Featured Video from Scott Reichel
Where: PPG Paints Arena
When: Saturday, November 9, 2019, 7:00 pm ET
We have a non-conference NHL game to consider when the Chicago Blackhawks meet the Pittsburgh Penguins for game one of its two-game season series. The Blackhawks have won two of its past five games and Pittsburgh enters this matchup fresh off a 4-3 victory over the New York Islanders.
Blackhawks Pound VancouverChicago has won two of its past three games and is 12 points behind the St Louis Blues for the top spot in the Central Division standings. Over the past five games, the Blackhawks have suffered losses to the Nashville Predators, Los Angeles Kings, and San Jose Sharks. Their wins include a road win over the Anaheim Ducks and Thursday night Chicago defeated the Vancouver Canucks by a score of 5-2. Patrick Kane leads Chicago in points (16), goals scored (5) with a club-high 11 assists.
The Blackhawks power-play unit has a 14.6 percent success rate alongside an 80 percent penalty kill success rate this season.
Robin Lehner is likely tending the twine for Chicago and he’s compiled a 3-3-2 record with a 2.33 GAA along with a 93 percent save percentage. Lehner took the loss Tuesday night, allowing three of the 31 shots on goal in a 4-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks.
Penguins Overtime Win Over IslandersPittsburgh is 9-6-1 this season and they haven’t folded up the shop because Evgeni Malkin is out for the foreseeable future. The Penguins have won three of its last five games and those wins were against the Dallas Stars, Philadelphia Flyers as well as a Thursday night, 4-3 win over the New York Islanders. The losses came against Edmonton and Boston. Pittsburgh is led by Sidney Crosby and his 17 points with 12 assists. Jake Guentzel has a team high seven goals for the Pens this season.
R.E.S.I.L.I.E.N.C.E. pic.twitter.com/iiHgJDye8N— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) November 8, 2019
The Penguins power play unit ranks #26 in the NHL with a 13.3 percent success rate while the penalty kill unit ranks fourth with an 86.6 percent kill rate.
Matt Murray will likely guard the cage for the Penguins and he’s posted an 8-3-1 record this season with one shutout. Murray has a 2.40 GAA along with a 91 percent save percentage. Murray allowed three of 23 shots to get past him in an overtime victory over the Islanders in his last start.
- Penguins are 5-0 in their last 5 vs. Central.
- Penguins are 4-1 in their last 5 games as a favorite.
The top supporting trends for this game found on Covers.com, are
- Blackhawks are 0-4 in their last 4 games as an underdog of +151 to +200.
- Blackhawks are 0-6 in their last 6 vs. Eastern Conference.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Chicago is playing much better these days but on the road against the Penguins is a difficult task for any NHL team, let alone a club with a losing road record like Chicago. And scoring 2.53 goals per game isn't going to get it done against the powerhouse offense of Pittsburgh. Lehner has been very good for Chicago but Murray has the goal support and a decent blueline to help him when he isn't having his best day.
I will play the Penguins to win this game.
Full-Game Total Pick
This one will stay under the total. The goaltending is good and Lehner wants to be #1 on the team and stopping pucks is the only way for that to happen. He won't be successful enough to win the game though. Neither power play is very good and Murray at home is almost a lock.
I will play the UNDER in this contest.
Prediction: Under 6.5 Goals