Facing each other for the final time this season, the Florida Panthers and the Chicago Blackhawks face off at the United Center. The match gets started at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, December 23, and fans at home can witness this East-West matchup live on WGN Channel 9.
Florida Panthers vs. Chicago Blackhawks Odds
Oddsmakers have not yet posted moneyline or Over/Under odds for this matchup.
Florida is 14-20 straight up (SU) and has lost 12.3 units for moneyline bettors thus far. 18 of its outings have gone over the total, while 12 have gone under and just three have pushed. As a road team this season, the Panthers are 7-11 SU.
Florida comes into the match up with the third-best power-play unit in the NHL, as it’s scored on 28.1 percent of its extra-man chances this year. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 21st out of 31 teams, and it has successfully killed off 78.1 percent of all penalties.
For the team as a whole, Florida has been called for penalties 3.7 times per game overall in the 2018-19 season, and 3.0 per game over its last five on the road. The team has had to kill penalties just 8.3 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
With a .888 save percentage and 22.4 saves per game, James Reimer (6-13-3) has been the top option in goal for Florida this season. If head coach Bob Boughner decides to rest him, however, the team may roll with Roberto Luongo (8-9-2 record, .905 save percentage, 3.00 goals against average).
Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov will both spearhead the attack for the visiting Panthers. Huberdeau (42 points) is up to nine goals and 33 assists, and has recorded two or more points 15 times. Barkov has 15 goals and 20 assists to his credit (and has logged at least one point in 22 games).
Over on the other bench, Chicago is 13-25 straight up (SU) and has lost 9.9 units for moneyline bettors thus far. 21 of its outings have gone over the total, while 15 have gone under and just two have pushed. This year, the team’s 7-11 SU as the home team.
Chicago has converted on just 12.5 percent of its power play opportunities this season, a mark that’s ranked 31st in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 30th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 73.6 percent of all opponent power plays.
Chicago players have been penalized only 3.3 times per game this season, 3.0 per game over their past five games total, and 3.0 per game over their last five home outings. The team’s been forced to defend opponent power plays just 6.3 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Corey Crawford (28.3 saves per game) has been the top choice in goal for Chicago. Crawford has six wins, 17 losses, and two OT losses to his credit and has maintained a pedestrian 3.28 goals against average and a fairly-weak .902 save percentage this year.
Patrick Kane (17 goals, 26 assists) will pace the offensive counter for the Blackhawks.
Florida Panthers vs. Chicago Blackhawks Betting Predictions
Prediction: SU Winner – Panthers, O/U – Over
- For both of these clubs, the over has hit in three of their last five matchups.
- Florida has attempted 34.7 shots per game overall this season (the second-most in the NHL), and 28.2 in its last five road games.
- Power-play opportunities may be critical in this matchup. The Panthers are 8-13 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 5-16 in games where they serve fewer than 10 total penalty minutes. The Blackhawks are 3-11 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 9-19 when they’re in the box for less than 10 minutes.
- Chicago is ranked 17th overall with 7.4 takeaways per game. That figure’s trended upward, as the team has averaged 8.4 takeaways over its last 10 games and 8.0 takeaways over its last five.
- Florida is ranked sixth overall with 9.2 takeaways per game. That figure has trended lower lately, however, as it’s managed 8.1 takeaways over its last 10 games and 6.8 takeaways over its last five.