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10/11/2010 7:00:00 PM
The defending Stanley Cup champs are still in search of their first win of the young NHL betting season. Chicago visits Buffalo on Monday as the road underdogs.
The Chicago Blackhawks have dropped two one-goal games to start their season. Joel Quenneville’s defending champs look for their first win in Monday night’s meeting with the Buffalo Sabres, who are 1-1.
Sportsbooks opened Buffalo as a 125 home NHL money line favorite for the 7 p.m. (ET) battle, while setting the ‘total’ at 5 ½, ‘under’ (minus 115).
Chicago’s latest defeat came in Saturday’s 3-2 setback as a 151 home favorite against the Detroit Red Wings. Blackhawks goalie Marty Turco gave up Detroit’s go-ahead goal in the third-period to Valtteri Fippula.
Turco stopped 23-of-26 shots, while his mates were able to kill 3-of-4 Red Wings’ power plays. The 35-year-old veteran’s GAA dropped to 3.42.
Chicago’s two goals came from Brent Seabrook and Bryan Bickell in the first and second period, respectively. Bickell’s goal extended the left winger’s scoring streak to two games.
Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews won 14-of-23 faceoffs. The Winnipeg native logged a career-high 43 assists last season.
The combined five goals ducked ‘under’ the ‘total’ of 5 ½ by a ‘hook.’ Chicago had three power play chances in the final stanza while trailing, 3-2, but failed to find the net.
Chicago’s only road game occurred in Thursday’s 4-3 overtime defeat as a 127 favorite against the Colorado Avalanche. Toews and Co. battled back from a 3-1 deficit, but lost in the extra frame thanks to a goal from Colorado’s Paul Stastny.
The ‘over’ is 26-9-3 in Chicago’s last 38 road games, dating back to last season.
Buffalo dropped its home-opener in Saturday’s 6-3 defeat as a 140 NHL odds favorite against the New York Rangers. The lopsided affair found the Sabres trailing by as much as four goals.
Sabres netminder Ryan Miller stopped 22-of-27 shots. The Michigan native allowed five goals, lifting his GAA to 3.05.
Buffalo’s Jordan Leopold notched two of his squad’s goals while assisting on its third. The newly-acquired defenseman logged 26 points last season, playing in Florida and Pittsburgh.
Sabres center Rob Niedermayer and Tim Connolly united to win 16-of-27 faceoffs. Connolly logged an assist during Leopold’s third-period power play goal.
The matchup’s nine combined goals surged above the ‘total’ of 5 ½, cashing ‘over’ tickets early. Buffalo killed off all four of its shorthanded stints while outshooting New York, 36-28.
The ‘over’ is 6-1-1 in Buffalo’s last eight home games, dating back to last season.
The Sabres defeated the Blackhawks, 2-1, in the only matchup between the foes last year. Buffalo cashed as a 112 home dog, while the three combined goals dipped ‘under’ the hockey betting ‘total’ of 5 ½.
Chicago’s Patrick Sharp is presently listed as “probable” for Monday’s meeting, according to DonBest.com. The centerman notched a career-high 41 assists last season.
Both clubs will have one day off before resuming action on Wednesday’s NHL card. The Blackhawks will return home to face the Nashville Predators, while Buffalo will remain at HSBC Arena to meet the New Jersey Devils.