Minnesota Wild vs. Chicago Blackhawks Matchup

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

In their third head-to-head matchup of the regular season, the Minnesota Wild and the Chicago Blackhawks meet at the United Center for a divisional showdown. This one will get started at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, December 17 and it is being televised live on NBC Sports Chicago.

Minnesota Wild at Chicago Blackhawks Odds

Minnesota is 17-15 straight up (SU) and has earned 0.5 units for moneyline bettors this season. 16 of its games have gone over the total, while 13 have gone under and just two have pushed. This 2017-18 Wild team is 7-9 SU on the road.

Minnesota has converted on 20.7 percent of its power play opportunities this year, a figure that’s good enough for ninth-best in the NHL. On the other hand, it has the fifth-best penalty kill in the league, and it’s successfully killed off 83.6 percent of its penalties.

The Wild, as a collective unit, have been penalized 4.2 times per game this season, and 6.4 per game over its last five road outings. The teams had to stave off opponent power plays 16.6 minutes per contest over their last five road games.

Averaging 27.8 saves per game with a .916 save percentage, Devan Dubnyk (13-10-2) has been the best option in goal for Minnesota this season. If Minnesota chooses to rest him, however, they could roll with Alex Stalock (5-6-1 record, .915 save percentage, 2.66 goals against average).

Eric Staal and Jason Zucker will both spearhead the attack for the visiting Wild. Staal has 28 points on 12 goals and 16 assists, and has recorded multiple points seven times. Zucker has 14 goals and 11 assists to his name (and has registered at least one point in 18 games).

On the other side of the ice, Chicago is 16-16 straight up (SU) and has lost 2.9 units for moneyline bettors this year. 17 of its games have gone under the total, while 13 have gone over and just two have pushed. This year, the teams 9-7 SU as the home team.

The Blackhawks have converted on just 15.0 percent of their power play chances this season, a figure that places them in the bottom overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 11th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 82.4 percent of all opponent power plays.

Blackhawks players have been whistled for penalties 3.8 times per game in total this season, and 2.4 per game over their last five home outings. The team has been forced to kill penalties just 6.4 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Corey Crawford (29.3 saves per game) has been the top netminder in goal for the Blackhawks. Crawford has 15 wins, 10 losses, and two OT losses and has recorded a sharp .934 save percentage and a solid 2.15 goals against average this season.

The Hawks will be led on offense by Patrick Kane (12 goals, 20 assists).

Minnesota Wild vs. Chicago Blackhawks Betting Predictions

Predictions: SU Winner – Blackhawks, O/U – Over

Betting Trends

  • Power plays and penalty kills could prove to be key in the outcome of this game. The Wild are 3-4 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 11-7 when they’re in the penalty box for fewer than 10 minutes, total. The Blackhawks are 12-8 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 11-8 when they’re in the box for less than 10 minutes.
  • The under has hit in three of Chicago’s last five outings.
  • Chicago has allowed 2.7 goals per game overall this year, but has given up only 1.5 per contest over its four-game win streak.
  • Chicago has averaged 11.2 giveaways over its last five home games, a rise over its season average of 9.5 giveaways per game (ranked 15th in the NHL).
  • Minnesota skaters have averaged 7.8 giveaways over its last five home games, a rise over its season average of 6.3 giveaways per game (ranked third in the NHL).