: Ed Orgeron might be there to support his guys, but in reality these are guys recruited and coached mostly by Les Miles, who put so many guys into the NFL it wound up costing him his job.


    11:20: Dallas Cowboys get a worse greeting than Goodell when their turn is announced; no one is less popular in Philly than the Cowboys, who take Taco Charlton, a pass rusher that played at Michigan.


    Long time ago, I knew a guy from Philly who wore a green windbreaker; on the back was a drawing of an animated Eagle urinating on the Cowboy logo. Oy.


    11:32: Browns have traded up for a third pick in the first round; during the commercial break I put the A’s game on and saw something I never saw before— Kendall Graveman recorded an unassisted double play and he’s a pitcher— great play by him on a comebacker.


    Cleveland drafts a TE from Miami; he will be a 20-year old rookie who looks more like a WR than a tight end. He has a lot of people celebrating with him when he gets drafted.


    11:35: After a tribute to the late Dan Rooney, the Steelers pick JJ Watt’s brother, a LB from Wisconsin. Steelers play in Houston Christmas night.


    11:40: 49ers/Saints have the last two picks tonite— San Francisco takes Reuben Foster, their third defensive player taken tonite.


    New Orleans ends the first round by taking a tackle from Wisconsin, someone to protect Drew Brees as his career winds down. Ryan Ramczyk once quit football to become a welder; lucky for him he got talked out of that blunder.


    There is a kid named Forrest Lamp in the draft, an offensive lineman from Western Kentucky. When he gets drafted, I will call him a bright kid, because his freakin’ name is Lamp!!!!


    If Gruden or Mel Kiper criticize the team that selects Lamp, will they be throwing shade?


    Thanks for reading; hope you enjoyed it.
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  5. #130  
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    NHL
    Dunkel


    Friday, April 28




    Edmonton @ Anaheim


    Game 53-54
    April 28, 2017 @ 10:30 pm


    Dunkel Rating:
    Edmonton
    13.161
    Anaheim
    11.549
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Edmonton
    by 1 1/2
    7
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Anaheim
    -145
    5
    Dunkel Pick:
    Edmonton
    (+125); Over


    Nashville @ St. Louis



    Game 51-52
    April 28, 2017 @ 8:00 pm


    Dunkel Rating:
    Nashville
    10.258
    St. Louis
    13.340
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    St. Louis
    by 3
    3
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    St. Louis
    -120
    5
    Dunkel Pick:
    St. Louis
    (-120); Under









    NHL
    Long Sheet


    Friday, April 28



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    NASHVILLE (46-29-0-12, 104 pts.) at ST LOUIS (50-31-0-7, 107 pts.) - 4/28/2017, 8:00 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    NASHVILLE is 12-19 ATS (-11.7 Units) after scoring 4 goals or more in their previous game this season.
    ST LOUIS is 109-81 ATS (+26.3 Units) in all games over the last 2 seasons.
    ST LOUIS is 31-20 ATS (+9.5 Units) second half of the season this season.
    ST LOUIS is 57-43 ATS (-1.5 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 2 seasons.
    ST LOUIS is 13-9 ATS (+3.7 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season this season.
    NASHVILLE is 26-15 ATS (+10.5 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record this season.
    NASHVILLE is 18-8 ATS (+26.3 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season this season.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    NASHVILLE is 8-8 (+0.4 Units) against the spread versus ST LOUIS over the last 3 seasons
    ST LOUIS is 8-8-0 straight up against NASHVILLE over the last 3 seasons
    7 of 13 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons . (Under=+0.7 Units)

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    EDMONTON (52-27-0-10, 114 pts.) at ANAHEIM (50-24-0-13, 113 pts.) - 4/28/2017, 10:30 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    ANAHEIM is 20-8 ATS (+9.8 Units) in a home game where where the total is 5 or less this season.
    ANAHEIM is 32-17 ATS (+11.1 Units) second half of the season this season.
    ANAHEIM is 17-5 ATS (+9.0 Units) in home games after a division game this season.
    ANAHEIM is 46-19 ATS (+23.9 Units) in home games revenging a home loss versus opponent since 1996.
    ANAHEIM is 244-183 ATS (+43.6 Units) revenging a loss versus opponent since 1996.
    ANAHEIM is 15-3 ATS (+11.4 Units) after allowing 4 goals or more this season.
    ANAHEIM is 12-2 ATS (+9.5 Units) after a loss by 2 goals or more in their previous game this season.
    ANAHEIM is 25-16 ATS (+3.4 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record this season.
    ANAHEIM is 15-8 ATS (+6.3 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season this season.
    EDMONTON is 52-37 ATS (+4.9 Units) in all games this season.
    EDMONTON is 33-18 ATS (+8.9 Units) second half of the season this season.
    EDMONTON is 25-11 ATS (+9.5 Units) vs. division opponents this season.
    EDMONTON is 20-8 ATS (+8.8 Units) after a win by 2 goals or more this season.
    EDMONTON is 19-8 ATS (+8.5 Units) after scoring 4 goals or more in their previous game this season.
    EDMONTON is 15-8 ATS (+6.4 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season this season.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    ANAHEIM is 10-5 (+3.5 Units) against the spread versus EDMONTON over the last 3 seasons
    ANAHEIM is 10-5-0 straight up against EDMONTON over the last 3 seasons
    6 of 12 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons . (Over=-0.9 Units, Under=-0.6 Units)

