Colorado Avalanche 2.15, Minnesota Wild 3.10
Zach Parise is the reason the series is still alive, a four point night for the winger including the game winning goal on Monday ensured Minnesota survived to this final day of the first round.
There's not too much big time playoff experience other than a few veterans on either roster so it'll be interesting to see whether the intensity manifests positively or negatively a lot of young players involved. Both of the goaltenders are included in that and after replacing Ilya Bryzgalov in the Wild net for Game 3 Darcy Kuemper has made sure his coach hasn't even considered taking him back out again, in terms of responsibility upon him however Kuemper definitely lives a more sheltered life than his opposite number Semyon Varlamov.
Injuries have harmed Colorado's forward depth throughout but the sight of Matt Duchene playing last time out must have raised morale significantly despite him not being up to speed, he lead the team in scoring through the regular season and is absolutely a gamebreaker built for a situation such as this.
Two of the three contests at Mile High have gone to overtime so the tie should be looked at, another reason is that each clash in this series would have been settled by a single goal were it not for late empty net tallies. Naturally the home side has the edge in Game 7 but Minnesota have been a couple of minutes away from stealing at Pepsi Center twice already, I think the Wild at 3.10 makes more sense tonight.
San Jose Sharks 2.20, Los Angeles Kings 2.95
LA are back from the brink and bouncing into Game 7, you would think that pure momentum would carry a team through this decider but history contains more teams that lost at this final hurdle than the three who did complete an epic revival.
I think it's fairly obvious the Sharks really don't want to have their name added to the list of teams that yielded such a comeback, memories of last season's elimination by the Kings should also provide all the motivation they need. Two goals each for Justin Williams and Anze Kopitar ran up 4-1 scoreline on Monday but the game was tied up until the final ten minutes, a worrying trend for San Jose is their star forwards not making an impression in these last two encounters as their opponents' leaders are dealing the killer blows.
As seems to be the trend at the moment it's a story of puck possession, LA were always equal to the challenge but only started to capitalise when they started getting a few bounces. Equally it's not all doom and gloom for the Sharks who probably just need to get the first goal to halt the charge they've been unable to stop up to now. Their usual home price has shortened to 2.20 so jump on San Jose to edge through what should be an absolute epic.
Best Bet: Minnesota Wild to win at 3.10