Date/Time: January 8th, 8:00 p.m. ET
Television: NBC Sports Network
Moneyline: Blackhawks -195
Wednesday night on the ice in NHL betting action finds two old foes squaring off as the New York Rangers will face the Chicago Blackhawks at 8 p.m. EST inside the United Center.
New York suffered just its second shootout loss of the season last time out against the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3. The Rangers enter this contest 24th in league scoring averaging only 2.4 goals per game. Leading scorer LW Chris Kreider has 11 goals in 37 games ranking him 81st in the league in that category. Rookie G Cam Talbot has been sensational for New York giving up just 1.66 goals per game and the team is 9-3 in his 12 starts this season. The Rangers will need a huge effort from him if he goes in place of the struggling G Henrik Lundqvist Wednesday as they face the defending league champs. Rangers’ RW Mats Zuccarello leads the team with 30 points and 20 assists on the year. In his fourth season, Zuccarello has played in a career high 43 games and scored 10 goals for the Rangers. New York has not won on the road in Chicago since 1/16/09 which was a 3-2 victory in overtime. New York fell short in its last trip to the Windy City taking a 4-3 loss on 3/9/12. The Rangers have actually been a stronger team on the road as they hold a 13-10-0 record when playing away from Madison Square Garden thus far in 2013.
Chicago enters Wednesday’s game on fire having not lost in regulation in its last 10 games and have taken six wins over that span. Three of its four losses have come in shootouts while just one was in overtime to the New York Islanders. The Blackhawks sit atop the Central Division standings at 29-7-9 with six shootout wins and four shootout losses for a league leading 67 points. The straw that has stirred the championship drink for the Blackhawks is still RW Patrick Kane who enters this game with 54 points on 23 goals and 31 assists. Kane has recorded just one point in his team’s last four contests, two of which were losses. Keep an eye on him to get things going in this one. Chicago averages a league leading 3.6 goals per game, and that has made for an easy season for all of Chicago’s various net minders. The Blackhawks are an impressive 15-2-6 when playing at home this season and haven’t lost in regulation at home since a loss to Dallas on 12/3/12 a narrow 4-3 defeat.
The Rangers seem to be catching the Blackhawks at a really bad time where they are amongst the hottest teams in the league. Since its last home loss, Chicago has outscored opponents 35-18 at the United Center, and we doubt that will change any with the low scoring Rangers coming in on Wednesday night. Look for the Blackhawks to dominate this contest and get a 16th home victory behind the league’s top scoring attack.
New York Rangers @ Chicago Blackhawks Pick: Chicago Blackhawks
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.