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------






    NHL
    Short Sheet


    Friday, April 28



    Western Conference Semifinals – Best of 7 – Game 2 – NAS Leads 1-0


    Nashville at St Louis, 8:00 PM ET
    Nashville: 6-13 SU off a road win
    St Louis: 18-5 SU off a home loss against a division rival


    Western Conference Semifinals – Best of 7 – Game 2 – EDM Leads 1-0


    Edmonton at Anaheim, 8:00 PM ET
    Edmonton: 3-7 SU off 2 or more consecutive road wins
    Anaheim: 12-2 SU after a loss by 2 goals or more in their previous game








    NHL
    Armadillo's Write-Up


    Friday, April 28



    Nashville is 5-0 in playoffs this month, with three road wins- they allowed six goals in the five games. Predators blocked 18 shots in Game 1, Blues only four. Home side won seven of last ten Nashville-St Louis games; Predators lost four of last six games in this arena. Under is 6-3-2 in last 11 series games. Nashville won four of last five road games. Under is 3-2-3 in last eight Predator games. Blues won seven of their last nine games but is 2-3 in last five home tilts. Five of their last seven games stayed under the total. St Louis is 2-5 in last seven series in this round. Nashville has never advanced past this round, in three tries.


    Oilers scored four third period goals to break 1-1 tie and win Game 1 5-3- they were 2-5 on power play, Ducks 1-3. Anaheim lost four of last five games with Edmonton; Oilers lost three of last five games in the Pond. Under is 4-2-2 in last eight series games. Edmonton won eight of its last 10 games overall, five of last six on road. Over is 4-2-1 in their last seven road games. Ducks won eight of their last nine games overall. Oilers are in playoffs for first time since losing Cup Final in 2006; Anaheim lost three of last four times they were in this round; Ducks are in playoffs for 10th time in last 12 years overall.


    Second round NHL series
    NY Rangers (-$150) vs Ottawa (+$130)
    Ottawa 2-1


    Pittsburgh (+$110) vs Washington (-$130)
    Pittsburgh 3-2


    St Louis (+$110) vs Nashville (-$130)
    Nashville 4-3


    Anaheim (-$135) vs Edmonton (+$115)
    Edmonton 5-3


    Home: 1-3 (21-25)
    Over: 2-1-1 (15-22-9)



    NHL First round series:
    East
    Washington-Toronto
    Wash 3-2 OT
    Tor 4-3 2OT
    Tor 4-3 OT
    Wash 5-4
    Wash 2-1 OT
    Wash 2-1 OT
    Capitals win series, 4-2


    Pittsburgh-Columbus
    Pitt 3-1
    Pitt 4-1
    Pitt 5-4 OT
    CBJ 5-4
    Pitt 5-2
    Penguins win series, 4-1


    Montreal-NY Rangers
    NYR 2-0
    Mtl 4-3 OT
    Mtl 3-1
    NYR 2-1
    NYR 3-2 OT
    NYR 3-1
    Rangers win series 4-2


    Ottawa-Boston
    Bos 2-1
    Ott 4-3 OT
    Ott 4-3 OT
    Ott 1-0
    Bos 3-2 OT
    Ott 2-1 OT
    Senators win series, 4-2


    West
    Chicago-Nashville
    Nash 1-0
    Nash 5-0
    Nash 3-2 OT
    Nash 4-1
    Predators win series, 4-0


    Minnesota-St Louis
    StL 2-1 ot
    StL 2-1
    StL 3-1
    Minn 2-0
    StL 4-2 OT
    Blues win series, 4-1


    Anaheim-Calgary
    Ana, 3-2
    Ana 3-2
    Ana 5-4 OT
    Ana 3-1
    Ducks win series, 4-0


