Chicago Blackhawks (9-8-2) at Pittsburgh Penguins (11-7-3)
|Date & Time||Saturday November 18, 2017, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Pittsburgh Penguins -145 / Chicago Blackhawks +131 --- Over/Under: 6
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks face off in Pittsburgh on Saturday night in a show down of two of the more decorated teams in recent NHL history.
The Chicago Blackhawks look to shake off a tough start to the season and generate an early season statement victory against the two time defending Cup champions but they’re going to have their work cut out for them against a Pens side who is lethal at home. Chicago still has one of the best tandems in the NHL as Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews are both world class talents and their secondary offensive pieces are certainly worthy of another Cup push but the Hawks have had a tough time finding consistency in their play and need to rectify their woes in a hurry if they’re going to keep pace in the ultra competitive Central division. Corey Crawford is expected to get the start here as he will face off against Matt Murray in one of the marquee matchups of a full slate of games on Saturday night.
The Penguins meanwhile are looking as dangerous as ever and are coming off a huge road victory against the Ottawa Senators which has them in second place in the Metro and chasing down the Devils in a hurry. Pittsburgh as mentioned has been one of the league’s best home teams over the years as they are 40-11 in their last 51 at the Consol Energy Center but they are winless in their last four Saturday games and host a Blackhawks side who has laid waste to the Metro division lately as they have been victorious in 11 of their last 13 games. The Pens have had their struggles against the Central and if there is any knock on this group it is their ability to win consistently against the league’s top teams and this certainly fits that criteria on paper.
The Hawks are 4-10 in their last 14 road games and 1-6 in their last seven following a win while the Penguins are 2-5 in their last seven against the West and 43-12 in their last 55 at home against a team with a losing road record. The Hawks will find their way out of this funk but I don’t see it happening here as the Pens don’t lose often at home and they too will be looking for a statement win.