Vegas Golden Knights vs. Chicago Blackhawks Matchup

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

The Chicago Blackhawks and the expansion franchise Vegas Golden Knights collide at the United Center in a Western Conference tilt. It’s the second time these teams have met in the regular season. The match gets going at 8:30 p.m. ET on Friday, January 5, and it can be viewed live on Sportsnet ONE.

Vegas Golden Knights vs. Chicago Blackhawks Odds

Chicago heads into the matchup as the favorite with a -125 moneyline. The line for Vegas sits at +105 and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at an even 6 goals (-105 for the over, -115 for the under).

Vegas is 27-12 straight up (SU) and has earned 20.4 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 39 regular season outings, 22 of its games have gone over the total, while 14 have gone under and just two have pushed. As a road team this season, the Knights are 10-9 SU.

Vegas has converted on 19.4 percent of its power play opportunities this season, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 14th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 81.5 percent of all penalties.

For the team as a whole, Vegas has been whistled for penalties just 3.3 times per game overall during the 2017-18 season, and 2.2 per game over its last five. The team has been forced to defend opponent power plays just 5.8 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Averaging 25.5 saves per game with a .922 save percentage, Malcolm Subban (11-2) has been the primary option in goal for Vegas this season. If Vegas decides to rest him, however, the team might go with Marc-Andre Fleury (8-3-1 record, .944 save percentage, 1.80 goals against average).

Jonathan Marchessault and William Karlsson will both look to continue their strong seasons for the visiting Golden Knights. Marchessault (37 points) is up to 15 goals and 22 assists, and has recorded two or more points 11 times. Karlsson has 20 goals and 13 assists to his nameand has notched a point in 22 games.

On the other side of the ice, Chicago is 19-20 straight up (SU) and has lost 3.3 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 39 regular season outings, 20 of its games have gone under the total, while 17 have gone over and just two have pushed. The teams 10-7 SU at home this season.

Chicago has converted on just 15.0 percent of its power play opportunities this year, a mark that’s ranked 30th in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 22nd overall, and it’s successfully killed off 80.3 percent of all penalties.

Chicago players have been sent to the penalty box 3.8 times per game in total this season, and 2.4 per game over their last five at home. The team has been forced to stave off opponent power plays just 8.0 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Corey Crawford (27.9 saves per game) has been the top netminder in goal for Chicago. Crawford has 16 wins, 12 losses, and two OT losses to his credit and has recorded a 2.27 goals against average and a .929 save percentage this season.

The home team will be led on offense by Patrick Kane (17 goals, 23 assists).

Vegas Golden Knights at Chicago Blackhawks Betting Predictions

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

Betting Trends

  • The over has hit in four of Chicago’s last five outings.
  • Power plays and penalty kills could prove to be key tonight. The Golden Knights are 11-4 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 19-9 in games where they’re in the penalty box for fewer than 10 total minutes. The Blackhawks are 14-10 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 13-11 when total penalty minutes are in the single digits.
  • Chicago skaters have created 8.6 takeaways per game over its last five home games, an improvement over its season average of 7.7 takeaways per game (ranked 13th in the NHL).
  • Vegas has created 5.0 takeaways per game over its last five road games, a drop-off from its season average of 11.9 takeaways per game (ranked second).
  • Vegas could hold the upper hand if this one comes down to the wire. The teams an impressive 12-5 in games decided by one goal, while Chicago is 6-8 in such games.