7:00PMCT – FSTN & CSNC
The Hawks take on the Preds tonight at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. Both the Blackhawks and the Predators have been struggling the past few games with a 3-game losing streak for hawks and a 2-game losing streak for the Preds. The Hawks took on a disappointing loss against the Jets on Tuesday, as a core member, Artem Anisimov, made his debut after being out with an upper-body injury. Anisimov was the lone scorer for the Hawks, as they put up 35 shots against Winnipeg’s Hellebuyck. Crawford is expected to start tonight but has yet gained a W since his return from undergoing an appendectomy. Although Crawford is 0-2 since his return he has put up a .927 save percentage and a 2.27 goals against average, which is solid. Marian Hossa will be sitting out his third straight game since experiencing an upper body injury. Look out for the Breadman, though, averaging a point a game, Artemi Panarin has been red hot. Hopefully, he won’t get too much of an ego boost after resigning a 2-year contract for around 6 mil a year.
The Predators trail 13 points behind the Hawks and are pretty much at the bottom of the central division standings. Predators look to turn around their 2 game losing streak, getting shutout 4-0 against the Kings, and losing 3-2 in overtime against the Wild. Pekka Rinne is next on the goaltender depth chart, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Juuse Saros is put in last minute. Juuse Saros has been stellar in his first 5 games putting up a 1.39 goals against average and a .95 save percentage. PK Subban will be sidelined yet again for his 6 consecutive game.
The most recent game lines have the Predators favored -125 (Sportsbook.com). Personally, I think this is a no-brainer if you are looking to bet on the Hawks. Crawford is getting his sea legs back and having Anisimov back on the Kane and Panarin line is deadly. Here are some keys to a Blackhawks victory:
- Score First
- Capitalize on Power Play opportunities
- Cycle the puck in the offensive zone to wear the defense out.