The top two teams in the Central Division meet on Tuesday night, as the Chicago Blackhawks visit the Minnesota Wild on NBCSN. The Blackhawks are nine points behind the Wild, so realistically it is looking like Chicago is going to finish in second place in the division.
The Blackhawks broke a six-game losing streak in the series by winning 4-3 at Minnesota two weeks ago. Minnesota will be listed as a slight favorite for this contest on Tuesday night.
This war on the ice will go down Tuesday, February 21, 2017, at 8 p.m. ET at the Xcel Energy Center. 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 Tuesday schedule.
The Blackhawks are playing their second of a two-game road trip as they were in Buffalo on Sunday. Chicago was 17-11 in their first 28 road games with 10 games going over, 11 going under with 7 pushes.
This is the third game after the bye week for Chicago as they were beaten by Edmonton in their first game before playing Buffalo in their second game. The loss to Edmonton broke a five-game winning streak for Chicago and put them nine points behind the Wild. "We (only) have so many games left to narrow that gap," Quenneville said. "They're playing extremely well. We'd like to give them something to think about.”
The Wild are playing the seventh game in an 8-game homestand. They will have had plenty of rest as they last played on Saturday as they defeated Nashville by a score of 5-2. Minnesota is 21-8 at home this season with 15 games going over, 11 going under with 3 pushes.
Minnesota has done virtually everything right so far this season and they have one of the top lines in the NHL with Jason Zucker, Mikael Granlund and Mikko Koivu. The three have combined for 110 points since November 25 and the Wild are 29-6-4 since that time.
“It’s every single game. If they’re not scoring, (they generate) unbelievable chances and they’re responsible at the same time,” said Minnesota goalie Devan Dubnyk, “(Mikko is) so good all-around. I don’t think he gets enough credit for how all-around of a player he really is.”
Chicago is just 16th in the league on the power play at 19.3% and they are 10th in the league in goals per game at 2.8 per contest. Chicago is 28th in penalty killing at 76.5% while they are 9th in goals allowed at 2.6 per contest.
It is easy to see why Minnesota has the best record in the Western Conference as they are 5th on the power play at 21.9, 4th in goals per game at 3.3 per contest, 10th in penalty killing at almost 83% and they are 2nd in the league in goals allowed at 2.3 per game.
It should be both of the starters going in this game which means Corey Crawford against Devan Dubynk. Crawford is 22-16 with a 2.56 goals against average, while backup Scott Darling is 13-7 with a 2.24 goals against average. Dubynk is 32-13 with a 1.97 goals against average, while backup Darcy Kuemper is 7-6 with a 3.05 goals against average.
Free NHL Picks
The Blackhawks did win 4-3 in Minnesota a couple of weeks ago but they are still just 4-6 in the last ten in this series with five games going over, two going under with three pushes. The teams have split their last ten in Minnesota with three of the last four going over.
Chicago was able to end their losing streak a couple of weeks ago to Minnesota but the Wild are still the better team and the situation favors them as they are rested and playing at home. I will take Minnesota to get the home win.
NHL Odds: Wild 3, Blackhawks 2
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!