Anaheim Ducks (24-30-9) vs Chicago Balckhawks (26-28-9)
Ryan Miller (6-3-1) vs Corey Crawford (6-14-2)
NHL Hockey Wednesday February 27 2019 10:00pm Eastern (Honda Center)
Lines and Odds: Chicago -145 Over/Under — 6.0
FREE NHL Scores Anaheim Ducks vs Chicago Blackhawks
Chicago begins a three game California road trip as they take on the Ducks tonight in the Honda Center. The Blackhawks have lost two in a row and suffered a gut punch loss versus Dallas on Monday that saw them erase a 3-0 deficit just to surrender a late third period goal. Anaheim returns home from a three game Alberta trip in which they went win-less, most recently getting blanked by the Canucks 4-0. Ryan Miller gets the nod for the Ducks and Corey Crawford makes a return after over two months on injured reserve.
The Ducks are falling back to the basement after a short stretch of mild success following Randy Carlyle’s dismissal. After big wins against the Capitals and Wild, Anaheim has managed only two goals in their last three outings and is rounding the corner on the trip to a top 5 pick. On deadline day, they shipped off their second most effective defense-man in Brandon Montour to Buffalo for prospect Brendan Guhle and a conditional first round pick (pick will be the lowest selection of San Jose and St.Louis). Montour is signed until the end of next season and is only 24 but this trade is a sign the Ducks are preparing for the future, grabbing a d-man with NHL potential and collecting an extra first round selection while tanking their own.
Abysmal offense and hemmed in defender have caused the Ducks to be propped up by goal tending as back-ups Ryan Miller and Kevin Boyle are both top ten in save percentage while starter John Gibson has recorded 26/46 quality starts (starts with a save percentage over the league average) despite facing the third most shots on goal per game. Miller has dealt with injury this year but his advanced stats as well as his surface numbers (G.A.A and save %) show he has been one of the best goalies in the NHL when he is healthy and this season is serving as a sort of audition tape for him to prove he is a worthwhile goalie for a contender next year. His personal obligations seem to reside in California but it would be smart for his career to latch on to a top team for a year or two.
Patrick Kane’s incredible 20 game point streak ended on Monday, ending with more goals, assists and total points than he amassed during his American record 26 game point streak to start the 2015-2016 season. His next level campaign along with captain Jonathon Toews’ resurgence have been a beacon of hope for the Blackhawk’s future as they tread along on a disappointing season. Chicago remains six points behind Dallas for the west’s final wild card spot and is approaching their last stand with games against bottom feeders like LA and Anaheim and multiple games against the Stars, Coyotes, and Avalanche who are all directly ahead of them in the standings.
The Blackhawks stayed quiet during Monday’s trade deadline as they made the moves they felt necessary during the earlier parts of the year. Acquiring Dylan Strome and Drake Caggiula to bolster their forward depth, Chicago had no more they could really do at the deadline as their biggest contracts are attached to the team’s top point getters and offloading Brent Seabrook’s salary wouldn’t come without giving up other top talent or a high draft pick. Caggiula hasn’t seen much differentiation in his play since leaving Edmonton while Strome has become a near point per game player in his 39 contests with Chicago after posting only 6 points in 20 games with Arizona.
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Anaheim’s last 7 games
Anaheim is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing at home against Chicago
Anaheim is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games at home
Anaheim is 2-8 SU in its last 10 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Chicago’s last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Chicago’s last 5 games on the road
Chicago is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games
FREE NHL Prediction Chicago Blackhawks vs Anaheim Ducks
These teams are on two different extremes of scoring as Chicago has played in 10 straight games with at least seven goals and Anaheim has had only two. It is a movable object versus a stoppable force when Anaheim’s offense meets Chicago’s defense. The Blackhawks are second to bottom for goals allowed and shots on goal while Anaheim is dead last in scoring, shots and shooting percentage so it will be pressure on the Ducks to take advantage of the match-up. The return of Crawford should solidify the net much more and I don’t see Anaheim being able to keep up at all if the Hawks are on their game. I like Chicago to run away with this one.