NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction: Blackhawks vs. Kings (March 24)
Harry How/Getty Images. Pictured: Quinton Byfield and Sean Durzi
- The Kings are big home favorites on Thursday night against the Blackhawks.
- Chicago will struggle after trading Marc-Andre Fleury, while Los Angeles is dominant on its home ice.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting prediction.
Blackhawks vs. Kings Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Central Division’s seventh-place Chicago Blackhawks travel to Los Angeles to take on the Pacific Division’s second-place Kings. This is the first meeting between these two teams this season.
Will the Kings take care of business at home, or can the Blackhawks pull off the upset?
Blackhawks Will Struggle Without Fleury
The Chicago Blackhawks enter this contest on the second half of a road back-to-back following Wednesday’s game against the Anaheim Ducks. Chicago is now entering rebuild mode as it shipped out Brandon Hagel and Marc-Andre Fleury at the trade deadline.
Fleury’s numbers do not do justice to how much he kept the Blackhawks in games this season. In his absence, Chicago should be fade-worthy in every game for the rest of the season.
In the 11 road games the Blackhawks have played without Fleury this season, Chicago is an astonishing 0-11. Since Chicago is on the second half of a back-to-back, we should expect to see Collin Delia between the pipes in this matchup.
In his one start this season, Delia got pulled after allowing three goals on just seven shot attempts. In his four road starts last season, Delia went 1-3 with a mere 0.890 save percentage.
Kings Thrive at Home
The Los Angeles Kings enter this contest following Tuesday night’s 6-1 home win over the Nashville Predators. Tuesday was yet another great performance from the Kings at home, a place where they have thrived lately.
Over their last eight home games when priced as a favorite, the Kings are 6-2 with all six of those wins covering the puck line as well. Los Angeles is currently holding on tight to a playoff spot in a crowded Western Conference, and can not be giving up home games to teams as bad as Chicago at this point in the season.
Cal Petersen is the projected starting goaltender for the Kings and will look to continue his good form at home. Over his last eight home starts, Petersen is 5-3 with a stellar 0.926 save percentage.
Los Angeles has the advantage in this matchup both statistically and analytically. This season, the Kings rank higher than Chicago in both five-on-five expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF) and five-on-five expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA).
Blackhawks vs. Kings Pick
There is no need to overthink this game as the Kings have the goaltending, statistical and analytical advantage over the Blackhawks. Without Fleury, the Blackhawks season is officially over and they will look to rebuild over the next few seasons.
The Kings have dominated this matchup over the past few seasons as they have won eight of the last 10 meetings.
Pick: Los Angeles Kings -1.5 (+135) | Play down to (+115)
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