Traditionally, the home team will win the seventh game of a best of seven series, but the odds are not as overwhelmingly against the visitors for these all important contests as one might think. According to "whowins.com", the home team has won 60% of the previous game sevens during the preliminary rounds of the NHL playoffs.
Game 7 in General:
Through Game 6 wins on Sunday, the Carolina Hurricanes and Washington Capitals have forced their respective series to decisive seventh games (with the Hurricanes in New Jersey vs. the Devils, and the Capitals at home vs. the New York Rangers). In the history of best-of-7 NHL playoff series from 1939 through the 2008 Finals, home teams in Game 7 have a 78-45 (.634) record for all rounds, and a 27-18 (.600) record in the Preliminary round.
Here are some teams who recently overcame the odds and won a decisive seventh game of a series while on the road. (From Hockey Reference.com)
- 2008 Flyers 3, Capitals 2 OT
- 2006 Ducks 3, Flames 0 (Ducks also won game six)
- 2004 Flames 3, Canucks 2 OT
- 2004 Canadiens 2, Bruins 0 (Habs also won game six)
- 2003 Devils 3, Senators 2
- 2003 Wild 4, Canucks 2 (Wild also won game six)
- 2003 Wild 3, Avs 2 OT (Wild also won game six)
- 2001 Penguins 3, Sabres 2 OT (Pens also won game six)
- 2000 Devils 2, Flyers 1
- 2000 Sharks 3, Blues 1
As you can see, there is plenty of precedent. The Wild were able to accomplish this twice during the 2003 playoffs.
Will the Hurricanes beat the odds? We will have a game preview up with more news and analysis shortly after lunchtime.