Blackhawks vs Ducks NHL Odds, Picks, Predictions
Photo by David Berding/Getty Images. Pictured: Alex Stalock.
- The Chicago Blackhawks put their five-game winning streak on the line as they travel to Anaheim to face the Ducks.
- The Ducks, meanwhile, have won two in a row, though a loss may be preferred as they are competing for the top pick in the draft.
- Carol Schram previews the matchup below.
Blackhawks vs. Ducks Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Somebody’s going to end up with two points, whether they like it or not.
On Monday, two of the top contenders for the chance to pick first overall in the 2023 NHL Draft will go head-to-head at Honda Center as the Anaheim Ducks host the Chicago Blackhawks.
These teams sit two points apart at the bottom of the Western Conference standings. It’s now in their best interest to finish as low as possible, but both the Blackhawks and the Ducks are riding unlikely winning streaks.
Here’s the latest on Chicago and Anaheim, and your best bet for the game.
Winners of five straight and six of their past 10 games, the Chicago Blackhawks have unexpectedly been one of the hottest teams in the NHL over the past few weeks.
Part of that was the Patrick Kane effect, as the pending unrestricted free agent demonstrated why they call him ‘Showtime’ with 10 points in four games before sitting out Saturday’s overtime win over the San Jose Sharks as he, presumably, awaits a trade before Friday’s deadline.
Forward Sam Lafferty was also held out of Saturday’s game, also presumably for trade-related reasons. And Chicago sent defenseman Jack Johnson back to the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday in a trade for another defender, Andreas Englund.
The Blackhawks have knocked off some heavy hitters during their hot streak, taking down Toronto, Vegas and Dallas over the past week. Their underlying foundation is still shaky and they’re controlling just 44.42% of expected goals at 5-on-5 since the All-Star break, which is third-worst in the league.
They’re averaging just 2.70 goals per game and their power play is a grim 6.9%, but their defense is in the middle of the pack and their penalty kill has been strong with an 82.6% success rate.
Chicago coach Luke Richardson has been alternating veteran goalie Petr Mrazek and rookie Jaxson Stauber through this win streak. On Sunday, Stauber was re-assigned to the AHL as Alex Stalock is set to return after missing 17 games with a head injury.
If the pattern continues, Stalock should get the nod Monday night. The 35-year-old is a solid 6-6-1 for the year, with a 2.70 goals-against average and .918 save percentage.
The Ducks have been holding down last place in several NHL categories for a good part of the season. At the moment, Anaheim sits 32nd in both average goals scored per game and average goals conceded. They’ve been surrendering a league-high 39.8 shots per game — four more than 31st-place Arizona. And while starter John Gibson is giving up 3.96 goals a game, his save percentage is better than you’d expect at .902. He also boasts a relatively respectable minus-4.3 goals saved above expected.
Gibson gave up just four total goals in his past two games as the Ducks picked up road wins over Washington and Carolina, despite being badly outshot in both contests. They also earned a point when they kicked off their four-game trip through the old Southeast Division with an overtime loss against the Florida Panthers earlier in the week. So, the Ducks fly home with five of eight points after going through one of the tougher gauntlets in the league.
On the injury front, Anaheim is missing backup goaltender Anthony Stolarz and veteran forward Adam Henrique. Defenseman John Klingberg returned against Carolina after missing two games — and scored. While he’s expected to be moved before the deadline, he may also need to log some more quality game action before a playoff team is ready to deal for him.
Blackhawks vs. Ducks Pick
Hockey’s always an unpredictable game, and roster moves at this time of year bring even more variables into play.
It’s assumed Kane and Lafferty will remain scratched for the Blackhawks on Monday. Will other players on either side also be held out, or traded before puck drop?
The Ducks are coming home after a grueling trip on the other side of the country and while Gibson has been playing well, he has been worked to the bone lately.
The Blackhawks, on the other hand, have already been in California for a few days and had a relatively easy flight from San Jose to Anaheim after their game on Saturday night. Presumably, they’ll also get a boost from having Stalock back between the pipes.
The fatigue factor should give Chicago a good shot at securing a win against the Ducks. The fact that the Blackhawks are road underdogs makes that bet even more appealing.
It sounds strange to say at this point, but it’s a good call to back the Blackhawks for their sixth-straight win.
Pick: Blackhawks Moneyline | Play to +100
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