Ottawa Senators vs. Chicago Blackhawks - 3/28/14
Chicago Blackhawks (42-16-15) at Ottawa Senators (29-29-14)
NHL Hockey: Friday, March 28, 2014 at 7:30 pm (Canadian Tire Centre)
The Line: Ottawa Senators +134 / Chicago Blackhawks -147 --- Over/Under: 5.5 See the Latest Odds
The Blackhawks continue their road trip in Ottawa on Friday night looking to make amends for a goalless effort against the Boston Bruins last night.
Chicago is still very much in the race for home ice in the Western Conference playoff picture but their loss on the road in Boston last night all but eliminated them from clinching the Central division title which at this rate looks like it is heading to St. Louis. The Hawks are the defending Stanley Cup champions and as the reigning victors they have a target on their backs every night of the week which can surely take its toll on the players as they get the best from their opponent on a nightly basis. The Hawks are built for another deep run in the playoffs but I’m a little worried that their strenuous schedule will take its toll as they embark on another potentially deep push against some fierce competition. The Hawks may turn to Antii Raanta tonight as Corey Crawford got the call last night and he will likely square off against Craig Anderson for the Sens.
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The Senators have had a disappointing campaign and things went from bad to worse over the last couple of days as Bobby Ryan was ruled out for the rest of the season due to an aggravating sports hernia. The Senators didn’t have a ton to show for their season but Ryan was one of the bright spots on an otherwise disappointing team as the former Ducks forward who was brought in to replace Daniel Alfredsson was enjoying another productive year. Defenseman Erik Karlsson is thriving once again in the offensive zone but the Sens as a whole have struggled defensively this year and while some of the blame can be shouldered by the goaltenders it certainly can’t be placed exclusively on them as the team has just underperformed since day one. With Chicago getting blanked last night and laying in a back to back here I think we will see the line dip a little bit and when you see that jump on it quick before it climbs back up. This is a terrible spot for Ottawa and I think the Blackhawks cruise.