NHL Picks: Blackhawks vs. Canucks

David Schwab

Monday, April 22, 2013 5:51 PM GMT

Two of best teams in the NHL’s Western Conference clash this Monday night when the Chicago Blackhawks travel to the Rogers Center to square-off against the Vancouver Canucks. The game gets underway 7 p.m. (PT) and it will be broadcast nationally on the NHL Network.

Blackhawks Betting Overview

Despite a 3-2 shootout loss to Phoenix this past Saturday as 180 home favorites, the Blackhawks are still steamrolling their way to the Stanley Cup Playoffs with an 8-0-2 record in their last 10 games. Chicago has already clinched the top seed in the West and, with a five-point lead over Pittsburgh, has its sights set on securing home ice advantage throughout the postseason with the most points in the NHL. It is a league-best 17-2-2 on the road this season and the total has gone OVER in two of its last three games.

Balance has been the key to the Blackhawks’ success this season with an offense that is pumping-out 3.2 goals a game to complement a defense that boasts a NHL-best 2.0 goals-against-average. Patrick Kane (21 goals and 30 assists) and Jonathan Toews (21 goals and 25 assists) continue to lead the way in the scoring department with Ray Emory and Corey Crawford holding down the fort in net. Emory remains questionable with a back injury so look for Crawford to get the start in goal for this contest.

Canucks Betting Overview 

Vancouver has already locked-up a playoff berth, but it is just a point away from winning the Northwest Division which would assure it the No.3 seed in the West. The Canucks have gone 6-3-1 in their last 10 games including a 2-1 shootout victory over Detroit this past Saturday as 148 home favorites. This extended their winning streak at home to seven games as part of an overall home record of 14-5-3. 

Defense remains the primary strength of this team with a GAA of 2.3 that is ranked fifth in the league. During their seven-game run at home, the Canucks have outscored their opponents 19-6 while posting three shutouts. Although not confirmed, look for Cory Schneider to get the start in net after getting the call in four of the last five games. He comes in with a save percentage of .926 and a 2.15 GAA in 29 previous games.

[gameodds]7/225396/43/us[/gameodds]

Blackhawks vs. Canucks- NHL Betting Odds and Trends

Chicago has been opened by BetOnline as an even money 100 road underdog with Vancouver listed as a 120 home favorite for this matchup. The NHL odds boards list the total at 5.

The Blackhawks are 11-5 in their last 16 games against a team with a winning record and 21-6 in their last 27 games on the road. The total has gone over in seven of their last 10 games on one day’s rest. 

The Canucks are 5-1 in their last six outings against the Central Division and 8-3 in their last 11 games following a win. The total has stayed under in six of their last eight games at home. 

The home team has won the last four contests in this series and the total has stayed under in four of the last five games played in Vancouver. They have split two previous meetings this season with both being decided in overtime. 

Blackhawks vs. Canucks- Free NHL Pick 

The last four games between these two have been decided by an overtime goal including two shootouts this season, so do not be surprised if it takes more than three periods of play to determine a winner on Monday night. In a tight one, the free NHL pick is with Vancouver to extend its home-ice winning streak to eight.

Vancouver 3    Chicago 2 (lines provided by BetOnline)

Year-to-Date NHL Record: 27-16-2