Game 7s Highlight NHL Wednesday

By Allen Moody

There’s nothing quite like a Game 7 of the National Hockey League playoffs. So hockey fans are in for a treat Wednesday night, as Pittsburgh visits Washington and Edmonton travels to Anaheim for the right to advance to the conference finals.

The Capitals were written off after losing Game 4 to the Penguins since Sidney Crosby was out. The the Capitals rebounded at home to win Game 5 and dominated Game 6 on the road 5-2. That sets-up Wednesday’s winner-take-all showdown. The Capitals are -175, which is a bit steep, and the total is 5,5-under (-125). Just as the Capitals weren’t out of it after Game 4, the Penguins aren’t going away quietly. Any team with the likes of Crosby and Evgeni Malkin always has a fighting chance. Although it’s not going to be easy against a team the Penguins have eliminated in the past.

The Capitals want this series badly, as it will erase several years of bad memories. But it takes more than just desire to win. The Capitals will have to go out and play solid hockey for all 60 minutes.

The Oilers were also counted out after losing three straight to go down 3-2. But Edmonton responded in a big way in Game 6, outscoring the Ducks 7-1 and chasing Ducks goalie John Gibson in the first period. The Oilers have some young stars, while the Ducks two main pieces are on the downside of their careers. But they do have the experience factor, having been in this position before.

Whichever team gets the best performance from its goalie will be the likely winner. Both can be extremely good, although both can be shaky at times. The Ducks are -127 at home and the total is 5.5-under (-140).

Edmonton’s youngsters answered the call in Game 6 with their backs against the wall. How they do in Game 7 remains to be seen.