Back Blackhawks at -125 vs. Penguins in your NHL Picks

Ross Benjamin

Saturday, March 1, 2014 4:34 PM GMT

Saturday, Mar. 1, 2014 4:34 PM GMT

The Blackhawks host the Penguins on Saturday at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois with the opening faceoff slated for 8:05 PM ET. Join our handicapper as he shares his top NHL picks.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Chicago Blackhawks

According to NHL betting odds the Blackhawks are a -125 money line home favorite and the posted total is 5.5. These teams have seen 7 of their last 9 meetings go under the total, including 6 of the last 7 played in Chicago.

Time for Hawks to Hit the Reset Button

The Blackhawks are coming off a 2-1 loss at Madison Square Garden on Thursday versus the New York Rangers. Chicago is now a dismal 6-11 in their last 17-games versus the money line, and 4-9 in the last 17 on the road. You can easily make an excuse for the Hawks in regards to the loss. It was their first game following the Olympic break. Chicago had 10 players participate in the Olympic Tournament in Sochi, Russia, including 7 of the 10 who played 7-games during the 12-day tournament. With the travel itinerary back to the United States, and then having to immediately jump back on a plane again to play a road game, certainly would’ve taken a toll on team where almost half the roster was affected. Chicago is back on home ice tonight where they’ve lost just 4 of their 29-games during regulation time. Tonight will be the first of a 3-game in 6-day home stand for Chicago.

Rare Losing Streak

The Penguins were involved in an extremely entertaining game on Thursday. Unfortunately they came up on the short end in a 6-5 overtime shootout loss at home versus the Montreal Canadians. It was the 2nd consecutive loss for the Penguins with both coming via the overtime shootout session. It was just the 6th time this season that the Penguins had lost 2 or more games in a row. It was one of the rare times this season that Marc-Andre Fleury wasn’t sharp in goal as he allowed 5-goals on just 27 shots on net. Tonight will be the first of a 4-game in 7-day road trip for Pittsburgh. The Penguins are a solid 17-13 versus the money line on the road this season.

Final Analysis

There’s a high degree of probability that the Blackhawks will bring their “A-Game” tonight in front of the home folks versus the best team in the Eastern Conference. It’s time for the defending Stanley Cup champions to make a statement in light of their recent struggles, and put the rest of the NHL on notice that they’re going to be in it, to win it again this season. We'll take the Blackhawks in our NHL picks for this match-up.

Free Pick: Chicago -125 over Pittsburgh

[gameodds]7/256991/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

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