Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Chicago Blackhawks Betting Preview


A couple of teams squaring off for the first time this season, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Chicago Blackhawks take the ice at the United Center. This East-West matchup gets underway at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, December 12 and it can be watched live on NBC Sports Network.

Pittsburgh Penguins at Chicago Blackhawks Odds

Oddsmakers have not yet posted moneyline or Over/Under odds for this matchup.

Pittsburgh is 13-16 straight up (SU) and has lost 13.2 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 29 regular season matches, 13 of its games have gone under the total, while 12 have gone over and just four have pushed. The Pens are 6-8 SU on the road in 2018-19.

Pittsburgh has converted on 23.2 percent of its power play chances this season, a figure that places them in the top-10 among NHL teams. On the other hand, it has the seventh-strongest penalty kill in the league, and the team’s successfully killed off 83.7 percent of its penalties.

For the team as a whole, Pittsburgh has been penalized just 3.5 times per game this season, and 4.6 per game over its past five match ups. The team’s had to defend opponent power plays just 6.1 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

With a .925 save percentage and 25.3 saves per game, Casey DeSmith (9-11-4) has been the best option in goal for Pittsburgh this year. If Pittsburgh decides to rest him, however, head coach Mike Sullivan may roll with Matt Murray (4-7-1 record, .877 save percentage, 4.08 goals against average).

Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel will both spearhead the attack for the visiting Penguins. Malkin (33 points) is up to 10 goals and 23 assists, and has recorded multiple points 10 times. Kessel has 12 goals and 21 assists to his name (and has notched at least one point in 20 games).

On the other side of the ice, Chicago is 9-23 straight up (SU) and has lost 13.5 units for moneyline bettors this year. 16 of its contests have gone over the total, while 13 have gone under and just two have pushed. The team is 5-9 SU at home this year.

Chicago has converted on just 11.3 percent of its power play chances this year, a mark that’s ranked 32nd in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 30th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 72.3 percent of all opponent power plays.

Chicago skaters have been sent to the penalty box only 3.4 times per game this season, 4.0 per game over their past five games total, and 3.6 per game over their last five home outings. The team has been forced to defend opponent power plays 10.0 minutes per game over their last five home outings.

Corey Crawford has stopped 28.4 shots per game as the primary selection in the crease for Chicago. Crawford has five wins, 15 losses, and one OT loss to his name and has maintained a mediocre 3.21 goals against average and a poor .901 save percentage this season.

The home team offense will be led by Patrick Kane (15 goals, 21 assists).

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Chicago Blackhawks Free Picks

Free NHL Pick: SU Winner \u2013 Blackhawks, O/U \u2013 Over

Betting Trends

  • For both of these teams, the game went over the total in three of their last five matchups.
  • The Blackhawks are 2-10 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 6-17 in games where they’re in the box for fewer than 10 penalty minutes, total.
  • Chicago skaters have created 7.4 takeaways per game over its last five home games, right in line with its season average of 7.2 takeaways per game (ranked 19th in the league).
  • Pittsburgh is ranked ninth in the NHL this season with 8.8 takeaways per game. That figure has trended higher recently, as the team has averaged 9.4 takeaways over its last 10 games and 9.6 takeaways over its last five.