Scoring to Go Wild in Chicago in 1 of Just 2 Wednesday Games

Dana Lane

Wednesday, January 10, 2018 1:36 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018 1:36 PM UTC

The Minnesota Wild travel to Chicago for a Central Division matchup that both struggling teams desperately need; the puck drops at the United Center at 8 p.m. ET.

Minnesota Wild at Chicago BlackhawksFree NHL Pick: Over 5.5Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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The Minnesota Wild and the Chicago Blackhawks are battling not for the top spot in the Central like last season; instead, they’re fighting to stay out of last. The good news for the Blackhawks is this isn’t a place where the Wild have had a ton of success. In their last 20 meetings at the United Center, Joel Quenneville’s team has come out victorious 14 times. Even when you factor in the Wild games played at the Xcel Energy Center, they have dropped five of the last six meetings overall.

These two hooked up at the United Center a few weeks back and the Blackhawks easily handled the Wild, 4-1, as -170 favorites. That could have been a lot worse for Minnesota had it not been for the outstanding play of Alex Stalock, who finished with 42 saves for Bruce Boudreau’s team. The Wild were undisciplined for most of the night, which allowed the Blackhawks' shot total to skyrocket because it seemed as if Minnesota was always killing off a penalty. Chicago dominated the last two periods, outshooting the Wild 37-15, including 22-6 in the second period.

Over their last five games Chicago has found some scoring depth. In their last five, the Hawks have gotten four goals and one assist from their fourth line, led by rookie Alex DeBrincat, who has three points in his last five. That’s bad news for Minnesota because there is an advantage over the left side for the Hawks. DeBrincat will have an interesting matchup with Jason Zucker, but Patrick Kane should have his way with 20-year-old Joel Eriksson Ek. We may see Boudreau move veteran Zach Parise over to the left to give the Wild a better chance.

Both teams will be playing their second of a back-to-back, but it’s the Blackhawks who should be the fresher of the two after annihilating the Ottawa Senators. Meanwhile, the Wild struggled against the Calgary Flames. There will be quite the contrast in confidence levels when these two teams faceoff.

Chicago isn’t where it thought it would be in the standings but still puts an extreme amount of pressure on opposing goaltenders. Only the Edmonton Oilers average more shots on net (34.60) than Chicago (34.54), but unlike the Oilers the Blackhawks have had offensive success. That’s an offense that may be getting stronger as they’ve scored at least three goals in six straight games and only once during that streak did they fail to score at least four goals.

Let’s jump on Chicago to pad our bankroll even further in 2018.

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