Rangers vs. Blackhawks NHL Odds, Pick, Preview (Dec. 7)

Rangers vs. Blackhawks NHL Odds, Pick, Preview (Dec. 7) article feature image
Credit:

Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Chicago Blackhawks standout Jonathan Toews.

Rangers vs. Blackhawks Odds

Rangers Odds -120
Blackhawks Odds +105
Over/Under 5.5
Time 8:30 p.m. ET
TV ESPN+
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Chicago Blackhawks host the New York Rangers on Tuesday in an Original Six matchup.

This season, the Rangers have been among the best teams in the NHL, going 16-4-3 to start the year and sitting second in the Metropolitan Division. The Blackhawks have been less successful, accumulating nine wins through their first 24 games.

However, New York will need to overcome the loss of its primary goaltender if it hopes to continue its six-game winning streak against Chicago.

New York Rangers

This isn’t a true home-and-home series, as the Blackhawks made an additional stop on Long Island. However, this will be the Rangers’ second consecutive game against Chicago. They were victorious in that matchup, but the advanced metrics support they were lucky to win.

New York posted an expected goals-for percentage of 42.2% at 5-on-5, getting out-possessed and out-chanced in scoring and high-danger chances. The Hawks were able to neutralize the Rangers’ attack on home ice, limiting them to three high-danger and 18 scoring chances. New York loses its home-ice advantage in this meeting and will have to find a way to be more competitive in the rematch.

The Rangers had an extended run of overproducing, attempting 12 or more high-danger chances in seven of nine games, for a running average of 12.8 per game. However, that run was well above their season average of 8.8, putting them at risk of further diminished production, as their metrics work back down towards average.

Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks have looked bad to start the season, but their on-ice product is worse than their advanced analytics imply. Jonathan Toews and company have begun to outplay their opponents, but their outcomes have not yet caught up to their metrics. That implies that they are progression candidates over their coming games, as outcomes start to reflect their efforts.

Chicago has outplayed its opponents in three of its past five games, a span in which it has only two wins. Solid defensive play has been the foundation of their success, as the Blackhawks limited their opponents to seven or fewer high-danger and 21 or fewer scoring chances in four of the five games. That structure could expedite the Rangers regression back toward season averages.

The Blackhawks also return home, where they have been much more competitive this season. Chicago’s expected goals-for percentage takes a seven-point jump on home ice, going from 40.5% as the visitors to 47.7% as the hosts.

Although uninspired, the Blackhawks are underachieving relative to their home-ice metrics, putting up a 39.5% actual goals-for rating through their first 11 games.

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Rangers vs. Blackhawks Pick

We like the Blackhawks to continue their upward trend against the Rangers, who should see their offensive metrics decline over the coming games.

Those anticipated offensive woes will be exacerbated by question marks in net, as goaltender Alexandar Georgiev has posted just an 87.6% save percentage through eight games this season.

Don’t pass up plus money on the home side, as this line will likely shift leading up to the game.

Pick: Chicago (+105)

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