Chicago Blackhawks (42-18-15) at Pittsburgh Penguins (47-22-5)
|Date & Time||Sunday March 30, 2014, 7:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Pittsburgh Penguins -116 / Chicago Blackhawks +105 --- Over/Under: 5.5
The Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins will play Sunday night for the second and final time during the regular season. When these teams played back on March 1, the Blackhawks won 5-1.
The Blackhawks head into this matchup losing two straight and three of their last four games. The Blackhawks are the best offensive team in the NHL with an average of 3.2 goals per game, but have struggled lately, getting shutout twice in their last four games. The good news for Chicago is that Jonathan Toews has six goals and two assists in just five career games against the Penguins. The Chicago Blackhawks are 18-11-5-3 on the road this season.
The Penguins have lost four of their last six games and are also struggling on the offensive end. While the Penguins usually average 3 goals per game, Pittsburgh has scored two or less goals in seven of its last 10 games. However, if anybody can give the Penguins a boost in this game it would be James Neal, who has scored five goals in his last seven games against the Blackhawks. The Pittsburgh Penguins are 26-8-0-2 at home this season.
The Blackhawks are 10-1 in their last 11 after allowing 5 goals or more in their previous game and 0-4 in their last 4 road games. The Penguins are 42-12 in their last 54 home games vs. a team with a losing road record and 46-15 in their last 61 home games. The home team is 9-3-1 in the last 13 meetings between these two teams, while the Blackhawks are 1-6-1 in the last 8 meetings in Pittsburgh.
While both teams have been in a funk recently, I'll pick the Penguins simply because they're at home and have been money on their home ice all season long. At the cheap price, it's tough to turn down Pittsburgh in this matchup.