The United Center plays host to an intriguing clash as the Chicago Blackhawks welcome the visiting Philadelphia Flyers. It’s the final time that these two clubs will go at it in the regular season. NBC Sports Philadelphia will showcase this East-West matchup, which gets going at 8:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 21.
Philadelphia Flyers at Chicago Blackhawks Odds
Philadelphia (+105) is currently the underdog to Chicago (-125), and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at 7 goals (-120 to bet the under, +100 for the over).
Philadelphia is 35-38 straight up (SU) and has lost 4.2 units for moneyline bettors this year. 39 of its outings have gone over the total, while 33 have gone under and just one has pushed. This 2018-19 Flyers team is 17-19 SU on the road.
Philadelphia has converted on just 16.7 percent of its power play opportunities this season, a figure that’s ranked 23rd in the NHL. Additionally, its penalty kill is ranked 25th overall, and it’s successfully killed off only 78.6 percent of its penalties.
For the team as a whole, Philadelphia has been penalized 3.7 times per game overall in the 2018-19 season, and 3.0 per game over its past five games. The team’s had to defend opponent power plays just 7.2 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
With a .894 save percentage and 25.4 saves per game, Cam Talbot (11-22-3) has been the top option in goal for Philadelphia this season. If head coach Scott Gordon decides to rest him, however, the team could turn to Carter Hart (14-11-1), who has a .919 save percentage and 2.73 goals against average this year.
The visiting Flyers will be led by Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier. Giroux has 78 points on 20 goals and 58 assists, and has recorded multiple points in 26 different games. Couturier has 30 goals and 40 assists to his name (and has logged a point in 46 games).
On the other bench, Chicago is 32-40 straight up (SU) and has lost 1.9 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 72 regular season matches, 47 of its games have gone over the total, while 21 have gone under and just four have pushed. It’s 16-20 SU at home this year.
Chicago has converted on 20.7 percent of its power play chances this season, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 32nd overall, and it’s successfully killed off 73.5 percent of all penalties.
Chicago players have been called for penalties only 3.2 times per game this season, and 1.8 per game over their past ten outings. The team’s been forced to stave off opponent power plays just 3.9 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Cam Ward has denied 29.7 shots per game as the top choice in goal for Chicago. Ward has 14 wins, 16 losses, and four OT losses to his credit and has registered a poor .893 save percentage and 3.72 goals against average this season.
The Hawks will be led on offense by Patrick Kane (41 goals, 60 assists).
Philadelphia Flyers at Chicago Blackhawks Free Picks
Prediction: SU Winner – Blackhawks, O/U – Under
- For both of these teams, the under has hit in three of their last five matchups.
- Philadelphia has managed 28.4 shot attempts per game over its last five road games while Chicago is averaging 40.2 shots per game over its last five home outings.
- Penalties and power plays may have a critical role tonight. The Flyers are 16-13 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 24-21 when they serve fewer than 10 total penalty minutes. The Blackhawks are 11-17 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 25-31 when total penalty minutes are in the single digits.
- Philadelphia is 2-1 in games decided by a shootout this season while Chicago is 2-1 in shootouts.
- Chicago is ranked 16th with 7.6 takeaways per game. That figure has trended upward recently, as it has created 8.8 takeaways over its last 10 games and 8.2 takeaways over its last five.
- Philadelphia skaters have created 6.4 takeaways per game over its last five road games, its season average of 5.8 takeaways per game (ranked 30th in the NHL).