The Detroit Red Wings will hit the road Friday night to open an eight-game regular-season series against the Chicago Blackhawks. Hereof, I’ve prepared the latest odds update on Sugarhouse Sportsbook along with the key betting tips and my top betting pick for this Central Division clash.
The Red Wings and Blackhawks split their last season’s two-game set, as each team was victorious on the home ice. Chicago has won four of its last five encounters with Detroit and four of its previous five home matchups with the Red Wings.
Detroit finished a four-game homestand with a surprising win over Columbus
The Detroit Red Wings (2-2-0) are coming off a two-game home set against the Columbus Blue Jackets. After a 3-2 defeat in the opener, the Red Wings upset the odds as +155 dogs last Tuesday and outlasted the Blue Jackets 3-2 in overtime.
Anthony Mantha scored his first goal of the season, as well as Tyler Bertuzzi who netted the game-winner after just 15 seconds of play in overtime. Bobby Ryan added the fourth goal to his tally, and the 33-year-old winger leads the way for Detroit alongside center Dylan Larkin who has a couple of goals and assists.
Thomas Greiss should be the first-choice goalie for Detroit this term, but the Red Wings suffered losses on both occasions when they started the 34-year-old German. Still, Greiss has a .929 save percentage, while Jonathan Bernier is 2-0-0 with a 2.00 GAA and a .927 save percentage.
The Blackhawks seek their first win in 2021
The Chicago Blackhawks (0-3-1) are off to a terrible start of the new NHL season, recording four losses in four showings on the road. They opened with 5-1 and 5-2 defeats at the Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Blackhawks couldn’t cope with the Florida Panther either, suffering two straight losses, 5-2 and 5-4 in overtime.
Defenseman Duncan Keith leads the way for Chicago with four assists through the first four games. Wingers Patrick Kane, Alex DeBrincat, and Dominik Kubalik scored a pair of goals and one assist each, while defenseman Adam Boqvist added three dishes.
The Blackhawks already used three goaltenders, and injuries were not a reason. Malcolm Subban guarded the cage in the opening game against the reigning champs, while Kevin Lankinen had his NHL debut in an overtime loss at Florida, making 23 saves on 28 shots. Only Collin Delia got two starts and has a 5.00 GAA with a .855 save percentage.Trends:
- 5-13 in the last 18 games overall
- 0-7 in the last seven road contests
- 4-1 in the last five home tilts
- 4-1 in the last five games against Detroit
The Winner Prediction
I’m expecting a hard-fought battle in Chicago and the Blackhawks to grab their first win in 2021. The hosts should be fired up to stop their slide, and there’s no better chance than this one against the team that lost seven straight games on the road.
The Red Wings have a few very talented players, but they still need to improve a lot. Detroit will have a lot of ups and downs this season, while the Blackhawks certainly possess more experience thanks to the likes of Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith. Alex DeBrincat is one of the brightest talents in the league, so I’m backing the Blackhawks to step up offensively and beat the Red Wings.
Free NHL Picks: Take Chicago Blackhawks at -128
The Blackhawks have some serious problems with their goalies, while their offense has had a tall task through the first four games of the season, especially against Tampa Bay on the road. Chicago’s offense should have a much easier job against Detroit, but I would be surprised if the visitors failed to score at least a couple of goals.
Chicago has the second-best power-play percentage in the league (41.7%), but their penalty-killing percentage is tied for the fifth-worst (66.7). Detroit, on the other side, is just 1-for-7 with the man advantage. The Red Wings allowed only one goal in 11 power-play opportunities for their rivals, and that’s another unsustainable trend. Pick: Go over 6.0 goals at -105