It’s a potential Stanley Cup preview on Wednesday night on NBCSN, as the Chicago Blackhawks visit the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Blackhawks are the top team in the Western Conference, while the Penguins are battling with Washington and Columbus for the top mark in the Eastern Conference. With the Stanley Cup Playoffs set to begin in just over two weeks, the Capitals are favored to win the Cup, with the Blackhawks the second choice, and the Penguins the third choice.
This war on the ice will go down Wednesday, March 29, 2017 at 8 p.m. ET at PPG Paints Arena. The game will be televised live on NBCSN.
We'll have NHL odds at BookMaker.eu available for this and every game on the NHL Wednesday schedule.
This is the finale of a three-game road trip for the Blackhawks, as they were blown out in Florida on Saturday and then were in Tampa on Monday. The Blackhawks were 23-13 in their first 36 road games with 16 going over, 13 going under, with seven pushes.
The Blackhawks were not very good in the loss to Florida on Saturday, as they were blown out 7-0. Minnesota has faltered in the Central Division and it could be that the Blackhawks are starting to coast a little bit with a nice lead. Captain Jonathan Toews said that the poor play can’t continue. “If we continue to play like that and think we’re going to turn it on come playoff time, we’ve got another thing coming,” Toews said after the loss to Florida.
The loss to Florida needs to be a turning point for Chicago, as they haven’t played that well of late. “It’s more of a wake-up call for all of us,” said Ryan Hartman, “We haven’t been playing good hockey at all lately.”
Pittsburgh will have had two days off to get ready for this game, as they hosted the Flyers on Sunday. Pittsburgh has been excellent at home this season, as they are 29-8 with 25 games going over, 9 going under, with three pushes.
The Blackhawks are just 17th in the league on the power play at 19% but they are 8th in the league in goals scored at 2.9 per contest. Chicago has struggled on the penalty kill for most of the season, as they are 24th in the league at 78.1%. They are still in the Top 10 in fewest goals allowed at just 2.5 per contest, 9th in the league.
The Penguins are 4th in the league on the power play at 22.2% and they lead the league in goals per game at 3.4 per contest. Pittsburgh is just 20th on the penalty kill at 80.3% and they are 15th in goals allowed at 2.7 per contest.
The Blackhawks and Penguins have excellent goaltenders, as the Blackhawks have a Stanley Cup winning goalie in Corey Crawford who is 30-19 with a 2.56 goals against average, while the Penguins have a Stanley Cup winning goalie in Matt Murray who is 28-13 with a 2.34 goals against average. Both teams have capable backups, as Chicago has Scott Darling who is 18-8 with a 2.23 GAA, while the Penguins have Marc Andre-Fleury who is 18-15 with a 2.93 GAA.
Free NHL Picks
If I had to pick right now I would probably pick Pittsburgh and Chicago to meet in the Stanley Cup Finals. The edge in this game should be with Pittsburgh, as Chicago is wrapping up their road trip, while the Penguins have been home and they are rested. The Blackhawks have won 8 of the last 10 in this series, including the last five.
The Penguins have been excellent at PPG Paints Arena all season and I think this will be a show me type game for Sidney Crosby and Pittsburgh, so I will go against the trends and lay the price with the Penguins and also play the game under the total.
NHL Odds: Penguins 3, Blackhawks 1
BookMaker offers play-by-play betting odds for live sporting events every day! The user-friendly wagering interface on your smartphone provides an easy way to place bets on the go. Mobile betting lines are updated by the minute, so click here to start gambling on thrilling live action at BookMaker Sportsbook!