    Edmonton-San Jose
    SJ 3-2 ot
    Edmonton 2-0
    Edmonton 1-0
    SJ 7-0
    Edmonton 4-3 OT
    Edmonton 3-1
    Oilers win series, 4-2


    Home teams: 20-22
    Over: 13-21-8









    NHL


    Friday, April 28



    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Trend Report
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    8:00 PM
    NASHVILLE vs. ST. LOUIS
    Nashville is 2-6 SU in its last 8 games when playing on the road against St. Louis
    Nashville is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
    St. Louis is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games when playing at home against Nashville
    St. Louis is 2-5 SU in its last 7 games when playing Nashville

    10:30 PM
    EDMONTON vs. ANAHEIM
    Edmonton is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing Anaheim
    Edmonton is 7-17 SU in its last 24 games when playing Anaheim
    Anaheim is 17-7 SU in its last 24 games when playing Edmonton
    Anaheim is 9-3 SU in its last 12 games when playing at home against Edmonton
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  6. #131  
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    NHL


    Friday, April 28



    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Friday's NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Betting Preview and Odds
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    The Edmonton Oilers attempt to seize a 2-0 advantage in their Western Conference second-round series on Friday when the teams reconvene at Honda Center.


    Nashville Predators at St. Louis Blues (-120, 5)


    Predators lead series 1-0


    ABOUT THE PREDATORS (46-29-8-4, 42-36 O/U): The only team that has yet to lose in the Stanley Cup Playoffs looks to keep their perfect run intact when the surprising Nashville Predators visit the St. Louis Blues on Friday night in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals. No. 8 seed Nashville improved to 5-0 in the postseason with a 4-3 victory in Game 1 that was marred by a costly injury. Trading captain Shea Weber in the offense was a shocking move, even if the blockbuster deal yielded another star defenseman in P.K. Subban, who put on a show in Game 1 by scoring once and setting up a pair of goals -- all coming via booming slap slots. Subban tied his career high and became the first Nashville defenseman to register three points in a playoff game while boosting his career postseason totals to 43 points in 60 games. "We can sugarcoat it, but that's why they pay me, you know?" Subban told reporters after the game. "It's to come up big in these games and perform."


    ABOUT THE BLUES (50-31-5-2, 36-39 O/U): Although St. Louis dispatched Minnesota in five games in the opening round, it continues to struggle with its special teams, converting on 1-of-16 chances with the man advantage in the playoffs while surrendering two power-play goals for the second straight contest. "Penalties killed us," Blues forward Ryan Reaves said after Thursday's practice session. "We've obviously got to eliminate penalties. Playoff hockey, teams are going to make you pay." Forward Jaden Schwartz, who scored six playoff goals over 38 contests in the past four seasons, collected his third in six games.


    LINE HISTORY: Game 2 of this Western Conference Semifinal series opened with the Blues pegged as -120 favorites after dropping the opener Wednesday night. The total opened at 5.


    INJURY REPORT:


    Predators - RW C. Smith (Questionable, lower body), C C. Jarnkrok (Questionable, undisclosed), LW K. Fiala (Out For Season, leg).


    Blues - C R. Fabbri (Out For Season, knee).


    TRENDS:


    * Predators are 5-0 in their last 5 overall.
    * Blues are 4-0 in their last 4 games playing on 1 days rest.
    * Over is 5-0-3 in Predators last 8 Conference Semifinals games.
    * Over is 4-0-3 in Blues last 7 Conference Semifinals games.
    * Home team is 11-4 in the last 15 meetings.






    Edmonton Oilers at Anaheim Ducks (-140, 5)


    Oilers lead series 1-0


    ABOUT THE OILERS (52-27-5-5, 35-45 O/U): A now-healthy Leon Draisaitl continues to make opponents feel sick, and the Anaheim Ducks routinely have found themselves under the weather when he's on the ice. After ending Anaheim's point streak at 18 contests (15-0-3), Draisaitl and the Edmonton Oilers attempt to seize a 2-0 advantage in their Western Conference second-round series on Friday when the teams reconvene at Honda Center. "I think people make too big a deal of it," Draisaitl said of his dominance of the Ducks, as the 21-year-old German recorded one goal and three assists in Wednesday's series-opening 5-3 win to increase his point total to 12 (seven goals, five assists) in six encounters with Anaheim in 2016-17. Stay-at-home defenseman Adam Larsson matched his point total from his previous 23 games by scoring two goals and setting up another on Wednesday. "He's definitely not Bobby Orr but (Wednesday) he sure looked good on that last one, skating," Oilers coach and Jack Adams finalist Todd McLellan said of Larsson's game-winning goal in which he banked a shot from behind the goal line off Ducks defenseman Josh Manson and into the net. Countryman Oscar Klefbom, who has 11 points (two goals, nine assists) in his last 11 contests, extended his point streak to three games after notching an assist in back-to-back outings.


