Carolina Hurricanes at Chicago Blackhawks Game Preview

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The United Center plays host to an East-West showdown as the Carolina Hurricanes square off against the Chicago Blackhawks. It’s the final time that these two clubs will meet in the regular season. NBC Sports Chicago will showcase the game, which gets going at 8:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 8.

Carolina Hurricanes vs. Chicago Blackhawks Odds

Chicago comes into the contest as the favorite with a moneyline of -125. The line for Carolina sits at +105 and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at 6 goals (-120 for the over, +100 for the under).

Producing 13.8 units for moneyline bettors, Chicago is 29-38 straight up (SU) overall thus far. That early-season winning percentage is a regression from the 50-32 record that the team posted during the 2016-17 season campaign. Through 67 regular season outings, 35 of its games have gone under the total, while 29 have gone over and just three have pushed. The team is 16-17 SU at home this season.

The Blackhawks have converted on just 15.7 percent of their power play opportunities this year, a figure that’s ranked 30th overall in the NHL. On the other hand, their penalty kill is ranked 14th overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 81.6 percent of all penalties.

The Blackhawks, as a collective unit, have been called for penalties just 3.4 times per game overall this season, and 2.4 per game over their last five contests home outings. The team’s had to kill penalties for just 5.0 minutes per game over their last 10 matchups, in total.

Sporting a .929 save percentage and 27.9 saves per game, Corey Crawford (16-12-2) has been the primary goalkeeper for the Hawks this year. If the Hawks decide to give him a breather, however, Chicago might go with Anton Forsberg (9-20-20 record, .906 save percentage, 3.02 goals against average).

The Hawks will continue to lean on the offensive production from Patrick Kane and Nick Schmaltz. Kane (63 points) has tallied 24 goals and 39 assists and has recorded two or more points on 17 separate occasions this year. Schmaltz has 20 goals and 25 assists to his name and has recorded a point in 28 games.

Carolina is 29-38 straight up (SU) and has lost 13.7 units for bettors taking the moneyline thus far. Through 67 regular season matches, 37 of its games have gone under the total, while 28 have gone over and just two have pushed. As the visiting team, the Hurricanes are 13-20 SU.

The Hurricanes have converted on 18.8 percent of their power play opportunities this year, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 24th overall and it’s successfully killed off 78.0 percent of all opponent power plays.

Carolina’s skaters have been penalized only 2.8 times per game this season, 2.4 per game over their past five match ups total, and 2.6 per game over their last five on the road. The team has been forced to stave off opponent power plays just 6.0 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Cam Ward (24.8 saves per game) has been the main choice in goal for Carolina. Ward has 19 wins, 17 losses, and four OT losses to his credit, and has registered a .907 save percentage and 2.70 goals against average this year.

For the visiting Hurricanes, the offense will be facilitated through Teuvo Teravainen (19 goals, 33 assists) and Sebastian Aho (23 goals, 28 assists).

Carolina Hurricanes vs. Chicago Blackhawks Betting Predictions

NHL Prediction: SU Winner – Hurricanes, O/U – Under

Betting Notes

  • Seven of Carolina’s last ten games have been decided by two goals or more. The team is 2-5 in those games.
  • The Hurricanes are 16-22 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 23-31 in games where they’re in the box for fewer than 10 penalty minutes, total.
  • Carolina (3-3 in shootouts) has more experience this season in games decided by shootout. Chicago has only participated in a couple of shootouts this year, winning one and losing the other.
  • The over has hit in three of Chicago’s last five games.
  • Chicago has averaged 9.0 giveaways over its last five home games, its season average of 8.5 giveaways per game (ranked 12th overall).
  • Carolina has averaged 7.0 giveaways over its last five home games, an improvement from its season average of 9.9 giveaways per game (ranked 18th overall).