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Blackhawks vs. Ducks, 10:00 ET
It has been a beautiful run in the NHL lately. We won another one yesterday with the Sabers taking down the Capitals by three goals. It was a nice and easy game for us even though, in honesty, I thought it was going to be a bit closer to a tossup of a game. I have another play and this is getting to be a bit higher than I like to play but I’ll still take a shot here.
The Blackhawks have been scorching hot lately and they cashed a +160 ticket for us the other day. I was happy to get that one for us but it squeaked out by the slimmest of margins – they won in a shootout. The Blackhawks are without Patrick Kane who apparently will be traded (reading that it is all a formality at this point and the Rangers are just getting the salary cap figured out). Either way, the Hawks are winners of five straight games – that’s the good news. The bad news is that three of those games were in overtime or shootouts. You can’t continue to win the coin flips constantly. I have to give the Blackhawks this, though, they are doing a much better job on offense lately than they have all season. On the year, they are averaging 2.5 goals per game, but over their past five, they have averaged 4 goals per game. Alex Stalock will probably be the goalie tonight and over his past four games, he has allowed 10 goals. And, that includes one of those games being a shootout. They are two and two in those games as well. He’s started just three road games this season and all three of them were losses for the Blackhawks.
The Ducks are not playing very well this season and the Blackhawks have actually surpassed them in wins. This is interesting because the race for the first overall pick is changing by the day. Either way, they’ve won their past two games and are now headed home for this matchup. They haven’t been great at home, but this might be a good opportunity for them to steal a win. They should have John Gibson in the net for them in this game. He has had some struggles this year with a 3.96 goals against per game average. He was able to steal those two games for Anaheim though and now can face a Blackhawks team that is due for some regression. If he can keep the Blackhawks off the board in the first period, I think the Ducks coast to victory.
I am going to take the Ducks to win this game. The Blackhawks have been lucky and teetering on a loss. The only concern I have for the Ducks is that they are flying home from the East coast for this game so it could be a bit of a tired spot for them. If this game goes to overtime, I think the Ducks lose. So I’m taking them to win in the 60 minute line at +120. I may live bet the Hawks if it looks like they are going to go into overtime.
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