A depleted Chicago
take a trip to the Capital where they face a heavy-hitting Washington in what could well be the game of
Two in-form teams meet up
and face off, and we should be in for a cracking NHL Hockey match, with ample thrills
to get your gambling pulses racing, and plenty of betting picks.
On Wednesday, the Chicago
Blackhawks lost a hard fought game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, when they
went out 4-3 in shootout as the Lightning ended their unwelcome four game
winless slide. It's a huge win," Lightning’s
Martin St. Louis said. "We've been playing pretty good hockey, we just
haven't gotten the results."
The second biggest story from Wednesday’s
match was the injury sustained by Blackhawk forward Dave Bolland, elbowed in
the head by Lightning defenseman Pavel Kubina.
Bolland left the ice in the first period and is now doubtful for
Sunday's game against the Capitals.
penalty was awarded on the night but Kubina has now been suspended for three
games by the league. Chicago
coach Joel Quenneville was very angry with the events on the ice, "We
didn't get any benefit out of it. We lose a player; we don't get a power play
off of it. It was a dangerous hit. I wasn't happy with the hit at all."
The Washington Capitals have been
having a season of two (vastly different) halves. They lost eight consecutive games in December,
but are now enjoying a seven-game winning streak thanks in part to Alex
Ovechkin‘s resurgence. Similarly, the
Blackhawks didn’t start the season looking like Champions but their recent run
of 9-2-1 over 12 games has silenced many of their naysayers.
A good run doesn’t
necessarily mean a successful season; Chicago
may well be in fourth place in the Western Conference, but only three points separates them
from ninth-place Nashville Predators. On
the other hand, Washington’s
playoff status in the Eastern Conference looks pretty secure. The Capitals also have a slight lead over Tampa Bay
in the battle for the top spot of the Southeast Division. Both the Blackhawks
and the Capitals have everything to play for, making this game a great one for fans
and neutrals alike.
My own NHL Free pick for this
match is the Caps. They seem to have the
more momentum, having won an impressive seven games on the bounce - their
latest victory being against Carolina
on Friday, when they came from behind in the first period to take the game 2-1.
At 1-0 down, Capitals’ leader Alex
Ovechkin scored his 28th goal of the season just 47 seconds into the final
frame, then Matt Hendricks made it 2-1 in the third, securing his team’s win. At the back, 21 year-old rookie goalie Braden
Holtby stood strong and proud all night for the Caps stopping 40 of 41