    ABOUT THE DUCKS (50-24-10-3, 30-37 O/U): Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf is enjoying a healthy run in his own right, scoring and setting up a goal in Game 1 to give him 34 points (eight goals, 26 assists) in his last 23 overall contests while increasing his total to nine (two goals, seven assists) in six encounters with Edmonton. After dealing with the respective injuries to All-Star Cam Fowler and Sami Vatanen, Anaheim has another on its hands in its back end as coach Randy Carlyle deemed defenseman Kevin Bieksa (club-best four assists) to be "doubtful" for Game 2 because of a lower-body injury. Bieksa initially sustained the injury while colliding with a teammate in the first period on Wednesday before officially exiting the contest in the second. Vatanen has missed two games with an upper-body injury, with Carlyle telling the Orange County Register that the playoff situation "has not allotted us enough time for him to be 100 percent."


    LINE HISTORY: The Ducks opened at -130 for Game 2 and have been bumped up to -140. The total opened at 5 and will likely remain on that number


    INJURY REPORT:


    Oilers - D A. Ference (Out For Season, hip), RW T. Pitlick (Out For Season, knee).


    Ducks - D S. Vatanen (Questionable, shoulder), D K. Bieksa (Doubtful, lower body), D S. Despres (Out Indefinitely, concussion), D C. Stoner (Out Indefinitely, abdominal).


    TRENDS:


    * Oilers are 5-0 in their last 5 Conference Semifinals games.
    * Ducks are 11-1 in their last 12 after allowing 5 goals or more in their previous game.
    * Under is 12-3-2 in Oilers last 17 Friday games.
    * Over is 2-0-2 in Ducks last 4 home games.
    * Oilers are 9-27 in the last 36 meetings.
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  7. #132  
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    Second Round Cheat Sheet
    April 25, 2017

    Key:
    A – Atlantic
    M – Metropolitan
    C – Central
    P – Pacific
    W – Wild Card


    Eastern Conference


    2M Pittsburgh vs. 1M Washington



    Capitals: 55-19-8, 118 points
    Penguins: 50-21-6, 111 points


    Season series: The Capitals won the Metropolitan Division by seven points, winning the President's Trophy with 118 points. The Penguins finished in second place with 111 points. These two sides met four times during the regular season with each team winning on home ice. The most recent meeting on Jan. 16 featured fire-wagon hockey, as the Pens outlasted the Caps 8-7 in overtime. There were a total of 35 goals scored in the four meetings, with the 'over' going 3-0-1.


    Previous playoff outcome: The Penguins topped the Capitals in six games in the second round last season en route to their fourth Stanley Cup championship. The Caps are hoping history doesn't repeat itself. The clubs also met in the Conference Semifinals back in 2009 with the Pens upsetting the Caps in seven games. The lower seeded Penguins were also victorious in 2001, topping the third-seed Penguins in six games, while the seven-seed Pens ousted the two-seed Caps in five games in the first round back in 2000. Pittsburgh also ended Washington's season in the 1995 and 1996 postseason, winning each series in the opening round. The Capitals topped the Penguins in 1994 in six games in the Conference Quarterfinals, but have lost six straight series against their Metro Division rivals since.


    1W N.Y. Rangers vs. Ottawa


    Senators: 44-28-6, 98 points
    Rangers: 48-28-6, 102 points


    Season series: The Rangers and Senators met three times during the regular season and Ottawa was victorious in two of the meetings. That includes a 2-0 win at Madison Square Garden back on Nov. 27, and a 3-1 win at home on April 8 in the penultimate game of the regular season. The home team has won four of the past five meetings, while the 'under' is 32-10-9 in the past 51 meetings. That includes a 16-6-7 'under' mark in the past 29 meetings in Canada's capital city.


