CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS (20-16-3, 43 pts)
at ANAHEIM DUCKS (20-17-4, 44 pts)
Puck drops: Sunday, 8:00 p.m. EDT
Line: Chicago -130, Anaheim +110, Total 5.5
Two teams dealing with injuries to key players face off in Anaheim Sunday night as the defending Stanley Cup Champions travel to take on the Ducks. Both Anaheim and Chicago suffered major blows last week when their captains — Ryan Getzlaf of the Ducks and Jonathan Toews of the Hawks — went down with significant injuries. Vegas odds.
The injury bug has bitten the defending champs hard so far this season. While two pillars of Chicago’s offense, Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane, have both missed significant time with various ailments, the Hawks seemed ready to take off last week with four straight wins and, at long last, their full assortment of offensive weapons. But after banging up his shoulder on Dec. 28 against St. Louis, Toews is expected to miss roughly two weeks, giving Chicago yet another obstacle as it fights to stay in the West playoff hunt. While it might not be panic time yet in Chicago, the Blackhawks currently sit one point outside the playoff race and can’t afford to fall to far behind. A major source of strength for the Blackhawks this season has been their power play. Only the Canucks have a higher percentage than the Blackhawks’ 25.2 percent this season. However, while they have scored on their power play, they have had issues preventing their opponents from scoring when they go on the penalty kill. Chicago is currently 25th in the NHL killing penalties at a 78.5 percentage rate.
Anaheim currently sits in eighth place in the Western Conference standings, just one point ahead of the Hawks. The Ducks are just four points behind the Stars in the Pacific Division and have a chance to make up some ground as this is the second of six straight home games. Getzlaf is sidelined indefinitely due to multiple nasal and sinus fractures after taking a puck in the face on Tuesday at Phoenix. Corey Perry has been powering Anaheim’s offense in recent weeks, tallying 13 points in his last 11 games. Betting lines.
The Ducks are also without forward Aaron Voros, who was placed on injured reserve last month with a broken orbital bone. Chicago’s Fernando Pisani is also considered questionable with flu-like symptoms.
I think the Hawks will rebound and make the playoffs in the west, but it will take them a couple more games to get comfortable being without Toews. I like Anaheim to win this one.
CHICAGO is 0-6 ATS (+6.7 Units) in road games when playing 5 or less games in 14 days over the last 2 seasons. The average score was CHICAGO 1.8, OPPONENT 3.5 – (Rating = 2*). Sports scores.
The FoxSheets also side with the Under.
Play Under – Road teams where the total is 5.5 (CHICAGO) – after allowing 4 goals or more against opponent after a blowout win by 3 goals or more. (112-56 over the last 5 seasons.) (66.7%, +48.3 units. Rating = 3*).