Chicago Blackhawks vs. Edmonton Oilers - 1/12/14
Edmonton Oilers (15-27-5) at Chicago Blackhawks (29-8-10)
NHL Hockey: Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 7:00 pm (United Center)
The Line: Chicago Blackhawks -265 / Edmonton Oilers +239 --- Over/Under: 5.5 See the Latest Odds
Losers of three in a row and four of their last five the Chicago Blackhawks find themselves in a place they're not used to being. Chicago has been so dominant over the last few years that to see them go through a stretch where they lose a few games in a row seems very foreign. Three of the four losses have come by identical 3-2 scores and Saturday night in Montreal they couldn't win despite allowing just two goals. Marian Hossa scored his 16th goal of the season off a beautiful feed from Jonathan Toews midway through the third period to tie the game at 1-1 with the Canadiens. But it was just one of five third period shots for the Blackhawks and they watched at Montreal scored the game winner in overtime before they were able to record a shot on goal. The Blackhawks were outshot 38-20 by the Canadiens and that's not something we're used to seeing from a Chicago club that usually dictates the pace of the game. Chicago was also outhit 28-11 in the game and that's something they need to correct on Sunday against Edmonton if they want to get back to playing their style of game. There's some good news for Chicago because the Oilers come to town and they really are just a terrible hockey team. At 15-27-5 the Oilers find themselves dead last in the Pacific Division and only the Buffalo Sabres have fewer points than them in the league. Edmonton has bounced back to win two of their last three after a four game losing streak and they'll come into Sunday night's contest off a huge win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday night. More surprising than the victory itself was the way that the Oilers were able to accomplish it. The Penguins held a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes of play and even after Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Taylor Hall scored in the third period to tie it the Penguins regained the lead just minutes later. To Edmonton's credit they didn't get down after falling behind again and found a way to get a late goal from Anton Belov to tie the game heading into the third. Just over a minute into overtime it was Nugent-Hopkins adding his second goal of the game and 13th of the season to lift the Oilers to the 4-3 victory. The Oilers will need to find a way to bring that same game to the United Center on Sunday night because the Blackhawks are dying for a win right now and they know they've got a team in their building that they should handle. This is a difficult game to pick because of the way the Blackhawks have been playing and the line we're getting on them. Edmonton has looked better of late and maybe they can keep this one close.
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