Stanley Cup Playoffs: Day 21 Predictions

Chris BouthillierSenior Analyst IMay 5, 2009

VANCOUVER, CANADA - MAY 2: Patrick Kane #88 of the Chicago Blackhawks takes a shot on Roberto Luongo #1 of the Vancouver Canucks during Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs on May 02, 2009 at General Motors Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  (Photo by Nick Didlick/Getty Images)

Tuesday evening will feature a pair of showdowns that are tied going into Game Three. Vancouver travels to Chicago while Detroit will face-off with the Ducks in Anaheim.

I have gone two days without a victory. Something has to give tonight.

Chris' record after Day 20: 28-21

Western Conference

Vancouver (3) @ Chicago (4)—Series tied 1-1

The Canucks have no problem getting an early lead. Holding onto that lead is a whole different story.

Vancouver blew a 2-0 lead in Game Two which lead to a 6-3 Blackhawks' win. Not to mention that the Canucks gave up a 3-0 lead after two periods in Game One only to hold on for a 5-3 victory.

Injuries may throw the Canucks off track as Sami Salo—a vital part to his team's defensive core—did not travel to Chicago for Game Three. Forward Pavol Demitra will be a game-time decision. Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault did not discuss the status of Demitra on Tuesday morning.

Many will point to poor goaltending being the factor in both games. However it is evident that each team needs to be stronger in their own end. With most goals in the series coming on turnovers both teams will have to bear down and find a way to move the puck out safely.

Both teams have to play a complete game. It won't matter who gets the early lead if neither team can hold onto it.

Game Three Winner: Chicago

Detroit (2) @ Anaheim (8)—Series tied 1-1

If Todd Marchant's triple-overtime goal hadn't gone in it would be fair to suggest this game would still be going on right now.

With more than one-hundred minutes of hockey played in Game Two it was clear that the Anaheim Ducks and Detroit Red Wings had no gas in the tank. Ryan Getzlaf told the media after that he was "playing on fumes" for the second and third overtime periods.

Jonas Hiller gave up only three goals on 62 shots making plenty unbelievable saves in the extra sessions. Chris Osgood wasn't as busy but still kept the Red Wings in the game as he made numerous shots from close range late in the game.

The Ducks may have swung momentum into their favour but don't tell the Wings that. Anaheim needed six periods to hand the Red Wings their first loss this post-season. Detroit will be looking to control the tempo and let their skill take over in Game Three.

Pavel Datsyuk and Marian Hossa have been virtually invisible this series. Even with the tremendous depth the Wings have they need these two All-Stars to step up and contribute both offensively and defensively. Tonight may just be the night for the two European snipers to light the lamp.

Game Three Winner: Detroit


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