Expecting a Low Score Tonight in Florida

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Blackhawks vs. Panthers, 7:00 ET

I mentioned yesterday that totals haven’t been exactly kind to me in the NHL. However, yesterday, we absolutely crushed the total that we played. The Dallas Stars put up 10 goals by themselves in the game and we coasted to an easy victory over 6.5 goals with 14 total goals put in the net. They certainly won’t be all this easy, but I’m happy to have won back-to-back days after dropping three straight. Now, let’s see if we can grab another victory tonight.

The Blackhawks traded away Patrick Kane and he was really the only reason to pay attention to the team. At one point this year, even with Kane, they were horrific and just racked up loss after loss. They don’t have much going for them unfortunately, but at least a lot of younger players are getting an opportunity to play. After putting together a nice winning streak they have dropped five of their past six contests and it doesn’t get much easier for them with a battle against the Florida Panthers. Over their past six games, they’ve allowed 20 goals – and that includes when one game was a shutout. So, their defense hasn’t been great. During that same stretch, their offense has only scored 14 goals, which is slightly better than two goals per game. Keep in mind, though, that five goals came in one game. In the other five, they are averaging less than two goals per game. Alex Stalock will likely be in the net tonight for them and he’s been decent. He did have the aforementioned shutout, but that was sandwiched around games that saw him allow four goals. He did face the Panthers once this season and allowed just two goals.

The Panthers haven’t had a spectacular season, but they are playing a bit better lately with a 3-2 record over their past five. It is somewhat unlikely that the Panthers make the playoffs, but it is still within the realm of possibility that they can grab a wild card spot as they are currently four points back. Wins in games like this are very important – at home against a bad team. They seem to have stepped up their defense recently as they’ve only allowed eight goals over their past five games. In addition, over their three wins they only allowed one goal in each game. Their offense hasn’t been lights out though as they’ve only put up 12 goals over their past five matches. The Panthers will have Sergei Bobrovsky in the crease tonight and he’s allowed fewer than three goals per game. Now he faces a Blackhawks team that is struggling on offense. He has been very good over his last three games allowing just five total goals. He did allow three goals to the Blackhawks in October, but that was a different team.

I’m taking the under in this game. The Blackhawks defense could easily allow six goals themselves and the lights could be lit up all night. However, the way the Panthers have been playing and even how low scoring the games have been lately with Chicago, I have to take the under 6.5 goals in this one.

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Written by David Troy

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