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Vancouver Canucks vs. Chicago Blackhawks Picks & NHL Preview

Canucks vs Blackhawks NHL Line & Handicapping

Stumbling Canucks Visit Surging Blackhawks Friday Night

The Vancouver Canucks, losers of the first two games on their current three game road trip head to the Windy City Friday night to take of the Chicago Blackhawks – winners of five of their last six games.

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Vancouver (20-11-2-4) at Chicago (25-7-2-3)
When: 8:00 PM ET, Friday, December 20, 2013
Where: United Center, Chicago, Illinois
Broadcast: TSN, RDS2, NHLN, CSN (Chicago)
Canucks vs. Hawks Betting Lines
Vancouver Canucks +1½ -195 +160 Ov 5½ +100 Ov 2½ -105 Un 2½ -125
Chicago Blackhawks -1½ +170 -176 Un 5½ -110 Ov 3½ +145 Un 3½ -17

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The Canucks had been playing very well in every aspect of the game, outscoring opponents 24-8 during a seven-game win streak but have scored just three total goals in their last two while the Hawks – they have been terrific outside of an uncharacteristic 7-3 loss in Toronto a week ago. Chicago won the only meeting of the season between the teams so far – 2-1 in Vancouver on November 23.

As mentioned, the Vancouver Canucks were looking good heading into their current road trip winning seven straight games and failing to lose in regulation since November 30. That changed with a 3-2 shootout loss at Minnesota and a 4-1 loss at the hands of the Dallas Starts Thursday night.

The Canucks had been scoring some goals before their recent skid – they outscored their opponents 24-8 during a seven-game win streak. The Canucks have been getting much-needed contributions from players not named Sedin which is a good sign – Chris Higgins has scored in three of his past four games and has seven points in the last six games, Mike Santorelli has eight points in six games, David Booth has two goals and an assist in his last four games and Jannik Hansen has tallied three of his six goals in the last five games.

The Sedins still loom however – Daniel has 15 points in 14 games and brother Henrik isn`t too far behind that pace. Henrik Sedin has three goals and 12 assists in his past 10 regular-season meetings with Chicago but hasn’t scored a goal in his last seven. Daniel Sedin had six points (two goals, four assists) in his last three matchups.

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Despite getting the hook against Dallas, chances are that Roberto Luongo will get the start in Chicago Friday night. Luongo is 2-1-1 with a 1.71 GAA in his last four matchups but in his last two starts overall is 0-1-1 with a 3.36 GAA and .882 save percentage.

The Chicago Blackhawks are what we thought they would be – they have a league-leading 55 points and went 13-5-1 during a recent grueling 19-game span. Everything appears to be going right for this team – the stars are acting like the stars and the role players are stepping up as well. Known as perhaps the deepest team in the NHL, the Hawks have not disappointed so far this young season.

Patrick Kane has led the way offensively – five goals and 13 assists during a 10-game point streak and at least one point in 22 of his last 23 contests, Patrick Sharp has 10 points in six games, Marion Hossa has six points in four games, Duncan Keith has three points in two games, Brent Seabrook has seven points in six games and on and on and on.

All of the success has allowed the Hawks to thrive on the power play. They are 14 for 41 (34.1 percent) during a 10-game streak with at least one goal. You just can`t take penalties against Chicago – they have proven deadly with the man advantage this year.

Corey Crawford is still out of the lineup but like the rest of the team, others are stepping up. Antti Raanta has gone 5-1-0 with a 2.40 goals-against average since Crawford went out and is 7-1-1 with a 2.26 GAA in 10 appearances this season. Raanta should get the call Friday night.

Dave’s FREE NHL Betting Prediction

A few trends to consider:
• Under is 13-3-1 in VAN last 17 vs. Central.
• VAN are 7-2 in their last 9 overall.
• VAN are 20-8 in their last 28 Fri. games.
• CHI are 39-13 in their last 52 home games.
• Over is 6-2 in CHI last 8 home games.
• CHI are 22-8 in their last 30 vs. Pacific.

Friday night will mark Vancouver`s third game in four nights – you have to think that they will have less than a full tank when they hit the ice and as we all know – a full tank is absolutely essential when facing the defending champs. Chicago is just too hot, too balanced and too rested (they haven`t played since Tuesday night). The Hawks are considered the best for a reason – further proof will come Friday night!

Pick: Chicago Blackhawks -176


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About DaveB

Dave B has been a Fantasy Football writer for us for 10 years. A couch potato wannabe, Dave’s insights have been read by 10’s of people for years. He hope’s for world peace + global relaxation. Enjoy and remember only smoke things that are completely natural.