Vancouver Canucks vs. Chicago Blackhawks, 03/21/17 – Prediction

Game Snapshot

Vancouver Canucks
vs.
Chicago Blackhawks

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at 8:35pm

Written by on

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Vancouver Canucks (28-34-7 SU, 28-30 O/U) at Chicago Blackhawks (47-20-4 SU, 33-28 O/U)

When/Where: Tuesday, 8:30 p.m. ET, United Center, Chicago

Moneylines: Blackhawks -287, Canucks +253; total: 5.5

It’s two teams going in polar opposite directions meeting Tuesday in the Windy City as Chicago puts a five-game winning streak on the line and looks to take a step closer to clinching the Central Division and the top seed in the West. Vancouver, meanwhile, has dropped six straight and is simply hoping to stay out of the Pacific Division cellar.

Canucks Struggling And Beaten Up

Vancouver is just four points ahead of last-place Arizona in the Pacific. It does the Canucks more good by losing as much as possible the rest of the way to improve their draft lottery odds. Vancouver has scored just nine goals in its six-game skid. The Canucks have struggled offensively all year, ranking 29th in goals (2.2 per game) and 29th on the power play (13.8 percent). They started a five-game trip in Edmonton on Saturday and were blanked 2-0. Cam Talbot stopped 33 Vancouver shots. “We hit a lot of posts,” Vancouver captain Henrik Sedin said. “Their goalie played well, but I thought we deserved to score at least a couple.” Michael Chaput played with Daniel and Henrik Sedin on Saturday. Coach Willie Desjardins switched up the lines and Chaput found himself with the Sedins while Markus Granlund moved up to the Bo Horvat, Sven Baertschi line. Richard Bachman played solidly in net for Vancouver.

Granlund will undergo wrist surgery and probably is done for the year. “Markus has had an ongoing wrist injury which we’ve treated through regular maintenance and rehabilitation,” said Canucks GM Jim Benning. “Our Canucks medical team and Markus believe that surgery is the best course of action for his long-term health and by having the procedure now it will allow him to have more time to rehabilitate and work out in preparation for next season.” Granlund had 19 goals and 13 assists. Jacob Markstrom won’t travel with the Canucks to Chicago because of food poisoning. Markstrom has been sidelined since late February because of a lower-body injury. Brendan Gaunce (upper body) will not accompany the team to Chicago, either. Nikolay Goldobin (illness) skated on Monday and will travel with the team. He feels better but he isn’t sure if he will play on Tuesday night.

Blackhawks Pulling Away In Division

Thanks to that five-game run and Minnesota dropping five straight, the Hawks now have a seven-point lead atop the division and in the conference. On Sunday, the Hawks were in a potential trap game in the second of a back-to-back but beat Colorado 6-3 to clinch a playoff spot for the ninth consecutive season. Jonathan Toews scored twice, and Richard Panik and Artemi Panarin each had a goal in a span of 3:02 in the third period. Patrick Kane scored his team-leading 32nd goal, and Marcus Kruger added an empty-netter for Chicago, which won for the 17th time in its past 20 games.

Toews now has a four-game point streak going with 20 goals and 53 points in 63 games. After 18 points in February, Toews has seven points through 10 games in March. Panarin stretched his point streak to six straight games. Rookie John Hayden contributed two assists. He has generated one goal and three points in the first three games of his NHL career. Not a bad start for the 22-year-old forward fresh out of Yale. Scott Darling allowed three goals on 25 shots in the win. Darling has now won seven straight and improved to 18-5-2 this season with a 2.12 goals against average and .931 save percentage. He’ll likely be headed back to the bench for Corey Crawford here. Chicago center Artem Anisimov missed his third game and right wing Marian Hossa his second with lower-body injuries. Coach Joel Quenneville gave 35-year-old defenseman Johnny Oduya the game off.

Trends

Vancouver:

  • Canucks are 8-22 in their last 30 overall.
  • Canucks are 3-9 in their last 12 vs. Western Conference.
  • Canucks are 0-7 in their last 7 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game.
  • Canucks are 0-4 in their last 4 vs. Central.
  • Under is 4-1-1 in Canucks last 6 vs. a team with a winning record.

Chicago:

  • Blackhawks are 8-0 in their last 8 in the third game of a 3-in-4 situation.
  • Blackhawks are 6-1 in their last 7 home games.
  • Blackhawks are 6-1 in their last 7 vs. Western Conference.
  • Blackhawks are 22-5 in their last 27 games playing on 1 days rest.
  • Over is 5-1 in Blackhawks last 6 Tuesday games.

The Canucks have lost the past four vs. Chicago. The most recent meeting was Jan. 22 and Chicago won 4-2 at home. Toews scored the tiebreaking goal with 1:18 remaining. He also had three assists. Panik had a goal and an assist and Kane also scored for the Blackhawks. Crawford made 26 saves to earn his 200th win. Ryan Miller was in net for Vancouver.

The Pick: Blackhawks -287 & Under 5.5

NBA on Wednesday, 3-22-2017

Charlotte Hornets vs. Orlando Magic, 03/22/17 - Prediction

It’s a matchup of Southeast Division foes on the outside looking in at the playoff picture down in the Sunshine State. The Charlotte Hornets are on the road as they battle the Or... Read More

Boston Celtics vs. Indiana Pacers, 03/22/17 - Prediction

It’s a matchup of Eastern Conference playoff teams meeting up in Beantown. The Indiana Pacers are on the road as they travel to face the Boston Celtics Wednesday night. Indiana h... Read More

Chicago Bulls vs. Detroit Pistons, 03/22/17 - Prediction & Preview

It’s a Central Division matchup between a pair of teams battling for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference in the Windy City. The Detroit Pistons travel to play the se... Read More

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 03/22/17 - Prediction

It’s an inter-conference clash between teams in different situations meeting down in the Sooner State. The Philadelphia 76ers are on the road as they travel to face the Oklahoma ... Read More

Washington Wizards vs. Atlanta Hawks, 03/22/17 - Prediction

It’s a battle between the top two teams in the Southeast Division in the nation’s capital. The Atlanta Hawks are on the road to face the Washington Wizards Wednesday night. Atl... Read More

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Denver Nuggets, 03/22/17 - Prediction

Two high octane teams collide as the Denver Nuggets host the Cleveland Cavaliers Wednesday night from the Pepsi Center.... Read More

Last Updated: March 21, 2017

Matt Severance

Matt has been a sports journalist for nearly two decades. He is a former sports editor/writer at two newspapers and a magazine. Went full-time freelance sports writer in 2008 -- not by choice then but became a life-changing decision in the best possible way. Consider myself expert on all major US sports. If you are looking for Curling or Badminton expertise, etc., I'm not your guy.