NHL Odds, Preview, Expert Pick & Prediction: Blackhawks vs. Penguins (Tuesday, April 11)
Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Tristan Jarry
- The Penguins host the Blackhawks on Tuesday night in Pittsburgh as heavy home favorites.
- The Penguins are battling for their playoff lives, but the Blackhawks are finsihing up a season where they tanked for better draft lottery odds.
- Tony Sartori breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.
Blackhawks vs. Penguins Odds
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Metropolitan Division’s Pittsburgh Penguins host the Central Division’s Chicago Blackhawks in what is expected to be a lopsided affair on Tuesday evening.
This matchup is the second and final meeting between these two clubs this season, with Pittsburgh winning the first contest 5-3 in Chicago. Will history repeat itself on Tuesday night, or can the Hawks pull off the miraculous upset?
Here’s a look at the odds, as well as my Blackhawks vs. Penguins betting pick.
The year-long tank efforts from this organization are almost complete, now neck-and-neck with the Columbus Blue Jackets for the highest odds in the 2023 Draft Lottery and that much closer to landing generational prospect Connor Bedard. After trading any and all assets with value at the deadline, the Chicago Blackhawks saw a brief uptick in performance with multiple AHL guys playing on the big stage and trying to earn future roster spots.
However, as Thanos said in the Avengers movie franchise, “reality is often disappointing.” The Hawks have now lost 18 of their past 22 games, with 16 of those 18 losses coming by at least a two-goal differential.
Chicago even possessed the advantage of facing a Minnesota Wild team last night that sat all of their starters. Despite holding a 2-1 lead late in the third period, Minnesota still won and covered the puck line without all of its key players.
The bad news for the Hawks is that the Penguins are fighting for their playoff lives in this contest, so the key players will not be resting. A disaster both offensively and defensively at 5-on-5, Chicago ranks last in the league in Expected Goals For per 60 minutes (xGF/60) and third-to-last in Expected Goals Against per 60 minutes (xGA/60).
The Penguins continue to fight for their playoff lives, and once again, this club will likely lean on its tremendous offense to get the job done against the lowly Hawks. At 5-on-5, Pittsburgh ranks fifth in the league in xGF/60.
Defensively, the Penguins are much less efficient. However, at 5-on-5, they still rank nine spots higher than the Hawks in xGA/60. While the Penguins’ blue line could certainly use some improvement, it is backed by goaltender Tristan Jarry, who is projected to start on Tuesday evening and should be a good candidate to back.
Entering this contest in good form, Jarry is 4-2 over his past six starts with a commanding .927 save percentage (SV%) and 2.19 Goals Against Average (GAA). On the season, he now boasts a 24-12-6 record with a .910 SV% and 2.89 GAA.
This strong campaign is likely to continue against Chicago, a team he has dominated in the past. In his career, Jarry possesses a .923 SV% and 1.92 GAA against the Hawks.
Blackhawks vs. Penguins Pick
Goaltender Petr Mrazek is confirmed to back up Chicago in this contest and should be an excellent fade candidate. It has been a difficult campaign for the veteran netminder, who is 9-22-3 with a .892 SV% and 3.71 GAA through 38 appearances in the crease.
Among starting goaltenders, Mrazek ranks 26th in GSAx/60 at 5-on-5. In nine career starts against Pittsburgh, he is 3-5-1 with a mere .895 SV% and 3.64 GAA.
With the better offense, defense, goaltender, coach and more to play for, back the superior team to take care of business on the road.
Pick: Penguins -1.5 (-175 | Play up to -185)
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