Two clubs that have underwhelmed this season, the New Jersey Devils and the Chicago Blackhawks collide at the United Center. MSG Plus 2 will air this East-West matchup, which gets going at 8:30 p.m. ET on Monday, December 23.
New Jersey Devils at Chicago Blackhawks Odds
Losing 3.4 units for moneyline bettors, the Blackhawks are 15-22 straight up (SU) overall this year. That early-season winning percentage isn’t too far off from to what the team produced during the 2018-19 season (36-46). Among its 37 games this season, 16 have gone under the total, while 16 have gone over and just one has pushed. The team’s 8-11 SU at home this season.
Chicago has converted on just 16.2 percent of its power play opportunities this season, a figure that’s ranked 26th overall in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 16th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 80.9 percent of all penalties.
As a team, Chi-town has been penalized 3.5 times per game overall this season, and 2.6 per game over its past five matchups. The team has been forced to stave off opponent power plays for just 5.8 minutes per game over its last five matchups, in total.
With a .926 save percentage and 32.4 saves per game, Robin Lehner (9-11-5) has been the primary option in goal for the Blackhawks this season. If they decide to rest him, however, Chicago might roll with Corey Crawford (6-13-13 record, .909 save percentage, 3.08 goals against average).
Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews will both lead the charge for the Blackhawks. Kane (46 points) has tallied 20 goals and 26 assists and has recorded two or more points in 10 different games this year. Toews has eight goals and 19 assists to his name and has recorded a point in 16 contests.
On the other hand, New Jersey is 11-24 straight up (SU) and has lost 13.3 units for moneyline bettors thus far. Through 35 regular season outings, 18 of its games have gone over the total, while 16 have gone under the total and just one has pushed. As the road team , New Jersey is 6-11 SU.
New Jersey has converted on just 14.2 percent of its power play opportunities this year, a figure that’s ranked 30th in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 19th overall and it’s successfully defended 79.7 percent of all penalties.
New Jersey’s players have been penalized 4.1 times per game in total this season, and 5.2 per game over their last five road outings. The team has had to defend opponent power plays 10.4 minutes per contest over their last five road games.
MacKenzie Blackwood (2.88 goals against average and .906 save percentage) has been the main option in goal for New Jersey. Blackwood is averaging 26.0 saves per game and owns a 10-16-4 record.
For the visiting Devils, the offense will run through Taylor Hall (six goals, 19 assists) and Kyle Palmieri (14 goals, eight assists).
New Jersey Devils at Chicago Blackhawks Betting Predictions
NHL Tip: SU Winner – Blackhawks, O/U – Under
Power plays and penalty kills may prove to be even more critical than usual in the outcome of this one. The Devils are 5-11 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 6-15 when they’re in the box for fewer than 10 penalty minutes, total. The Blackhawks are 4-7 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 10-16 when total penalty minutes are in the single digits.
New Jersey is 1-4 in games decided by a shootout this season while Chicago is 1-4 in shootouts.
Chicago has forced 8.8 takeaways per game over its last five home games, right in line with its season average of 8.6 takeaways per game (ranked 5th in the NHL).
New Jersey has forced 7.4 takeaways per game over its last five road games, an improvement over its season average of 6.6 takeaways per game (ranked 28th overall).