NHL Picks: Blackhawks vs. Red Wings to Skate 'Under' the Total

Dana Lane

Sunday, March 6, 2016 1:56 PM GMT

Sunday, Mar. 6, 2016 1:56 PM GMT

Redwings are losing sight of the Boston Bruins for the last playoff spot in the Atlantic. They face the Blackhawks who are in a 3 team fight for the Central Division lead. Get my NHL pick here. 

Detroit Red Wings vs. Chicago Blackhawks
The Blackhawks smoked the Wings, 5-2, last Wednesday which is why the total is shaded to the over at -120. Wait this one out as 'under' on the NHL odds. Bettors may get some plus money as it draws closer to game time. 

Detroit Head Coach, Jeff Blashill, has had four days to slow down Patrick Kane so I look for a much tighter, low scoring game. Blashill will find a way to give Kane less space than he did in the loss. There is a definitive tone that Blashill's team will be committed to playing better defensively after the Wings last two games. Every team gives up around 30 shots a night but it's the quality chances that make a team. The key to this game going under the total is the Wings ability to limit Chicago's quality chances. They gave up too many outnumbered rushes against Dallas and Chicago. 

Blashill has changed his defensive pairings up in the last two practices. He now has Brendan Smith with Mike Green to see if his two defensemen with size and puck handling skills can give Mrazek more time and space. Smith has had a good year for the Redwings when called upon. He's been a healthy scratch lately but skates very well for his size and can get the puck out of the defensive zone by a quick pass to a forward or comfortable bringing up the rush. Green has many of the same qualities which makes their pairing attractive. Green is also comfortable playing point on the power play. He has a bit of a mean streak as well. 

The Detroit top six forwards are not producing as of late. Henrik Zetterburg has a scoreless streak in eight straight games which he has been prone to do in his career. Dylan Larkin may be feeling the grind of the season as he hasn't scored in five straight games. Pavel Datsyuk has only one point in his last six games. It's hard not to think that the weight of a long season on the 13 year vet isn't starting to take it's toll.  

We know that Corey Crawford will do his part. He didn't allow a goal Wednesday until midway through the third period while collecting 31 saves. Crawford now has 34 wins, the most since Ed Belfour had (37) in 1993-94. 

Betting Analysis
Outside of Belfour it's been difficult to find intensity with Chicago. Against the Bruins, a game in which Belfour didn't start, Chicago was out shot 12-5 in the opening period and eventually dropped a 4-2 decision. It's very simple against all the top team, keep their power play unit off the ice. Despite their five on five passion the Hawks have been strong with the extra attacker. 

The three days off should be a benefit to Wings goaltender, Petr Mrazek, who has been battling a groin injury. My NHL pick is to back this one as the 'under'.  @DanaLaneSports

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Free NHL Pick: Under 5
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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