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Blackhawks Make Overtime History
After starting the new season with a 4-3 overtime win at the Ottawa Senators, the Chicago Blackhawks (2-0-1) went to the extra session twice more over the weekend, collecting three points from a back-to-back set and becoming the only team in NHL history to open a season in such a manner. Jonathan Toews bagged his fifth regular-season hat trick after netting the 5-4 overtime winner against the St. Louis Blues at Enterprise Center on Saturday. He scored once again just 23 hours later, but was forced to witness his side drop a 7-6 OT decision against the Toronto Maple Leafs at United Center on Sunday. After the first three outing of 2018-19, Toews leads Chicago with six points (5 goals, 1 assist) alongside Patrick Kane, who has picked up four strikes and a couple of helpers.
🔘 Fortin set to make NHL debut
🔘 Medical updates
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) October 10, 2018
Goalie Cam Ward started both outings, making a total of 26 saves in St. Louis before stopping further 27 shots against the Maple Leafs. He has now gone 2-0-1 for the current campaign with a 4.62 GAA and a .843 save percentage, and is 3-2-3 versus Minnesota historically with a 3.30 GAA and a .893 save percentage. Toews, meanwhile, has registered 14 goals and 25 assists in 41 past appearances against the Wild. The Blackhawks are presently netting the 2nd highest amount of goals per game this season (5.00), while conceding the 5th highest number in their defensive zone (4.67). They are yet to convert on power play, going 0-for-10 with the man-advantage thus far, and are 29th in penalty kill with 63.6% efficiency (7-for-11).
Wild Remain Winless
The Minnesota Wild (0-1-1) remain on the lookout for their first win of the season after following up their 4-1 opening-day defeat against the Colorado Avalanche with a 2-1 shootout loss to the Vegas Golden Knights at Xcel Energy Center on Saturday. The hosts were outshot 42-30 by the defending Western Conference champions, but killed all of their three penalties and opened the scoring midway through the first period, with defenseman Matt Dumba netting his first goal of the year. Vegas did, however, tie the proceedings with their goalie pulled for an extra attacker and just 1:31 remaining on the clock, and banked the only strike of the shootout, with Zach Parise, Jason Zucker and Mikko Koivu all failing during the skills competition for Minnesota.
Hockey is back tomorrow! #mnwild is back in action against the Hawks at 7 p.m.
— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) October 11, 2018
Goalie Devan Dubnyk made 41 saves throughout regulation and overtime, and has now posted a 0-1-1 total after the first two outings of 2018-19 with a 1.45 GAA and a .963 save percentage. He is 13-8-0 versus Chicago with a 2.68 GAA and a .922 save percentage, while Parise, who (alongside Dumba) has scored one of two Minnesota goals so far this season, has nabbed five markers and six assists in 30 past meetings with the Blackhawks. The Wild are currently scoring the 2nd lowest number of goals per game (1.00), while allowing the 12th lowest quantity defensively (2.50). They haven’t yet scored with the man-advantage, going 0-for-5 on power play thus far, and are 9th in penalty kill with 83.3% proficiency (5-for-6).
- Wild are 0-4 in their last 4 vs. Western Conference.
- Wild are 1-7 in their last 8 vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Following the atrocity that was last season, the Blackhawks have started the newest campaign quite well. And while the Wild are the favorites to bank a win here, don’t count Chicago out just yet. The Blackhawks have triumphed in three of their past four trips to Saint Paul and will be meeting a team, which has lost seven of its past eight contests versus sides with a winning record.
Prediction: Chicago Blackhawks
Full-Game Total Pick
The very last four encounters between the two sides averaged just 3.25 goals per game. And while Chicago has rediscovered its scoring touch this year, the presence of Devan Dubnyk in the crease for the hosts will not go unnoticed. Eight of the past nine contests of Minnesota against teams with a winning record have also gone under the total…
Prediction: Under 6
Half-Time Side Pick
The Blackhawks have taken a lead after the first period in two of the past three meetings between the two sides. Both occasions, though, did happen in Chicago, so this time around expect the hosts to deliver the initial damage, as the Wild have already scored in each first 20 minutes of their first two games of the season.
Prediction: Minnesota Wild
Half-Time Total Bet
Both teams have scored at least a goal in all of their first periods of the current season, so both of then netting until the first intermission is not an unrealistic proposition.
Prediction: Over 1.5