Heading into Friday night I was pretty confident Philly would take the W on home ice. Tonight in Chicago, I feel comfortable saying the Blackhawks will edge this one out to make it a 3-2 series lead. Mind you I'm not merely selecting based on which team is on home ice, but instead factoring in a few different aspects.
1. I feel Chicago's defense will look much-improved tonight when compared to Friday's outing. The inability to keep Philly down in the first period really put Chicago in a hole early. Sure, they fought back with a few goals of their own, but the defense's inability to shutdown Philly did them in.
2. Antii Niemi has still yet to have his game. Sure, he looked pretty good in Game 2's 2-1 win, but you can't tell me there is going to be a game in this series where he fails to completely dominate. I'm still expecting that one, and it could be tonight.
3. The top lines of both teams have been relatively quiet, but I think tonight is the night where we see either Toews or Hossa pick up two goals. Each game has stood alone as evidence of the teams' depth, but I have this pensive feeling that at some point something has to break.
That's about it for my reasoning behind Chicago perhaps pulling out a win in this one. Whether I'm right or wrong matters little to me, but I don't think the Blackhawks are dropping this one in front of the home crowd.