Saturday NHL Odds, Picks, Predictions: Blackhawks vs. Penguins Betting Preview (Oct. 16)
Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Tristan JArry and Mark Friedman.
- The Penguins are favored over the Blackhawks on Saturday night NHL action.
- Chicago is off to a rough start, while the Pens upset Tampa on opening night and took Florida to overtime on Thursday.
- Get our full Blackhawks vs. Penguins preview and pick below.
Blackhawks vs. Penguins Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks face off against one another in Pittsburgh on Saturday in what is the third game of the season for both teams.
Chicago has yet to get into the win column in this young season and has looked far from impressive, while the Penguins come in with a record of 1-1 and have looked strong early on.
The Blackhawks have had some glaring issues on offense, defense and in net through the first two games. As a result, Pittsburgh is likely to take advantage of every opportunity given to it in this one, which is the second game in two nights for Chicago, and win big on its home ice.
Blackhawks are Struggling Everywhere
Coming into the season many people had Chicago as a sleeper team, however, they have not fit the part in their first two contests against the Avalanche and Devils.
Giving up four goals to the Avalanche isn’t necessarily something to worry about, but the ease in which Colorado was scoring and controlling the offensive zone against the Blackhawks raises some red flags.
So far, the Blackhawks have given up a total of eight goals and have the eighth highest xGA/60 in the NHL.
Their defensive struggles continued on Friday in New Jersey as well, once again allowing their opponent to net four goals and surrendering 12 high-danger chances to the Devils. Chicago has now given up the sixth most high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes, which simply is not going to get the job done.
They’ve arguably had even more struggles on the offensive end so far this season, as they rank last in the league in Expected Goals For per 60 minutes (xGF/60) with 1.46 and are in the bottom six in HDCF/60. Chicago has also only scored one goal in 5-on-5 situations through two games.
The offseason additions of Seth Jones and Marc-Andre Fleury gave this team some hope, but as of right now it appears neither has moved the needle. Marc-Andre Fleury will get his second start of the season in this one, coming off of a game in which he gave up four goals and had a SV % of .889.
Penguins Offenses Looks Bright, Evens Without Stars
Sidney Crosby and and Evgeni Malkin are both on injured reserve for the Penguins, but even without their two stars in the fold, Pittsburgh has been able to find the back of the net and produce on the offensive end.
In the season opener against the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning, Pittsburgh took control in the second period and never looked back. Danton Heinen broke the ice and scored the first goal of the game 12 seconds into the second period, and Brian Boyle immediately followed it up with a goal of his own, setting the tone for what would end as a six-goal game for the Penguins.
Despite following that performance up with an overtime loss to the Panthers, the Penguins’ offensive attack once again looked sharp, netting four total goals in the game. They managed to finish the night with nine high-danger chances for, but they couldn’t seem to find much footing on defense as they gave up 10 high-danger scoring chances and five goals to the Panthers.
Through two games, Pittsburgh ranks inside the top 10 in high-danger chances for per 60 minutes (HDCF/60) as well as Expected Goals per 60 minutes. They should have no problems finding the back of the net against Chicago in this one.
Blackhawks vs. Penguins Pick
Chicago can’t find any sort of rhythm, and it is walking into a bad spot against a good offensive team in Pittsburgh. Having to play a back-to-back makes the situation a little worse.
The Penguins have looked much sharper on both ends of the ice, and after having a day to rest they are going to come into this one as the much fresher team.
The home opener for Pittsburgh should see the Penguins put lots of pucks in the back of the net, allowing them to win big in front of the home crowd.
Pick: Pittsburgh -1.5 (+135 | Play down to +125)