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Chicago Blackhawks vs. New Jersey Devils Odds, Preview, Prediction: Fade Both Defenses in a High-Scoring Matchup (October 15th)

Chicago Blackhawks vs. New Jersey Devils Odds, Preview, Prediction: Fade Both Defenses in a High-Scoring Matchup (October 15th) article feature image

Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Jack Hughes of New Jersey.

Blackhawks at Devils Odds

Blackhawks Odds+105
Devils Odds-125
Time7 p.m. ET
TVNHL Network
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

Friday may mark the first game for the New Jersey Devils, but they have already been ravaged by the injury bug and will be without three regulars and probably starting goalie Mackenzie Blackwood, who is battling a heel injury.

The Blackhawks are coming off a nightmare opening-night performance where they allowed three goals in the first 10 minutes and fell 4-2 to the Colorado Avalanche.

Chicago Blackhawks

Chicago was outshot 18-8 in the first period by Colorado, had just a 28.55 expected-goal percentage and had a 21.43 high-danger scoring chance percentage at 5-on-5, according to Natural Stat Trick.

Some of that is because the Avalanche tend to roll inferior opposition, especially at Pepsi Center — they are the Stanley Cup favorites, after all — but some of that is on the defensively deficient Blackhawks.

Kirby Dach was a rare highlight for Chicago, posting 0.49 individual expected goals created and leading Chicago with five shots on net while centering Chicago’s third line.

New Jersey Devils

New Jersey has its own defensive concerns and is coming off a 2020-21 season where they allowed the fourth-most goals in the NHL. Blackwood, who played 35 games despite a midseason bout with COVID-19 last season, is a big loss, as will be defensemen Ty Smith and Damon Severson who were each placed on injured reserve Tuesday.

New Jersey scored the sixth-fewest goals in the NHL last season but should be much more potent offensively in 2021-22. Jack Hughes, whom the Devils took with the first pick of the 2019 draft, is entering his third season.

Hughes should form a nice 1-2 offensive punch with captain and fellow center Nico Hischier, who is healthy after missing all but 21 games with coronavirus and a sinus fracture last season.

New Jersey’s offense was also decimated due to a team outbreak of the coronavirus.

Blackhawks vs. Devils  Pick

It’s too early to say whether the Devils and Blackhawks are bad, but given the offensive firepower involved, particularly with Chicago, and each team’s defensive deficiencies, over 6 feels like a good bet, especially if it stays in the -120 range

Pick: Over 6 goals (-120)

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