Chicago Blackhawks at Nashville Predators

 

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The Chicago Blackhawks started the regular season with four consecutive losses but have taken advantage of playing against the weak Detroit Red Wings to win each of the last two outscoring Detroit 10-3 in the two games. Chicago is 2-3-1 with five points and is in third place in the Central Division. In Chicago’s 6-2 victory over Detroit on Sunday, Pius Suter scored a hat-trick that included the first three goals of his NHL career.

Nashville opened its regular season with consecutive victories over the Columbus Blue Jackets, but since then has lost to Carolina and lost a pair of games to the Dallas Stars. The Predators are 2-3-0 with four points and are tied with a group of four other teams in fourth place in the Central Division. In Nashville’s most recent loss to Dallas of 3-2, Filip Forsberg and Mikael Granlund each scored one goal for Nashville, while Viktor Arvidsson assisted on both goals.

Patrick Kane continues to lead Chicago

Veteran right winger Patrick Kane is leading the Chicago Blackhawks in goals scored with three and also has a team-high in points with seven. Defenseman Duncan Keith is the assists leader for the Blackhawks with five. Chicago is scoring an average of 3.17 goals per game thanks in part to an excellent power play as the Blackhawks are scoring 42.1% of the time they have the man advantage. Alex DeBrincat is leading the Blackhawks in power-play goals with two along with Dominik Kubalik.

On defense, Chicago Is giving up too much as the Blackhawks are allowing an average of 3.83 goals per game and part of that is due to a below average penalty kill unit that is effective just 72.0% of the time. Goalie Kevin Lankinen is 2-0-1 with a 2.63 goals-against average and .909 save percentage. Lankinen has saved 80 of the 88 shots faced in net. Backup Colin Delia is 0-2-0 with a 5.00 goals-against average and .863 save percentage.

Injury Report: Jonathan Toews, Zack Smith and Brent Seabrook are all out indefinitely while Kirby Dach is due back in late May and Alex Nylander is not due back until early June.

Nashville needs goal scorers

Nashville is scoring an average of just 2.40 goals-per-game and part of that problem is due to a poor power play unit as the Predators are scoring just 10.0% of the time when having the man advantage. Overall, the leading goal scorer for Nashville is Filip Forsberg with four. Viktor Arvidsson is the leader in assists for Nashville with four and also has a team-high five points. Nashville has scored just two goals on the power play and overall Nashville has scored 12 goals in its first five games.

The Nashville defense is allowing an average of 3.40 goals per game and its penalty-kill unit has been successful just 55.0% of the time. Juuse Saros is 2-2-0 with a 3.0 to goals-against-average and .909 save percentage. Saros has pushed aside 105 of the 116 shots on goal he has faced, while Pekka Rinne is 0-1-0 with a 3.78 goals-against average and .838 save percentage.

Injury Report: Calle Jarnkrok is out indefinitely for the Predators

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

Chicago has won each of its last two after starting the season with four consecutive losses and the Blackhawks have a mix of veterans and young talent as Patrick Kane is leading Chicago in points, but young Pius Suter scored a hat-trick against Detroit that included each of his first three goals in the NHL. Chicago has won 9 of its last 13 against a team that has a losing record and the Blackhawks are 7-3 in the last 10 after allowing two goals or less in their previous game. Nashville has had its difficulty scoring goals as the Predators are averaging just 2.40 goals per game and the power play is scoring just 10.0% of the time. Nashville has lost five of the last seven.

Prediction:
Chicago Blackhawks +154

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Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

When Chicago meets Nashville the total has finished in 8 of the last 16 games including five games that ended in a PUSH. The total has also finished over in four of Chicago’s last five including its recent 6-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. The only game thus far that did not finish over 4 Chicago this season was a 4-1 victory over Detroit that ended in a PUSH.

Prediction:
OVER 6