Philadelphia Flyers (13-14-3) at Chicago Blackhawks (21-6-5)
|Date & Time||Wednesday December 11, 2013, 8:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Chicago Blackhawks -215 / Philadelphia Flyers +195 --- Over/Under: 5.5
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The Blackhawks look for their third straight win as they return home to the United Center on Wednesday night to host the Flyers.
Philadelphia continues to be one of the bigger disappointments in the NHL as they sit a game under .500 and are in 5th place in the Metro division and things don’t get any easier as they head to Chicago to face the red hot Blackhawks. The Flyers do still have a decent core of players but the fall out of the Jeff Carter/Mike Richards fiasco from a few years ago continues to plague the team as they haven’t found any success while both former superstars have won a Stanley Cup. Philly will look for just their seventh win on the road this season and 14th overall but playing against the Blackhawks these days is a very formidable task as they have won 7 of 10 and 22 of 33 games so far this season. Steve Mason is likely to get the call in goal for the Flyers but I wouldn’t be surprised if they went with Ray Emery who won the Cup with the Hawks just a year ago.
Chicago continues to rise above the rest in both the Western Conference and overall NHL standings as the defending Cup champions are two points clear of the Anaheim Ducks for top spot in the league and look like a team poised to repeat. Chicago has so much depth offensively that they could form another team and still put up a playoff type effort which makes them one of the scarier teams in the league and if they can withstand the firestorm that will be the Central division this season it should have them well prepared for a deep playoff run. However, the Hawks are without starting goalie Corey Crawford for the next few weeks as he is on the injured reserve and will be starting Anttii Raanta in the meantime which could alter the game plan a little bit for the Hawks. Chicago is way too big of a favourite here for having a rookie goaltender in net and playing in a back to back so I think the best move is to play the total and I think this one will be a little closer than expected. Ray Emery will look to put on a show for the Flyers and with Chicago steamrolling the Stars yesterday I expect they’ll play a tighter defensive game tonight. Taking the under in this one.