stats-recaps1

The Stanley Cup Playoffs continue with four games on Thursday's slate, including the Chicago Blackhawks (former Stanley Cup favorites) facing elimination in Nashville. We break down all the matchups and odds in our betting preview.

New York Rangers at Montreal Canadiens (-150, 5)

Series tied 2-2

ABOUT THE RANGERS (50-29-3-4, 41-39 O/U): Forward Rick Nash closed the regular season by scoring five times in his last eight games to finish with 23 goals and is carrying it over to the playoffs. Nash scored in Game 2 -- which New York lost in overtime -- and delivered the game-winning tally in Game 4, boosting his totals to seven goals and six assists in his last 13 playoff games. "I was trying to go to the net all night and trying to cause some chaos," Nash said after Tuesday's victory. "We let it all go and put it behind us. We had to. We couldn't be going back to Montreal down 3-1."

ABOUT THE CANADIENS (49-28-7-2, 30-41 O/U): Captain Max Pacioretty has scored at least 30 goals in four straight seasons and is still searching for his first of the series, managing only one assist through the four games. but Julien is not concerned. "This is a sport that has ups and downs," Julien said. "At the end of the day, we look at the big picture and that's what's important. And Max Pacioretty, I think we're pretty happy to have him here in Montreal." On Tuesday, Julien shifted Alex Galchenyuk to a line with Artturi Lehkonen and Alexander Radulov, who has six points in the last three games.

SERIES PRICE (PER SPORTS INTERACTION):



LINE HISTORY: The Canadiens opened as -150 home favorites. The total opened at 4.5 and bumped up to 5 at most books overnight Wednesday/Thursday. Check out the complete line history here.

INJURY REPORT:

Rangers - No injuries to report.

Canadiens - D A. Emelin (Out Indefinitely, lower body).

MATCHUP CHART:



TRENDS:

* Rangers are 1-6 in their last 7 games following a win.
* Canadiens are 12-3 in their last 15 when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game.
* Under is 6-1 in Rangers last 7 overall.
* Under is 10-2-3 in Canadiens last 15 vs. Metropolitan.
* Rangers are 5-14 in the last 19 meetings in Montreal.

Click here for a complete list of hot and cold trends.

Columbus Blue Jackets at Pittsburgh Penguins (-200, 5.5)

Pens lead series 3-1

ABOUT THE BLUE JACKETS (51-26-7-2, 34-46 O/U): The Columbus Blue Jackets have endured plenty of twists and turns during their franchise-best season, and Cam Atkinson isn't interested in seeing the wild ride come to an end. "We have nothing to lose," the 27-year-old Atkinson told the Columbus Dispatch on the heels of Tuesday's 5-4 victory at Nationwide Arena that closed the Blue Jackets' deficit to 3-1 in the series. Rookie Markus Nutivaara stepped up in place of injured defenseman Zach Werenski on Tuesday, scoring a goal in the second period and setting up Boone Jenner for another in the third during his NHL postseason debut. "Of course I had butterflies, but I just wanted to enjoy ... enjoy every moment I could get out there," the 22-year-old Finn told the Columbus Dispatch. Coach John Tortorella was quick to praise Nutivaara by saying he "played to his strengths," a nice compliment considering the coach had passed up the youngster in the series in favor of Scott Harrington and the inexperienced Gabriel Carlsson.

ABOUT THE PENGUINS (53-22-6-5, 49-32 O/U): Pittsburgh rookie Jake Guentzel continued his successful run by scoring on Wednesday to increase his point total to six (five goals, one assist) in the last three games while his goal total is the most in the first four career postseason contests since Montreal's Maurice "Rocket" Richard in 1944. While gladly accepting how his team finishes, Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan repeatedly has taken issue with its sluggish starts in the series. The Penguins were outshot 16-3 in the first period of the opener, 12-7 in Game 2 and fell behind 3-1 and 2-0 on the scoreboard in the next two contests, much to the dismay of Sullivan. "It's about being ready from the drop of the puck. It's a mindset. It's not a wait-and-see approach," Sullivan said following Wednesday's practice. "We've got to be ready to dictate the terms from the very first puck drop."

SERIES PRICE (PER SPORTS INTERACTION):



LINE HISTORY: The Penguins opened as -200 favorites on home ice and the total opened at 5.5. Check out the complete line history here.

INJURY REPORT:

Blue Jackets - D Z. Werenski (Out For Season, face), D R. Murray (Late April, hand), RW D. Clarkson (Out Indefinitely, back).

Penguins - D C. Ruhwedel (Questionable, upper body), G M. Murray (Questionable, lower body), LW C. Kunitz (Out Indefinitely, lower body), D K. Letang (Out For Season, neck), LW C. Hagelin (Late April, lower body).

MATCHUP CHART:


TRENDS:

* Blue Jackets are 1-8 in their last 9 vs. a team with a winning record.
* Penguins are 6-1 in their last 7 Conference Quarterfinals games.
* Under is 8-1-1 in Blue Jackets last 10 road games.
* Under is 3-0-1 in Penguins last 4 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
* Home team is 7-1 in the last 8 meetings.

Click here for a complete list of hot and cold trends.

