New York Islanders vs. Chicago Blackhawks Matchup Preview

Two of the least-penalized clubs in the league, the New York Islanders and the Chicago Blackhawks meet at the United Center in an East-West matchup. NBC Sports Chicago will showcase the matchup, which gets underway at 8:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, January 20.

New York Islanders vs. Chicago Blackhawks Odds

New York (+135) is playing the role of underdog to Chicago (-155). The Over/Under (O/U) is set at 7 goals and originally opened at -120 for the over and +100 for the under. That line has since moved however, and it presently sits at -115 for the over, -105 for the under.

New York is 23-24 straight up (SU) and has lost 2.5 units for moneyline bettors this year. 31 of its games have gone over the total, while 13 have gone under and just three have pushed. The Isles are 10-14 SU on the road in 2017-18.

New York has converted on 19.7 percent of its power play chances this season, a figure that’s right around league average. Additionally, its penalty kill is ranked 31st in the league, and it’s successfully killed off only 73.3 percent of its penalties.

The Isles, as a collective unit, have been called for penalties just 3.6 times per game overall this season, and 5.0 per game over its last five road outings. The team has been forced to kill penalties just 7.4 minutes per game over their last five outings.

Averaging 29.3 saves per game with a .905 save percentage, Jaroslav Halak (13-17-2) has been the best option in goal for New York this year. If New York decides to rest him, however, they may go with Thomas Greiss (10-11-2), who has a .886 save percentage and 3.89 goals against average this year.

John Tavares and Josh Bailey will both lead the way for the visiting Islanders. Tavares has 55 points via 25 goals and 30 assists, and has recorded multiple points 16 times. Bailey has 12 goals and 39 assists to his name (and has logged a point in 28 games).

On the other side of the rink, Chicago is 22-23 straight up (SU) and has lost 5.0 units for moneyline bettors this year. 24 of its games have gone under the total, while 19 have gone over and just two have pushed. It’s 12-10 SU at home this season.

The Blackhawks have converted on just 15.6 percent of their power play opportunities this season, a mark that places them in the bottom 5 overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 12th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 82.6 percent of all opponent power plays.

Chicago players have been penalized 3.7 times per game in total this season, and 2.8 per game over their last five at home. The teams been forced to kill penalties just 6.9 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Corey Crawford has stopped 27.9 shots per game as the top choice in goal for the Blackhawks. Crawford has 16 wins, 12 losses, and two overtime losses to his credit and has registered a 2.27 goals against average and a .929 save percentage this year.

The home team will be led on offense by Patrick Kane (18 goals, 27 assists).

New York Islanders vs. Chicago Blackhawks Free Picks

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

Betting Trends

  • Eight of New York’s last ten games have been decided by two goals or more. The team is 1-7 in those games.
  • The Islanders are 9-13 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 14-17 when they serve fewer than 10 total penalty minutes.
  • The under has hit in four of Chicago’s last five outings.
  • Chicago is ranked 11th this season with 9.0 giveaways per game. That figure has improved recently, however, as it’s averaged 7.7 giveaways over its last 10 games and 7.8 giveaways over its last five.
  • New York skaters have averaged 9.6 giveaways over its last five home games, an improvement from its season average of 11.6 giveaways per game (ranked 26th overall).