NHL Picks: Back Blackhawks To Take Down Struggling Predators

Bruce Webster

Tuesday, January 19, 2016 5:24 PM GMT

The Chicago Blackhawks meet the Nashville Predators on Tuesday at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. Don't miss our NHL odds breakdown and the best NHL picks.

 

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Nashville Predators
Lines: Chicago -111, Nashville +101
Over/Under: 5
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Free NHL Pick: Chicago
Best Line Offered: at Bovada

 

The NHL odds for the Central Division battle as the Chicago Blackhawks (18-23-1-3 SU, 30-15 PL, 15-17-13 O/U) leave the Windy City for Music City when they face off with the Nashville Predators (22-17-4-1 SU, 27-17 PL, 22-16-6 O/U) Tuesday night. Chicago reeled off their 11th straight win as they defeated the Canadiens 5-2 at home Sunday. Nashville won for just the third time in their last ten games with a 3-0 whitewash of the Minnesota Wild at home Saturday. The teams have met three times this season with Chicago holding a 2-1 series edge. The home team won all three contests.

 

Chicago Blackhawks Look to Make It an Even Dozen
Chicago has reeled off 11 straight wins and they’ve claimed the top spot in the Western Conference. The Blackhawks are three points in front of the Stars in the Central Division standings. Chicago is 4th in the league in scoring as they average 2.9 goals per game. The Blackhawks are 4th in the league in goals against as they allow 2.3 goals per game. Chicago is 3rd in the league on the power play as they light the lamp on 22.6 percent of their chances with the man advantage. The Blackhawks are 11th in penalty killing as they successfully kill off 81.7 percent of their shorthanded situations.

The Blackhawks got the scoring started early against Montreal with Richard Panik putting up his first goal as a Blackhawk at 2:40 of the opening period on an assist from Erik Gustafson. Montreal tied the game and the teams went to the first intermission tied at one. In the second period, Jonathan Toews scored his 18th of the year on the power play at 13:38 on assists from Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane to give Chicago a 2-1 edge. Toews added his second of the game and 19th of the year at 18:39 on assists from Andrew Shaw and Hossa to make it 3-1 Chicago after 40 minutes. In the third period, after Montreal cut the Chicago lead to 3-2, Kane scored his league leading 29th goal of the year on assists from Artemi Panarin and Artem Anisimov at 11:33 to make it 4-2. Hossa added his 8th of the year on assists from Duncan Keith and Shaw at 18:36 to close the scoring. Corey Crawford made 29 saves in the game to get his 26th win of the year.

 

Nashville Predators Look to Build a Win Streak
Nashville’s slump has bumped them down to sixth place in the Central Division standings. Despite the struggles, the Predators stand just one point out of the second wild card spot currently held by Colorado with two games in hand. The Predators are 16th in the league in goals for with an average of 2.5 per game. Nashville is 19th in goals against as they allow 2.7 goals per contest. The Predators are good on the power play, ranking 9th in the league as they convert 20.4 percent of their chances. Nashville is dreadful in penalty killing as they are 28th in the league as they kill off just 76.8 percent of their shorthanded situations.

The Predators had one of their better outings of the past month in their win over Minnesota. Nashville grabbed the lead just 1:24 into the contest on Eric Nystrom’s 7th goal of the year on assists from Shea Weber and Mike Fisher. That goal was the only tally for either side in the first two periods and the Predators took that 1-0 advantage to the ice for the third period. In the third period, Roman Josi gave the Predators some breathing room with his 10th of the year on the power play at 6:14 of the third period. Ryan Johansen and Weber assisted on the goal, which made it 2-0. Filip Forsberg added his 13th of the season on an assist from James Neal at 18:34 into an empty net to close the scoring. Carter Hutton stopped all 29 Minnesota shots for his fourth win and first shutout of the year. It’s uncertain if Hutton or Pekka Rinne will get the start.

 

Trends for Chicago:
5-0 in their last five on the road
4-0 in their last four vs. Western Conference
11-1 in their last 12 after allowing two goals or less

 

Trends for Nashville:
7-22 in their last 29 vs. Central Division
2-9 in their last 11 after allowing two goals or less
1-5 in their last six overall
0-5 in their last five on Tuesday

 

Betting Analysis
Chicago has been scorching the past month or so and beat Nashville at the United Center last week. Nashville has really had problems putting the biscuit in the basket of late and that’s a problem any time. When you face a team like the Blackhawks, who are firing on all cylinders, small mistakes are magnified and bigger problems are huge. Chicago should find a way to grind their way to a 12th straight win by taking a tight game over the Preds. Go with Blackhawks for your NHL picks.