    Previous playoff outcome: The Rangers and Senators have met just one time before in the postseason with New York ending Ottawa's season in seven games in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals back in 2012. The Senators have participated in the Conference Semifinals six times in franchise history, losing four times in the round. Meanwhile, the Blueshirts have won three of their past four appearances in the Conference Semis



    Western Conference


    3C St. Louis vs. 2W Nashville

    Blues: 46-29-7, 99 points
    Predators: 41-29-12, 94 points


    Season series: The Predators and Blues hooked up five times during the regular season with Nashville coming away with three wins. St. Louis outscored Nashville by a 15-11 count during the span. The Preds haven't had a lot of success over the years against the Blues, going 8-18 in the previous 26 meetings, including 1-6 in their past seven trips to the banks of the mighty Mississippi River. The 'under' is 3-1-1 in the past five meetings in Missouri, and 52-22-8 in the past 82 meetings overall in this series. The home team has won five of the past six battles.


    Previous playoff outcome: The Predators do not have a lengthy postseason history, and they have never meet St. Louis in their previous nine forays into the playoffs. Nashville has appeared in the Conference Semifinals on just three previous occasions, bowing out to the Canucks in six games (2011), Coyotes in five games (2012) and Sharks in seven games (2016). The Blues knocked off the Stars in seven games last season in the second round for their first trip to the Conference Finals since 2001.


    2P Edmonton vs. 1P Anaheim


    Ducks: 46-23-13, 105 points
    Oilers: 47-26-7, 99 points


    Season series: The Ducks and Oilers hooked up five times during the regular season with Edmonton winning three of the outings. The two most recent meetings resulted in one-goal games, including a 3-2 overtime win by the Oilers on April Fool's Day, so you can likely expect a tight series between these Pacific Division rivals. The Oilers haven't had a lot of success over the years against the Ducks, going 8-27 in the previous 35 meetings, including 2-9 in their past 11 skates on 'The Pond'.


    Previous playoff outcome: Anaheim and Edmonton have met just once before in the postseason and it didn't end well for the Ducks, as the Oilers won the series in five games in the Western Conference Finals back in 2006. The Ducks have been ousted three times in the past four appearances in the Conference Semifinals. It's been a long wait for the Oilers, as they hadn't been in the playoffs since that 2006 season until now. They ousted the Sharks in six games, and are making just their second appearance in the Conference Semis since 1998.
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  8. #133  
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    Second Round Series Odds
    April 28, 2017

    Home Team listed first - Best of 7 Games (2-2-1-1-1)
    (Opening Odds in parentheses)


    First Round


    Eastern Conference - Second Round


    Ottawa vs. N.Y. Rangers (Senators lead 1-0)
    Senators (+130) OFF
    Rangers (-150) OFF


    Pittsburgh vs. Washington (Penguins lead 1-0)
    Penguins (+120) OFF
    Capitals (-140) OFF


    Western Conference - Second Round


    St. Louis vs. Nashville (Predators lead 1-0)
    Blues (+110) +230
    Predators (-130) -280


    Anaheim vs. Edmonton (Oilers lead 1-0)
    Ducks (-140) +170
    Oilers (+120) -200


    Odds Subject to Change - Updated 4.28.17


    Exact Game Props - Prior to Series (4/24/17)


    Odds per Sportsbook.ag


    Senators vs. Rangers
    6 Games Rangers Win 3/1
    5 Games Rangers Win 9/2
    7 Games Rangers Win 9/2
    7 Games Senators Win 9/2
    6 Games Senators Win 5/1
    5 Games Senators Win 8/1
    4 Games Rangers Win 17/2
    4 Games Senators Win 17/1


    Penguins vs. Capitals
    6 Games Penguins Win 4/1
    7 Games Capitals Win 4/1
    6 Games Capitals Win 9/2
    7 Games Penguins Win 9/2
    5 Games Capitals Win 5/1
    5 Games Penguins Win 13/2
    4 Games Capitals Win 14/1
    4 Games Penguins Win 14/1


    Blues vs. Predators
    6 Games Predators Win 7/2
    7 Games Blues Win 4/1
    7 Games Predators Win 4/1
    6 Games Blues Win 5/1
    5 Games Blues Win 6/1
    5 Games Predators Win 13/2
    4 Games Predators Win 12/1
    4 Games Blues Win 13/1


    Ducks vs. Oilers
    7 Games Ducks Win 7/2
    6 Games Oilers Win 4/1
    5 Games Ducks Win 9/2
    7 Games Oilers Win 9/2
    6 Games Ducks Win 5/1
    5 Games Oilers Win 7/1
    4 Games Ducks Win 13/1
    4 Games Oilers Win 15/1


    Odds Subject to Change
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  9. #134  
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    Nhl playoffs record: ( as in baseball dogs and totals only)
    All picks for the day:


    04/27/2017 1-1-0 50.00% -50
    04/26/2017 2-1-0 66.67% +525
    04/23/2017 2-1-1 66.67% +675
    04/22/2017 3-2-0 60.00% +825
    04/21/2017 0-2-1 0.00% -1050
    04/20/2017 1-4-2 20.00 -1550
    04/19/2017 1-5-0 16.67% -1950
    04/18/2017 1-4-0 20.00% -1650
    04/17/2017 1-3-1 25.00% -1100
    4/16/2017 6-1-0 85.71%+2550
    4/16/2017 6-1-0 85.71% +2550
    04/15/2017 1-2-2 33.33% -250
    04/14/2017 1-6-0 14.29% -2325
    04/13/2017 2-2-1 50.00% +225
    04/12/2017 4-5-1 44.44% -940




    Best Bets............ Sides...............................Totals


    04/27/2017..........0 - 0............. 0.00.............1 - 1....................-0.10
    04/26/2017..........1 - 0............+1.15............ 1 - 1....................-0.10
    04/23/2017..........1 - 0............+1.35.............1 - 0 - 1...............+1.00
    04/22/2017..........2 - 0............+2.85.............0 - 2.....................-2.20
    04/21/2017 .........0 - 1.............-1.00.............0 - 1 - 1................-1.10
    04/20/2017..........0 - 3.............-3.00.............1 - 1 - 2................-0.10
    04/19/2017..........1 - 1............+0.50.............0 - 4....................- 4.40
    04/18/2017..........0 - 1.............-1.00.............0 - 3 ....................-3.30
    04/17/2017..........1 - 0.............+1.10............0 - 3 - 1................-3.30
    04/16/2017..........3 - 0.............+3.20............3 - 1....................+1.90
    04/15/2017..........1 - 1.............+0.60............1 - 2....................-1.20
    04/14/2017..........1 - 2..............-0.25............0 - 4...................- 4.40
    04/13/2017..........1 - 1.............+0.55............1 - 1 - 1..............- 0.10
    04/12/2017..........1 - 1 ............+1.00............2 - 2 - 1 .............- 0.20
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  10. #135  
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    FRIDAY, APRIL 28


    GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS



    NAS at STL 08:00 PM


    NAS +105


    U 5.0



    EDM at ANA 10:30 PM


    EDM +120


    U 5.0
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    NHL roundup: Oilers take 2-0 lead on Ducks
    April 29, 2017



    ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Patrick Maroon scored the decisive goal and Cam Talbot stopped 39 of 40 shots as the Edmonton Oilers defeated the Anaheim Ducks 2-1 on Friday at the Honda Center.


    The Oilers now head home to Edmonton for the next two games with a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinal series is Sunday.


    Anaheim outshot Edmonton 40-23, including 16 shots in the third period, but Talbot was the difference. Anaheim's lone goal came off the stick of Jakob Silfverberg. John Gibson made 21 saves for the Ducks.


    The Oilers took a 1-0 lead on defenseman Andrej Sekera's unassisted goal, his first of the playoffs, at 1:05 of the first period. Edmonton extended its lead to 2-0 on Maroon's power-play goal, his second of the playoffs, at 6:41 of the second period.


    Blues 3, Predators 2


    ST. LOUIS -- Vladimir Tarasenko scored a power-play goal late in the first period and then connected for the game-winner with 3:51 left in the third period to lift St. Louis over Nashville.


    The loss was the first in the playoffs for the Predators this season and left the second-round series tied at one game apiece heading into Game 3 on Sunday in Nashville.


    James Neal and Ryan Ellis scored to give the Predators a 2-1 lead. The Blues tied the game at 2 on a goal by Jori Lehtera at 7:39 of the third period before Tarasenko took over. Jaden Schwartz started the play with a pass that deflected off the skate of Joel Edmundson directly onto Tarasenko's stick, and he blasted a shot past goalie Pekka Rinne.
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    Home ice can be a disadvantage
    April 28, 2017



    A chorus of boos greeted the announcement of Sidney Crosby's first goal in Game 1 at the Washington Capitals. During the announcement of his second, the red-rocking Washington Capitals crowd was silent.


    There's no place like road for the Pittsburgh Penguins and other teams in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Through early in the second round, the visiting team is 26-20 in the playoffs, a .565 winning percentage that hasn't been approached since 2012 and has as much to do with the NHL's parity as tactical advantages of playing at home.


    No one has been better on the road the past two seasons as the defending Cup champion Penguins at 9-5. Pittsburgh winger Bryan Rust believes the key is handling the momentum that an intimidating crowd can feed off of and swinging it the other way.


    ''It gives us energy to take energy from the crowd and from the building,'' Rust said Friday. ''That's something we pride ourselves in and we look to do when we're playing road games.''


