NHL Picks: Grab Blackhawks to Prey on a Slumping Nashville Squad

Bruce Webster

Tuesday, December 8, 2015 3:19 PM GMT

Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015 3:19 PM GMT

The Predators will be playing the 2nd back-to-back game when they visit the Blackhawks on Tuesday. Nashville had lost 2 in a row & 4 of its last 5.  Prime fade material for our NHL Picks.

Nashville Predators (13-8-5 SU, 11-15 PL, 10-12-4 O/U) at Chicago Blackhawks (14-9-4 SU, 10-17 PL, 10-12-5 O/U)
NHL Odds: Blackhawks -156 - Predators +150 at 5Dimes
Total: 5.5 goals

 

Garbage
By their own admission, the Predators’ penalty kill has been atrocious of late. They have allowed 10 man-advantage goals in their last eight games.

“I can’t make key saves and we keep making the mistakes at key moments, taking penalties,” goalie Pekka Rinne lamented. “Our PK is garbage right now and I’m a big part of that, too.”

Nashville has surrendered 29 goals during its current nine-game slump (2-5-2). Rinne has given up at least three goals in five of his last seven starts.

On the other end of the ice, leading scorer James Neal has 10 goals this season but only one has come in the last nine games. The veteran forward also has just two assists during this stretch of futility.

 

Raising Kane
Blackhawks’ forward Patrick Kane extended his amazing point streak to 22 games on Sunday, breaking the franchise record. For perhaps the first time in these 22 contests, though, Chicago had to make a deliberate effort to get Kane a point. With Winnipeg’s goalie pulled late in the third period and the ‘Hawks leading 2-1, Kane batted the puck out of the defensive zone before Artemi Panarin controlled it and found the back the Jets’ uncontested net.

“Tonight was probably the first game (the streak) was noticeable,” head coach Joel Quenneville said. “Everybody on our team was rooting for him and going out of our way a little more of what we generally try to do and make sure he got a touch before we attempted a play at the net.”

“You try not to think about it too much, but if it’s not meant to be, it’s not meant to be,” Kane said. “You try not to think about that stuff–just do the right things on the ice.”

The 27-year-old is leading the NHL in points by a mile (seven as of Monday afternoon) with 42 on 16 goals and 26 assists.

 

Nashville Predators Trends:
1-4 in their last five overall
1-5 in their last six road games
0-4 in their last four games against teams with winning records

Chicago Blackhawks Trends:
47-15 in their last 62 home games against teams with road winning percentages under .400
6-2 in the last eight meetings between the two teams
20-8 in their last 28 home games against Nashville

 

Betting Analysis
The Predators have been abysmal on both ends of the ice, with Neal struggling to improve on his 2015-16 point tally and the penalty-kill units floundering. Although the Blackhawks are not exactly on fire, Kane is basically a lock to contribute a point–and likely more–every time they take the ice. Nashville is 1-4 in its last five overall and 1-5 in its last six on the road. Chicago is 6-2 in the last eight installments of this head-to-head series and 20-8 in its last 28 home games against the Predators. Count on those trends continuing and add Chicago to your NHL Picks on Tuesday evening.

NHL Pick: Chicago Blackhawks -156 at Heritage

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