The United Center will be the site for an East-West showdown as the Chicago Blackhawks square off against the visiting Buffalo Sabres. NBC Sports Chicago will air the game, which gets underway at 8:30 p.m. ET on Friday, December 8.
Buffalo Sabres vs. Chicago Blackhawks Odds
Buffalo (+160) is playing the role of underdog to Chicago (-185), and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at 6 goals (-110 for the over, -110 for the under).
Chicago is 12-16 straight up (SU) and has lost 7.0 units for moneyline bettors this year. That early-season winning percentage is a noticeable slide from what the team recorded during last years regular season (50-32). Out of its 28 regular season matches, 14 of them have gone under the total, while 13 have gone over and just one has pushed. The team is 6-7 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 eighth overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 83.0 percent of all penalties.
The Blackhawks, as a collective unit, have been called for penalties 4.0 times per game overall this season, and 2.8 per game over their last five matchups at home. The team has had to defend opposition power plays for just 7.4 minutes per game over their last 10 outings, in total.
Averaging 29.2 saves per game with a .930 save percentage, Corey Crawford (11-10-2) has been the top option in goal for the Hawks this season. If Chicago decides to give him a breather, however, head coach Joel Quenneville could roll with Anton Forsberg (2-8-8 record, .906 save percentage, 3.32 goals against average).
The Hawks will continue to lean on the leadership from Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat. Kane (27 points) has tallied 10 goals and 17 assists and has recorded two or more points six times this year. DeBrincat has 11 goals and nine assists to his name and has notched a point in 13 contests.
Over on the other bench, Buffalo is 7-21 straight up (SU) and has lost 14.3 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 28 regular season outings, 14 of its games have gone under the total, while 11 have gone over and just three have pushed. As a road team so far, the Sabres are 4-11 SU.
The Sabres have converted on just 11.2 percent of their power play opportunities this season, a mark that’s ranked 31st in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 17th overall and it’s successfully killed off 80.5 percent of all opponent power plays.
Buffalo’s skaters have been penalized 3.7 times per game this season, and 5.8 per game over their last five road outings. The team has been forced to kill penalties just 8.1 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Robin Lehner (24.8 saves per game) has been the primary option in goal for Buffalo. Lehner owns a 6-15-2 record, and has registered a .906 save percentage and 2.93 goals against average this year.
Evander Kane (13 goals, 12 assists) and Jack Eichel (eight goals, 14 assists) have been the top playmakers for Buffalo and will pace the offensive attack for the visiting Sabres.
Buffalo Sabres at Chicago Blackhawks Betting Predictions
Predictions: SU Winner – Blackhawks, O/U – Over
- Eight of Buffalo’s last ten games have been decided by two goals or more. The team is 2-6 in those games.
- The Sabres are 2-7 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 6-15 when they serve fewer than 10 total penalty minutes.
- The under has hit in three of Chicago’s last five outings.
- Chicago has allowed 3.8 goals per game (while scoring just 2.0 per contest) on its five-game losing skid.
- Chicago is ranked 13th this season with 9.4 giveaways per game. That figure has regressed recently, as it’s averaged 10.5 giveaways over its last 10 games and 11.0 giveaways over its last five.
- Buffalo has averaged 6.2 giveaways over its last five home games, an improvement from its season average of 7.6 giveaways per game (the fifth-fewest in the NHL).
- Buffalo skaters have accounted for the leagues 10th-most hits per game (22.8).