NHL Picks: Blackhawks' Offense Will Take The Win Against Senators

Bruce Webster

Sunday, January 3, 2016 2:03 PM GMT

Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016 2:03 PM GMT

The Ottawa Senators come into this game off a 3-0 home loss to New Jersey, while the Chicago Blackhawks come in off a 4-3 win in Colorado, who will be our NHL pick for tonight?

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NHL Pick: Blackhawks -180
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

 

Sens Get Blanked in New Jersey
The Ottawa Senators are a strong offensive team, so seeing them get blanked will not be a common occurrence. The 3-0 loss to the Devils against the NHL odds, was just the 2nd time all season that Ottawa has been blanked. The first time was back in the middle of October, in a 2-0 loss at Pittsburgh. The Sens got off 36 shots in the game and they won the faceoff battle, 23-16 but they just couldn’t get anything past Crawford. They also struggled on the power play, where they failed to convert on any of the five chances they had. They really did outplay the Devils, but they lost where it counts and that is on the scoreboard.

Taking the loss for the Senators was Andrew Hammond, who was getting a rare start. Hammond is now just 2-5 with a 2.32 GAA on the year. He won’t get the start here as that will go to Craig Anderson, who is off a game in which he allowed seven goals to Boston. Anderson is 16-12 with a 2.82 GAA on the year, including 7-8 with a 3.32 GAA on the road, while vs Chicago in his career he has gone 6-5 with a 3.25 GAA. The Sens check in at 7th in the league in scoring, putting up 2.8 gpg, while ranking 17th on the power play. On defense they are 26th in goals allowed at 2.9 gpg and 29th in penalty kill at 23.7%. 

 

Toews OT Goal Lifts Blackhawks over Colorado
The Chicago Blackhawks played a rather wild game vs the Avs on Thursday night as they fell behind 1-0, before grabbing a 3-1 lead and then they watched the Avs tie it up with just under five minutes in regulation. Jonathan Toews then ended the game with 1:31 left in OT and he got an assist from Patrick Kane, who also scored in the game as well. Kane now has 23 goals on the year and that  ties him with Tyler Seguin for 2nd in the league, while his 56 overall points does lead the league. The goal by Toews was his 13th of the year, while also scoring for chicago was Artem Anisimov (14th) and Andrew Desjardins (4th).

Crabbing the win in the game was Scott Darling, who is now 3-5 with a 2.79 GAA on the year. He will likely not get the start in this game as that should go to Corey Crawford, who is 19-12 with a solid 2.31 GA on the year, which includes a 12-6 mark with a slim 1.67 GAA at home, and he is 2-1 with a 2.72 GAA in his career vs Ottawa, The Blackhawks enter this game at 10th in the league in scoring, putting up 2.7 gpg, while converting o 23.8% of their power play chances, which is 3rd in the league. On defense they are near the middle of the pack, ranking 13th in goals allowed, giving up 2.5 gpg, while allowing teams to convert on 18.9% of their power play chances, which is 12th. 

 

Trends
Ottawa is:

1-7 in their last eight Sunday games

0-6 in their last six road games

Chicago is:

60-21 in their last 81 home games vs. a team with a losing road record

6-1 in their last seven vs. the Atlantic

 

Betting Analysis
Hard to go against Chicago, especially with how well Crawford plays at home and how bad the Sens have been on the road of late. The Ottawa offense was shut down by Cory Schneider and Crawford is more than capable of doing the same. The Chicago offense has also been strong and Craig Anderson has weak numbers on the road. Look for the Blackhawks to roll here as our NHL pick tonight.

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