Blackhawks vs. Ducks NHL Odds, Picks, Predictions: Target Total in Uninspiring Matchup (March 23)
Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images. Pictured: Patrick Kane.
- The Ducks are slight home favorites tonight against the visiting Blackhawks.
- Neither team has been playing well of late, which means bettors should look toward the total for a pick.
- Carol Schram breaks down the matchup and makes his best bet for the game below.
Blackhawks vs. Ducks Odds
|Over/Under||6 (-115 / -105)|
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Two teams that were big trade deadline sellers will square off on Wednesday night, when the Chicago Blackhawks visit the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center.
The Blackhawks have lost their last two games, and are now without goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. Forwards Brandon Hagel and Ryan Carpenter are gone; Boris Katchouk and Taylor Raddysh have arrived from Tampa Bay in their place.
The Ducks have now gone seven games without a win, and are finishing off a three-game homestand. Over the last week, they’ve parted ways with defensemen Josh Manson and Hampus Lindholm and forwards Rickard Rakell and Nicolas Deslauriers. They’re brought in Zach Aston-Reese and Dominik Simon — and, perhaps, Evgenii Dadonov.
Read on for more on the roster changes, injury updates and your best bet for Wednesday’s game.
Fleury-Less Hawks Struggling Toward End of Season
After the Blackhawks made a splash by acquiring Fleury and Seth Jones last offseason, there was talk that they might be able to get back into the playoff picture as soon as this spring.
But in addition to dealing with the fallout from a massive organizational scandal, the club also stumbled on the ice right from Game 1. Now, they’re coming out of the deadline sitting 25th in the league standings.
The Blackhawks’ possession numbers are poor — fifth-worst in Corsi for percentage at 5-on-5, fourth-worst in expected goals percentage. Hagel’s 21 goals were a pleasant surprise, but he’s gone. And Fleury certainly stole some wins for Chicago, especially with his four shutouts. He’s gone too.
That leaves Kevin Lankinen and Collin Delia to handle the duties in net. Lankinen is 3-8-4 this season, with an .889 save percentage and -16.6 goals saved above expected. Delia has made just two NHL appearances this year, both before the All-Star Break. In his only start, against Nashville on Jan. 1, he gave up three goals on seven shots in one period. But Delia has put up decent numbers this year with AHL Rockford.
Last week, the Blackhawks brought in Alex Vlasic, their towering defense prospect who signed his entry-level contract after finishing his junior year at Boston University. He’ll suit up for his third NHL game on Wednesday.
On the injury front, Chicago is without defenseman Connor Murphy and forward Tyler Johnson, who are both sidelined with concussions.
If there’s a bright spot on the Blackhawks, it’s the continued steady production from the team’s top line. Patrick Kane is once again in the top 20 in NHL scoring, and Alex DeBrincat’s 34 goals have him on pace to potentially surpass his previous career high of 41.
Ducks Have Lost Their Early Momentum
The Ducks were a feel-good story through the early part of the season. They were chasing a playoff spot and introducing a new young core, led by precocious forward Trevor Zegras and steady defenseman Jamie Drysdale. Troy Terry wouldn’t stop scoring, and John Gibson was providing rock-solid goaltending.
The Ducks finished out 2021 in a tie for second place in the Western Conference, with a record of 17-10-7. In 2022, they’re 10-17-4, which has dropped them to 12th place in the West.
They’ve been averaging just 2.55 goals a game in the new calendar year. Even more alarming, their goals against soared to 3.68, fifth-worst in the league.
Now at -10.8 goals saved above expected, Gibson’s goals-against average has ballooned to 3.09, the highest number of his career. He is still starting most of the Ducks’ games but since his last win on Mar. 1, he has gone 0-6-1, giving up 29 goals in those seven games.
It’s not yet clear if Aston-Reese and Simon will be ready to join the Ducks lineup against Chicago on Wednesday. Another new addition up front, Gerry Mayhew, was plucked from the waiver wire on Sunday and made his debut in Anaheim’s 6-3 loss to Nashville on Monday.
The Ducks got another piece of bad news on Tuesday, when Jakob Silfverberg was placed on injured reserve after a blood clot was discovered in his leg.
Blackhawks vs. Ducks Pick
The oddsmakers set the opening line for this matchup slightly in favor of the home side. But given all the upheaval on both teams over the last week, it’s tough to get a read on how this game will go down.
Which team will do a better job of shaking off its deadline drama, with its young players eager to showcase themselves and show where they could fit next season? And will either team be able to steady its leaky netminding?
With all the question marks, the thing that looks most certain is that a good number of goals will be scored — most likely against both teams.
Even without specific details on starters, the over should be a solid play.
Pick: Over 6 -115 (play to -125)