January 17, 2014 at 2:43 PM #53056
Qbin Missile CrisisKeymaster
Friday NHL Ducks vs. Hawks Jan 17
Possible Western Conference Final Highlights Light Night in NHL
A Western Conference Heavyweight Showdown takes place in the Windy City when the hottest team in the NHL pays a visit to the United Center. Anaheim brings an impressive eight game win streak into Friday night`s contest after a 9-1 beat down of the Canucks on Wednesday night and have won a staggering 18 of their last 19 games overall. The Blackhawks on the other hand have gained a point in 17 of their last 19 games but are having a difficult time winning in overtime. They are just 1-1-3 in their last five games and will be looking to make a big statement with a good performance against the team six points ahead of them in the NHL overall standings.
Anaheim (36-8-1-4) at Chicago (30-8-5-6)
When: 8:00 PM ET, Friday, January 17, 2014
Where: United Center, Chicago, Illinois
Broadcast: RDS, NHLN-CA, NHLN-US, FS-W, CSN-CH+
Ducks vs. Blackhawks Betting Lines from betonline.com
Anaheim Ducks +1½ -255 +119 Ov 5½ -121
Chicago Blackhawks -1½ +215 -131 Un 5½ +110
The Ducks have gone 20-0-2 in their last 22 home games but head out on the road Friday for the first of two away games over the weekend. How good have the Ducks been? 13 players hit the score sheet Wednesday night against Vancouver and goaltender Jonas Hiller is riding a personal 14 game win streak. The team averages 3.43 goals for per game and 2.37 against – a good recipe for success.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Anaheim`s team this year has been the depth, particularly on offense. All four lines are contributing and it seems that everyone is having a career season. We know about Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Teemu Selanne but players like Andrew Cogliano, Nick Bonino, Dustin Penner and Mathieu Perreault have been sensational for the Ducks.
Perry had two goals and two assists against Vancouver, giving him nine points (four goals) in his past five games and Selanne also had two goals Wednesday giving him six points in four games. Role players have also contributed in a big way – Sami Vatanen has three points in two games, Hampus Lindholm has four points in three games, Patrick Maroon has four points in five games, Jakub Silverberg has three points in three games and Kyle Palmieri has two points in two games.
You get the picture – everybody can score and is scoring at this point of the season.
As mentioned earlier, the defense and goaltending continues to be a terrific compliment to the insane offense of the Ducks. Jonas Hiller has won 14 straight dating back to the beginning of December and even his backup is playing very well at the moment – Fredrik Anderson is 2-0-0 with a 2.02 GAA and .931 save percentage in his last two starts.
The Chicago Blackhawks are one of the elite teams in the NHL and yet they find themselves staring up at the Ducks in the standings and floundering a tad just over half way through the season. But as all good clubs do, they are finding a way to get at least a point out of every game – 17 of 19 to be precise.
The Hawks are a bit better than the Ducks offensively this season – they average 3.53 goals per game – best in the NHL. But some usual suspects have gone cold as of late. Patrick Kane has just three points in eight games after an absolutely torrid start to the year, Brent Seabrook has just one point in five games Kris Versteeg is pointless in six games and Bryan Bickell hasn`t hit the score sheet in seven.
But Marian Hossa has two goals and two assists in his past three games, Andrew Shaw has scored a goal in back-to-back games, Patrick Sharp continues his stellar play with 25 points in 18 games and Brandon Saad has three points in his last two starts.
Chicago`s goaltending could be better. Corey Crawford is 0-3-4 in his last seven starts, but has allowed three goals or less in his five games since returning from injury. Not bad but not that great. There is a chance he gets the night off in favor of Antti Raanta who is 3-0-0 with a 1.67 GAA and .932 save percentage in his last three games.
Betting Prediction: A few trends to consider:
• ANA are 8-1 in their last 9 road games.
• Over is 7-1 in ANA last 8 overall.
• Over is 8-3-1 in ANA last 12 road games.
• CHI are 8-2 in their last 10 Fri. games.
• CHI are 10-3 in their last 13 vs. Pacific.
• CHI are 43-17 in their last 60 home games.
• Under is 13-3 in the last 16 meetings in Chicago.
• Under is 16-5 in the last 21 meetings.
Anaheim has won five straight in this series and handed the Blackhawks three of their 12 total regular-season losses in last year’s run to the Stanley Cup. The number`s just don`t lie! It`s pretty hard to bet against the Ducks right now – and as an underdog they are simply too hard to resist. The winning streak stretches to nine overall and to six against the Hawks Friday night in what should be one of the best games of the year.
Pick: Anaheim Ducks +119
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