Free NHL Picks: Bet Blackhawks -113 To Take Down Streaking Blues

Dana Lane

Wednesday, March 9, 2016 4:00 PM GMT

With all their injuries this season, the St.Louis Blues are a stunning three points out of first place in the Central Division and just two points in back of the Chicago Blackhawks for second.  

Allot has been made of the Chicago Blackhawk power play as of late and for good reason. Chicago's power play is rolling along at a 24.1% clip on the year but has gotten even better as of late connecting on 6 of their last 12 attempts and 14 of 28 in their last nine.  

Before we run to the window to back the Hawks like it seems everyone is doing, let's not forget the Blues rank 2nd in the league on the penalty kill at 86.6% and has killed off 9 of the last 10. Let's check the NHL picks for this line-shifting game.

 

Blues Overview
The Blues return home on a three game winning streak after capping off a 3-0-1 road trip with a 4-2 win over the Minnesota Wild, Sunday. They won their last three games by a combined 13-7 score. They are currently on a 9-3-1 stretch. 

Patrick Kane has been the talk of the season with his 89 points that easily lead the league but not far behind him in terms of goals scored is Vladimir Tarasenko who only trails Kane by eight goals with 30. He has three goals and an assist against the Blackhawks this season

Another match-up that is perceived to be uneven but is quite the opposite is in goal. Corey Crawford is 35-16-3 with a 2.22 goals against average and a .929 save percentage but Blues starter, Jake Allen, is 3-0 with a 2.27 goals against and a fantastic .936 save percentage over his last three starts. He might not have the body of work Crawford has this season but he's starting to heat up. 

 

Blackhawks Preview
Marian Hossa practiced Tuesday and may be back for Chicago but I'm not a fan of jumping back on a team the minute a big name returns to the line-up. Hossa has been out for eight games with a lower body injury. It takes time to gel especially when one of your linemates could be Andrew Ladd who he has not skated with yet.  

The Blues have won 8 of their last 11 put themselves in position to take over the Central lead but they could be the top seed in the Western Conference if they win the division.  

This not familiar territory for Chicago. Only ten times this season have the Blackhawks been underdogs which led to a 3-7 record. 

 

Game Notes
Duncan Keith didn't practice on Tuesday but Head Coach, Joel Quennville, said that he will be good to go against St.Louis.

This is not an official play but both teams are excellent 'under' teams if you prefer that kind of wager. All of the early action has come in on the Hawks both on the puck line and money line according to NHL odds boards.

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Free NHL Pick: Blackhawks -113
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle