Nashville Predators at Chicago Blackhawks

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The Nashville Predators head to Chicago with a three-game winning streak as they face the Blackhawks. The Blackhawks have won two straight and sit two spots above Nashville at fourth in the Central Division standings.

Nashville Riding Rare Winning Streak

The Predators started off the season in quite the lull, to put it lightly. Suddenly, they’re winning games, putting together excellent performances, and are only four points out of a playoff spot. They’ve won three straight games and five of their last six, much of this due to stellar play from Rinne and Saros in goal. Their last outing was a 7-1 skewering of Detroit.

Rocco Grimaldi scored his first career hat trick and had four goals in the game, while Mikael Granlund, Mathieu Olivier, and Eeli Tolvanen each added goals. Filip Forsberg, who leads the team with 29 points, added another assist to his total.

Juuse Saros had an outstanding performance, stopping 20 of 21 shots to earn the win. While Saros and Pekka Rinne both have pretty dismal statlines for the whole season, their play of late has been remarkable. Saros went 1-1 against a strong Florida team, allowing only three goals in two games, and the tandem has gone 4-1-0 in the last five games while giving up only three goals or fewer in each. Remarkable play.

Lankinen’s Strong Play Fueling Blackhawks

The Blackhawks come into this game with a 16-13-5 record, which puts them in fourth place in the Central Division. They recently endured a four-game losing streak, after which they won two straight by sweeping Florida at home. The most recent win was a 3-0 shutout victory over the Panthers.

Brandon Hagel, Patrick Kane, and Pius Suter each scored goals (Hagel and Kane also had assists for two points apiece) in the win. Kane’s two points added to his impressive scoring performance on the year, as he leads the Blackhawks with 46 points. Alex DeBrincat leads the team in goals with 16, and has 33 points overall.

The real story of this game was Kevin Lankinen in net. The rookie stopped all 41 shots from Florida to earn the shutout, the most saves in a shutout in the NHL this year. For a Chicago squad that entered the year with a big question mark in goal, Lankinen has stepped up and put them in the thick of the playoff race.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

These are two teams coming together at an exciting time; the end of the regular season is in sight, and both teams are looking to secure a Playoff spot. Chicago has the more talented offense, and it isn’t close. With goalie play on both sides at an excellent level, the Blackhawks may have just enough offense to outplay their opponent. Chicago wins.

Prediction:
Chicago -120

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Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

These two teams aren’t messing around on defense. Between Lankinen on Chicago, and Saros and Rinner on Nashville, the Finns are shutting down offenses and keeping scores low. Don’t expect this to be a high-scoring affair, go with the under.

Prediction:
Under 5.5