    Toronto coach Mike Babcock remarked that there's nothing like making opposing fans sit on their hands and watch the game nervously with long faces. But there's something that creates a road-ice advantage that goes counterintuitive to the benefits of hockey at home.


    The home team gets the last change so the coach can get the more advantageous matchup. But that doesn't always work as intended if the home team wants to keep its star players away from certain forward lines or defensive pairings.


    ''Sometimes depending on the situations it's almost the road team that dictates how the game is played because just the guys they put on the ice in certain faceoffs, and then the other team has to respond to that,'' Maple Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk said. ''It's that fine line.''


    Capitals coach Barry Trotz knows that in chasing matchups sometimes ''you allow the visiting coach to control your bench.'' Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said he and his staff don't play the matchup game too often, which is perhaps a big reason for the road success dating to last year.


    Then there's a slight rules tweak made two years ago designed to create offense that took one other piece of home-ice advantage away. The visiting player taking the faceoff used to have to put his stick down first, and now instead it's the player on his defensive side of the ice.


    Faceoffs aside, teams try to play a different brand of hockey on the road, often playing it safer in the process. That goes hand in hand with managing a hostile environment.


    ''In the playoffs, a home game, the crowd, there's energy and there's momentum to take from that, but the road team can play with that, too,'' Capitals right winger Tom Wilson said.


    Mike Yeo, whose St. Louis Blues went 3-0 on the road in upsetting the Minnesota Wild in the first round, credits his team's play away from home late in the regular season as a big reason for this continued success.


    ''We didn't have the luxury of choosing whether we wanted to play well or not on the road and with that comes some confidence,'' Yeo said. ''I don't think there are big differences in our game. We try not to change our game. We try to have the same approach, regardless of our opponent, regardless of where we're playing, whether it's home or away.''


    Washington forward Daniel Winnik has always wondered about the value of home-ice advantage and still thinks it matters this time of year. Part of it he thinks has to do with the parity in the league now, where the difference between the first and eighth seeds isn't that substantial.


    The Nashville Predators showed that in sweeping the Western Conference-leading Chicago Blackhawks in the first round, and the Los Angeles Kings won it all as the No. 8 seed in 2012, going a record 10-1 on the road as they carved through the playoffs. In the salary-cap era, the team with the most road playoff wins has either won the Cup or lost in the final.
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    Life of a goalie in Eastern playoff series is complicated
    April 28, 2017



    WASHINGTON (AP) When the difference between winning and losing is a puck shot from behind the goal line that goes in off his helmet, all Henrik Lundqvist can do is shake his head.


    Among the hundreds of decisions and 41 saves he made against the Ottawa Senators, the New York Rangers goaltender knew all anyone wanted to know was how that one crazy goal went in.


    ''That's the life of a goalie,'' Lundqvist said.


    Life as a goaltender in the Eastern Conference during the second round of the playoffs is complicated, whether it's the matchup between Lundqvist and very capable Senators counterpart Craig Anderson or the Washington Capitals' reigning Vezina Trophy winner Braden Holtby against the Pittsburgh Penguins' Marc-Andre Fleury. The Senators and Penguins are each up in their respective series going into Saturday's Game 2s because of goaltending, with it taking on greater importance moving forward.


    ''If you don't have the goalies, it's hard to win,'' Capitals coach Barry Trotz said Friday. ''In a series there's going to be games where the difference is going to be the goalie on the other side is going to make one more save or your goalie is going to make one more save.''


    One more save by Holtby on Sidney Crosby or Nick Bonino in Game 1 would've made a difference even considering his 18 other stops. Meanwhile Fleury stopped 33 of the 35 shots the Capitals put his way, including four without his stick during a mad scramble in the final minutes that he called ''fun.''


    Fleury was at best the Penguins' 1B goalie this season after Matt Murray led them to the Stanley Cup last year, but so far he has looked very much like the goalie who won it for Pittsburgh in 2009.


    ''He's always been up for the task, making those big saves at big moments,'' veteran winger Chris Kunitz said. ''We have to do a better job for him and not give up those quality chances.''


    The Capitals outshot the Penguins 35-21 in their 3-2 loss in Game 1, and though Trotz thought Holtby was fine, the Vezina finalist wanted two of those goals back.


    ''I know I need to be better if we're going to have success, and that's basically the bottom line,'' Holtby said.


    Lundqvist knows that pressure all too well after making 21 saves in the first period alone Thursday and keeping the Rangers in Game 1 before Erik Karlsson's sharp-angle goal in the third. The Swedish star kicked himself for waiting and guessing too much on Ottawa's game-winner, but teammates weren't going to blame him for losing a 2-1 game.


