Vegas Golden Knights(-170) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (+140)
NHL: Saturday, January 12, 2019,8: 30 PM ET at United Center, Chicago, Illinois
On Saturday, the surging Vegas Golden Knights travel to Illinois to take on the Chicago Blackhawks. Vegas is in third place in the Pacific Division with 58 points (27-16-4). The Golden Knights are 12-12-1 on the road this season but are 7-1-2 in their last 10 games. Chicago was last in the Central Division with 40 points (16-20-8). They are 8-10-5 at home this season and are 5-3-2 in their last 10 games.
Vegas Looks to Rebound After Seven Game Streak Snapped
The Vegas Golden Knights finally saw their seven-game win streak come to an end when they lost the final game of their three-game homestand of the San Jose Sharks, 3-2. Vegas had earned points in 10 straight games (8-0-2), helping them move just two points behind Calgary for first place in the division.
Twice Vegas had a one-goal lead in this contest, only to see San Jose battle back and eventually take the lead with 12 minutes left in the contest. It was the first time in 12 starts that goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury had not helped his team earn at least one point (9-0-3). Fleury played well, however, allowing three goals on 27 shots. He had not allowed more than two goals in any of his prior five starts, all wins.
Forward Alex Tuch added an assist in the loss to San Jose, giving him points in eight straight games (2 goals, 7 assists). Tuch continues to lead the Golden Knights in scoring with 35 points. William Karlsson leads the team in goals with 15.
Vegas enters this contest 14th in goals, averaging 3.00 per contest. The Golden Knights are third in goals allowed at 2.62. The power-play unit is 17th at 19.0% in the penalty killing unit has been outstanding, ranked seventh at 83.8%.
Blackhawks Look to Earn First Home Win of 2019
It’s only three games into 2019, but the Chicago Blackhawks are still looking for their first victory at home (0-2-1). The Blackhawks battled back from a two-goal deficit to the Nashville Predators in their last contest, scoring a goal with 20 seconds left in the second period and adding their third goal with a little over two minutes left in the third to force over time. However, Filip Forsberg would score his second goal of the contest one minute into overtime to give Nashville the victory.
Patrick Kane would add to assists in the game. That gave the Blackhawks star forward points in each of his last four games (2 goals, 6 assists) and points in 20 of his last 23 contests (12 goals, 21 assists). Kane easily leads Chicago in scoring this season with 58 points (24 goals, 34 assists).
Collin Delia suffered the loss against Nashville, giving up four goals on 37 shots. The Chicago goaltender is 3-1-2 this season with an impressive 2.49 goals-against average and a .939 save percentage. While providing impressive numbers this season, his goals allowed per game has steadily risen with each start. Delia allowed a single goal in his season-opening start on December 21, then allowed two goals in each of his next two starts, before allowing three goals in each of his next two starts. The pattern continued on January 9 when he allowed four to Nashville.
Chicago is 16th in goals scored this season, averaging 2.91 per contest, but they are 30th in goals allowed at 3.61. The Blackhawks special teams have struggled mightily this season, ranked 23rd in power-play efficiency at 16.8% and are dead last in penalty killing at 73.9%.
- Blackhawks are 1-4 in their last five games on the road.
- Blackhawks are 22-53 in their last 75 games against teams with a winning record.
- Blackhawks are 25-53 in their last 78 games.
- Golden Knights are 7-1 in their last eight games.
- Golden Knights are 6-0 in their last six games against teams with a losing record.
- Golden Knights are 4-1 in their last five games on the road.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Chicago may be playing better of late, but they are no match for how well Vegas has been playing. The Golden Knights have the better goaltending and have scoring throughout their lineup. Vegas has won the last five meetings between these two teams and are about to make it six.
Prediction: Vegas Golden Knights
Full-Game Total Pick
The total is set at 6.0, as the Golden Knights are averaging 3.0 goals per game while Chicago is allowing 3.61 per contest. The total has gone over in each of the last five meetings between these two teams, including a 4-3 Golden Knights victory back on December 6 in Vegas. The last time these two teams played in Chicago the Golden Knights won 8-3 on November 27.
It has seemed that the league is discovering how to beat Delia and Vegas didn’t look like they were having much difficulty scoring again Chicago already. Take the over.
Prediction: Go over 6.0
Full-Game Prop Bet
While it has not been a particularly impressive season for Chicago, they have performed quite well offensively in the first period this season. The Blackhawks have 46 goals in the first frame in 46 games this season. Chicago has scored at least one first-period goal in each of their last 10 games. We definitely look for that trend to continue.
Prediction: Chicago does score in the first
Half-Time Side Pick
While the Blackhawks have been prolific in scoring goals in the first period over their last 10 games, they have struggled to keep opponents out of their own net in the first frame. They have given up 10 goals in the first frame of their last eight contests, so it simply makes sense to go with the over here as well.
Prediction: Go with over in the first period