Chicago Blackhawks (35-11-14) at New York Rangers (32-24-3)
|Date & Time||Thursday February 27, 2014, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: New York Rangers +124 / Chicago Blackhawks -136 --- Over/Under: 5.5
The Chicago Blackhawks and New York Rangers will play their first game since the Olympic break. These teams met back in early January, and the Rangers won 3-2.
The Blackhawks headed into the break winning three of their last five games and losing six of their last nine. They’re the best offensive team in the league, averaging 3.4 goals per game, but they’ve scored two or less goals in five of their last eight matchups. The offense hasn’t played up to par lately, but goalie Corey Crawford has allowed just six combined goals in his last four games, which includes a shutout. The Blackhawks are 18-4-2-5 on the road this season.
The Rangers headed into the break on fire, winning five of their last six games. They also may get defenseman Marc Stall back from injury due to the long layoff. Not really known for their offense this season, the Rangers have scored a combined 23 goals in their last six games. Goalie Henrik Lundqvist has also allowed just one goal in three of his last four starts. The Rangers are 14-14-1-2 on their home ice this season.
It’s always tough to predict just how these teams are going to rebound from so many days off. However, the Blackhawks had six players alone participating in the gold medal game, which doesn’t include Patrick Kane from Team USA. That’s a lot of guys who have to get readjusted to the time difference and get back in the groove of things with the NHL.
That’s why I am going with the under in this game. I expect both teams to come out a little flat and sluggish. The under has also hit in seven of the last 10 meetings between these two teams.
Expect a low scoring game.