Rangers at Blackhawks - 10/7/15 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction
New York Rangers (64-29-8) at Chicago Blackhawks (64-34-7)
NHL Hockey: Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at 8:00 pm (United Center)
The Line: Chicago Blackhawks -130 / New York Rangers +110 --- Over/Under: 5.5 See the Latest Odds
The New York Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks open the season Wednesday night at the United Center.
The New York Rangers hope for another successful season after making the playoffs five straight seasons. Last year, the Rangers ranked third in the league with an average of three goals per game. Rick Nash returns after leading New York with 42 goals, Derick Brassard had 41 assists and Chris Kreider had 180 shots on goal. Defensively, the Rangers were third in the NHL with an average of 2.3 goals allowed per game. Henrik Lundqvist will continue to hold down the bulk of the goaltending duties for the Rangers while Mackenzie Skapski will see more playing time as the backup. Tanner Glass is questionable with a foot injury.
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The Chicago Blackhawks look to continue their dominance after winning two of the last three Stanley Cups. The Chicago Blackhawks finished last year ranked 17th in the league with an average of 2.7 goals per game. Jonathan Toews returns after leading Chicago with 28 goals, Patrick Kane had 37 assists and Marian Hossa has 247 shots on goal. Defensively, the Blackhawks were second in the league with an average of 2.3 goals allowed per game. Corey Crawford will continue to be the Blackhawks workhorse at goalie while Scott Darling will be the main backup for Chicago. The Blackhawks have won 45 or more goals in five of Joel Quenneville’s seven seasons with the team.
The Rangers are 20-9 in their last 29 Wednesday games and 20-6 in their last 26 road games. The Blackhawks are 95-42 in their last 137 home games and 5-1 in their last 6 games playing on 3 or more days rest. The under is 6-1 in the last 7 meetings in Chicago.
This should be the best game of opening night, as both teams have championship on their mind and have one of the top goalies in the league. However, it's going to be tough to beat the Blackhawks at home during their celebration game. While I like the Rangers talent once again, I'm siding with Chicago at home here.