With just five games on the NHL board for Sunday, this handicapper sees the best value in the Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Chicago Blackhawks battle, set to be broadcast on national television.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Chicago Blackhawks 12:35 PM ET
The Pittsburgh Penguins have seen just one of their previous eight games go over the total. You may be surprised to know that the Penguins have gone over the total in just 38.2% of their 55-games this season, despite possessing some of the most gifted offensive players in the NHL. The Penguins vaunted power play has hit the proverbial wall in recent games. Pittsburgh has failed to convert on any of their thirteen power play opportunities during the past six games, and is just 1-for-20 in the last eight contests. Marc-Andre Fleury is slated to be in goal today for Pittsburgh. Fleury has seen nine of his twelve starts this season versus Western Conference opponents go under the total, and he posted an outstanding .943 save percentage in those outings. As a matter of fact, Pittsburgh has gone over the total in just eight of their previous thirty-two games (25%) when facing a nonconference opponent.
The Chicago Blackhawks have gone under the total in six of their previous eight games. Similar to today’s opponent (Pittsburgh), Chicago has a plethora of offensive firepower throughout their roster. Despite that weaponry, Pittsburgh has gone over the total in just 35.7% of their fifty six games during the 2014-2015 NHL campaign. The likeness doesn’t end there. Chicago has gone over the total in just five of their previous twenty-eight games (17.9%) versus non-conference opponents. The Hawks will go with Cory Crawford in goal for this Sunday matinee contest. Crawford has seen just one of his ten starts go over the total this season when facing an Eastern Conference team, and has compiled a stellar .925 save percentage in those contests.
These teams have seen five of their previous six meetings go under the total, and neither club has gone through a vast overhaul of their rosters in recent years. Both of these starting goaltenders today are amongst the best in the entire NHL. I like this game to play on the low side of the number for one of my NHL picks today.
NHL Picks: Play on Pittsburgh and Chicago to go under the total of 5.5 at 5Dimes.