Colorado Avalanche (39-17-5) at Chicago Blackhawks (36-12-14)
|Date & Time||Tuesday March 4, 2014, 8:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Chicago Blackhawks -186 / Colorado Avalanche +169 --- Over/Under: 5.5
The Colorado Avalanche and Chicago Blackhawks will battle it out in probably the best hockey game of the Tuesday NHL schedule. It’s the fourth of five scheduled meetings this season, and the Avalanche lead the series 2-1.
The Avalanche have won two of three since the Olympic break and are winners in seven of their last 10 games. As has been the case all year, they’re scoring goals in truckloads, as they’ve racked up 30 goals in their last eight games. Goalie Semyon Varlamov has allowed two or fewer goals in three of his last five starts. This could also be the last game for center Paul Stastny, as he’s involved in trade rumors leading up to Wednesday’s deadline. Colorado is 18-9-0-2 on the road this season.
The Blackhawks learned that they will be without right wing Marian Hossa for an extended period of time due to injury. That takes 24 goals and 26 assists out of the lineup. As a team, the Blackhawks have won four of their last seven games and are coming off a monster 5-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins at Soldier Field. That broke them out of an offensive funk that held them to two or fewer goals in three straight games prior. The Blackhawks are 19-4-2-5 on their home ice this season.
As far as picking a winner, you have to like the Blackhawks and the home ice advantage. They’re an impressive 46-18 in their last 64 home games. You can’t go wrong with that, but there’s little value to the line.
That’s why my free pick will be the over. Both teams have been scoring machines all season and the over has hit in the last four meetings between these two teams. The over is also 4-0 in Colorado’s last four games.
Expect to see plenty of goals in this competitive matchup.