The United Center is the site for an intriguing matchup as the Chicago Blackhawks take on the visiting Minnesota Wild. The game gets underway at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, December 15, and you can catch this divisional matchup live on Fox Sports North.
Minnesota Wild at Chicago Blackhawks Odds
Both squads show an identical -110 money line, and the Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 6 goals (-120 for the over, +100 for the under).
Minnesota is 16-17 straight up (SU) and has lost 2.2 units for moneyline bettors thus far. 16 of its matches have gone over the total, while 12 have gone under and just four have pushed. The Wild are 7-13 SU on the road in 2019-20.
Minnesota has converted on 17.3 percent of its power play chances this season, a mark that’s right around league average. Additionally, its penalty kill is ranked 21st overall, and the team’s successfully killed off 78.4 percent of its penalties.
For the team as a whole, Minnesota has been penalized 3.6 times per game overall this season, 3.8 per game over its last five contests total, and 3.4 per game over its last five road outings. The team has been forced to stave off opponent power plays just 7.5 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Sporting a .908 save percentage and 25.2 saves per game, Alex Stalock (10-8-2) has been the best option in goal for Minnesota this year. Stalock played yesterday, however, so head coach Bruce Boudreau could decide to rest him and instead go with Devan Dubnyk (4-10-2 record, .893 save percentage, 3.35 goals against average).
The visiting Wild will be led by Eric Staal and Jason Zucker. Staal (25 points) is up to 11 goals and 14 assists, and has recorded two or more points five times. Zucker has 12 goals and 11 assists to his credit, and has logged at least one point in 17 games.
On the other side of the ice, Chicago is 12-21 straight up (SU) and has lost 5.5 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 33 regular season outings, 18 of its games have gone under the total, while 13 have gone over and just one has pushed. This year, the team’s 7-10 SU at home.
Chicago has converted on just 15.8 percent of its power play opportunities this year, a figure that places it in the bottom 10 overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 16th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 80.4 percent of all opponent power plays.
The Blackhawks have been penalized 3.6 times per game this season, and 4.4 per game over their last five contests. The team’s been forced to stave off opponent power plays 10.8 minutes per contest over their last five home games.
Robin Lehner (32.9 saves per game) has been the primary option in goal for Chicago. Lehner has six wins, 11 losses, and five overtime losses to his credit and has maintained a mediocre 2.86 goals against average and a .926 save percentage this season.
The home team offense will be led by Patrick Kane (15 goals, 22 assists).
Minnesota Wild at Chicago Blackhawks Betting Predictions
Prediction: SU Winner – Blackhawks, O/U – Over
For both of these clubs, the total has gone over in three of their past five matchups.
Minnesota has managed 25.6 shot attempts per game over its last five road games while Chicago is averaging 35.0 shots per game over its last five home outings.
Power-play opportunities could play a critical role in the outcome of this one. The Wild are 8-6 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 13-10 when they’re in the box for fewer than 10 penalty minutes, total. The Blackhawks are 3-6 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 8-15 when total penalty minutes are in the single digits.
Chicago (1-4 in shootouts this season) has more experience in games decided by shootout. Minnesota has only participated in two shootouts this year, winning one and losing the other.
Chicago has created 9.2 takeaways per game over its last five home games, a slight drop from its season average of 8.6 takeaways per game (ranked 7th).
Minnesota is ranked 21st in the NHL this season with 7.0 takeaways per game. That figure has trended upward, as it has created 8.8 takeaways over its last 10 games and 8.4 takeaways over its last five.