Chicago Blackhawks at Nashville Predators (-125, 5)

Preds lead series 3-0

ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS (50-25-9-1, 37-33 O/U): The Chicago Blackhawks have faced some unenviable positions en route to winning three Stanley Cup titles in a six-year span (2010-15). None of them matches the current predicament for the top-seeded Blackhawks, who will try to stave off elimination Thursday when they visit the Nashville Predators in Game 4. Chicago has managed two goals in the series, both coming in Game 3, extending a lengthy drought for captain Jonathan Toews, who has not scored in 12 consecutive postseason games dating to the 2015 Cup Final. "That's something I'm obviously well aware of, and no better moment than a game like tomorrow," Toews said after Wednesday's practice. "I'm just trying to stay patient and smart and do the right things. Obviously, no more waiting." Patrick Kane, who scored on the power play in Game 3, raised eyebrows when he told reporters that "All the pressure's on (Nashville) to win the next game."

ABOUT THE PREDATORS (44-29-8-4, 41-36 O/U): Predators coach Peter Laviolette certainly will not allow his team to become complacement with the commanding lead -- he was coach of the Philadelphia Flyers in 2010 when they overcame a 3-0 deficit versus Boston before advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals and losing to, coincidentally, Chicago. Nashville's Filip Forsberg knows what it's like to struggle in the postseason, scoring once in his last 13 playoff games a year ago, but he made his first two this season count with a pair of third-period goals to force overtime in Game 3. "He's a guy who wants to be on the ice when the game is on the line and he wants the puck when the game is on the line," goaltender Pekka Rinne said. "You want that kind of guy on the ice when the game is on the line. He is really elevating his game." Top-line center Ryan Johansen is having a huge series with one goal and four assists.

SERIES PRICE (PER SPORTS INTERACTION):



LINE HISTORY: The Predators opened as -135 moneyline favorites at home and that number came down slightly to -125. The total hit the board at 5. Check out the complete line history here.

INJURY REPORT:

Blackhawks - LW A. Desjardins (Questionable, lower body), D M. Rozsival (Out Indefinitely, face).

Predators - LW C. Wilson (Questionable, lower body), LW V. Fiddler (Questionable, upper body).

MATCHUP CHART:



TRENDS:

* Blackhawks are 0-7 in their last 7 overall.
* Predators are 14-3 in their last 17 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
* Under is 4-0-1 in Blackhawks last 5 vs. a team with a winning record.
* Under is 7-1-3 in Predators last 11 overall.
* Over is 5-0-4 in the last 9 meetings in Nashville.

Click here for a complete list of hot and cold trends.

San Jose Sharks at Edmonton Oilers (-130, 5)

Series tied 2-2

ABOUT THE SHARKS (48-31-6-1, 23-39 O/U): After being blanked in back-to-back games to fall behind in their Western Conference first-round playoff series, the San Jose Sharks turned the tables on the Edmonton Oilers to draw even. San Jose hopes to carry over the momentum when it visits Edmonton on Thursday for a pivotal Game 5. San Jose also received a big effort from its captain in Game 4 as Joe Pavelski scored his first two goals of the series, including one just 15 seconds into the contest, and added an assist. "We were just ready," Pavelski told reporters. "Everyone was ready. ... There weren't really any lapses in our game." Defenseman Brent Burns, who led the team in scoring during the regular season with a career-high 76 points, was another member of the team to break out, registering three assists for his first points of the series.

ABOUT THE OILERS (49-27-5-5, 33-44 O/U): Edmonton continued its steady march to the penalty box as it technically was short-handed eight times, including a five-minute major during which San Jose cashed in once, to increase its series total to 22. The Oilers dodged a huge bullet, however, as Leon Draisaitl escaped with only a fine from the league for spearing San Jose's Chris Tierney in Game 4 - an infraction that resulted in the major penalty and a game misconduct. Captain Connor McDavid has gone two games without a point, his longest drought since being kept off the scoresheet in back-to-back contests on Jan. 31 and Feb. 2. The reigning Art Ross Trophy winner ended the regular season with a 14-game point streak and extended it over the first two games of the series. Defenseman Kris Russell, who topped the NHL during the regular season with 213 blocked shots, increased his playoff-leading total to 22 with a game-high six in Game 4.

SERIES PRICE (PER SPORTS INTERACTION):



LINE HISTORY: The Oilers opened as -120 home favorites for Game 5 and that number was up to -130 by Wednesday night. The total hit the board at 5. Check out the complete line history here.

INJURY REPORT:

Sharks - No injuries to report.

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

MATCHUP CHART:



TRENDS:

* Sharks are 4-1 in their last 5 after scoring 5 goals or more in their previous game.
* Oilers are 10-1 in their last 11 home games.
* Under is 1-0-7 in Sharks last 8 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
* Over is 4-0-1 in Oilers last 5 Thursday games.
* Sharks are 15-7 in the last 22 meetings in Edmonton.

Click here for a complete list of hot and cold trends.

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Line

NBA (0 GAMES)

NHL (0 GAMES)

MLB (15 GAMES)

Chi. White Sox
8.5
Chi. Cubs
-1.5
Cincinnati
9
NY Yankees
-1.5

NFL (1 GAMES) Pre-Season Hall-of-Fame Week

Dallas
NA
Arizona
NA