    ''He was fantastic,'' center Derek Stepan said. ''We need him to be our best player, and he was phenomenal again.''


    Only problem is, so was Anderson, who has phenomenal career numbers against New York and is 5-2 with a 1.81 goals-against average and .930 save percentage so far in these playoffs. Anderson's ability to stop breakaways sets him apart, and making the timely save is sometimes even more valuable than making a large quantity of them.


    ''He's made those huge saves on those breakaways, and he's made I think the keys save at the right time,'' said coach Guy Boucher, who believes his team must put 40-plus shots on Lundqvist every game to win. ''That's our goalie. He's done that. We know we've got a good goalie. We know we're playing against a good one, but we know we got a good one.''


    ---


    Some things to watch Saturday:


    Rangers at Senators, Ottawa leads 1-0 (3 p.m. ET, NBC)



    All eyes are on the crowd at Canadian Tire Centre after 16,744 fans - almost 2,000 below capacity - showed up for Game 1. Karlsson told Canadian TV network Sportsnet on Friday that he noticed the empty seats at what's believed to be the smallest Ottawa playoff crowd in 16 years.


    Though the arena being a half-hour from downtown continues to be an issue, a Saturday afternoon puck drop for Game 2 should make a difference.


    ---


    Penguins at Capitals, Pittsburgh leads 1-0 (8 p.m. ET, NBC)

    Carl Hagelin could return to the Penguins' lineup after being out since mid-March with a lower-body injury. Coach Mike Sullivan called Hagelin a game-time decision after the speedy winger took part in a full-contact practice Friday and said he's feeling good.


    ''He brings that element of speed, his ability to stretch the ice, his pursuit game, forces turnovers all the time and we can create a lot of offense off of it,'' Sullivan said. ''He's a good penalty killer, he's a solid two-way player, so we can use him in a number of different capacities. But I think his speed certainly helps us play the type of game that we want to play and we're a more competitive team when he's in the lineup.''


    Hagelin in means a tough call on who comes out, though Sullivan was critical of winger Conor Sheary's play the past couple of games.
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    Nhl playoffs record: ( as in baseball dogs and totals only)
    All picks for the day:


    04/28/2017 2-1-1 66.67% +600
    04/27/2017 1-1-0 50.00% -50
    04/26/2017 2-1-0 66.67% +525
    04/23/2017 2-1-1 66.67% +675
    04/22/2017 3-2-0 60.00% +825
    04/21/2017 0-2-1 0.00% -1050
    04/20/2017 1-4-2 20.00 -1550
    04/19/2017 1-5-0 16.67% -1950
    04/18/2017 1-4-0 20.00% -1650
    04/17/2017 1-3-1 25.00% -1100
    4/16/2017 6-1-0 85.71%+2550
    4/16/2017 6-1-0 85.71% +2550
    04/15/2017 1-2-2 33.33% -250
    04/14/2017 1-6-0 14.29% -2325
    04/13/2017 2-2-1 50.00% +225
    04/12/2017 4-5-1 44.44% -940




    Best Bets............ Sides...............................Totals


    04/28/2017..........1 - 1............+0.20.............1 - 0 - 1..............+1.00
    04/27/2017..........0 - 0............. 0.00.............1 - 1....................-0.10
    04/26/2017..........1 - 0............+1.15............ 1 - 1....................-0.10
    04/23/2017..........1 - 0............+1.35.............1 - 0 - 1...............+1.00
    04/22/2017..........2 - 0............+2.85.............0 - 2.....................-2.20
    04/21/2017 .........0 - 1.............-1.00.............0 - 1 - 1................-1.10
    04/20/2017..........0 - 3.............-3.00.............1 - 1 - 2................-0.10
    04/19/2017..........1 - 1............+0.50.............0 - 4....................- 4.40
    04/18/2017..........0 - 1.............-1.00.............0 - 3 ....................-3.30
    04/17/2017..........1 - 0.............+1.10............0 - 3 - 1................-3.30
    04/16/2017..........3 - 0.............+3.20............3 - 1....................+1.90
    04/15/2017..........1 - 1.............+0.60............1 - 2....................-1.20
    04/14/2017..........1 - 2..............-0.25............0 - 4...................- 4.40
    04/13/2017..........1 - 1.............+0.55............1 - 1 - 1..............- 0.10
    04/12/2017..........1 - 1 ............+1.00............2 - 2 - 1 .............- 0.20
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