In what’s already their last head-to-head meeting of the regular season, the Chicago Blackhawks and the Pittsburgh Penguins meet at PPG Paints Arena in an East-West matchup. The opening face-off is at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, November 18, and you can view it live on WGN Channel 9.
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Odds
Pittsburgh (-155) is currently favored over Chicago (+135) and the oddsmakers have put the Over/Under (O/U) at an even 6 goals. The line for betting that total stands at -105 money on the over and -115 for the under.
The Penguins are 11-10 straight up (SU) and have lost 0.4 units for moneyline bettors thus far. That early-season winning percentage is a slide from what the team managed during the 2016-17 season (50-32). Of its 21 games this season, 11 have gone over the total, while 10 have gone under and none have pushed. Thus far, the team is 6-1 SU at home.
Pittsburgh has been able to convert on 23.8 percent of its power play chances this year, a mark that places them in the top-5 among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 23rd overall, and it’s successfully killed off 78.3 percent of all penalties.
As a team, Pittsburgh has been penalized 4.9 times per game overall this season, and 3.4 per game over its last five outings at home. The teams had to kill penalties for just 7.4 minutes per contest over its last five home games.
With a .906 save percentage and 26.0 saves per game, Matt Murray (11-6-1) has been the top option in goal for the Penguins this season. If head coach Mike Sullivan decides to give him the night off, however, the Pens might turn to the winless Antti Niemi (0-3-3 record, .797 save percentage, 7.49 goals against average).
Phil Kessel and Evgeni Malkin will each be offensive focal points for the Penguins. Kessel (24 points) has tallied eight goals and 16 assists and has recorded two or more points six times this year. Malkin has seven goals and 14 assists to his credit and has notched a point in 14 contests.
Over on the other bench, Chicago is 9-10 straight up (SU) and has lost 3.6 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 19 regular season outings, 10 of its games have gone over the total, while eight have gone under and just one has pushed. As the road team, Chicago is 4-5 SU so far.
Chicago has converted on just 14.8 percent of its power play chances this year, a figure that’s ranked 28th in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 10th overall and it’s successfully killed off 83.1 percent of all penalties.
Chicago’s skaters have been called for penalties 4.2 times per game this season, and 3.0 per game over their past five match ups. The teams had to stave off opponent power plays just 8.1 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Corey Crawford (2.26 goals against average and .930 save percentage) has been the primary option in goal for Chicago. Crawford is averaging 28.1 saves per game and has eight wins and eight losses to his credit.
For the visiting Blackhawks, the offense will run through Patrick Kane, who has 12 assists and six goals on the year.
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Betting Predictions
Predictions: SU Winner – Penguins, O/U – Over
- The total has gone under in three of Pittsburgh’s last five games.
- Two offenses that shoot the puck early and often, Chicago has attempted the leagues fifth-most shots on goal (34.6) while Pittsburgh has attempted the fifth-most (35.2).
- Power plays and penalty kills could be critical tonight. The Blackhawks are 6-5 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 4-4 when they serve fewer than 10 total penalty minutes. The Penguins are 7-2 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 6-4 in games where their penalty minutes are in the single digits.
- Pittsburgh is ranked 27th overall this season with 5.6 takeaways per game. That figures trended lower recently, however, as the team has averaged 4.7 takeaways over its last 10 games and 3.8 takeaways over its last five.
- Chicago is ranked 15th overall with 8.0 takeaways per game. That figure has trended upward, as the team has created 8.6 takeaways over its last 10 games and 11.0 takeaways over its last five.