Chicago Blackhawks vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
NHL: Saturday, January 18, Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario, 7:00 PM ET
Saturday night’s interconference clash at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto will see the Chicago Blackhawks take on the Toronto Maple Leafs for the second and last time this regular season. The Blackhawks defeated the Maple Leafs 5-4 as slight -105 home dogs in November, recording their second straight win over Toronto. Chicago has owned the Maple Leafs, winning 15 of their last 20 encounters.
The Blackhawks have improved since mid-December, and they bring a three-game winning streak into this clash. On the other side, the Maple Leafs were terrific in December, but they lost four of the previous five games in January.
The Blackhawks stormed the front to upset the Canadiens in MontrealChicago is coming off a 4-1 victory at the Montreal Canadiens this past Wednesday. The Blackhawks broke the deadlock shorthanded early in the first period and were up 2-0 after just 8:32 of play as Zack Smith scored twice. Alex DeBrincat scored a power-play goal in the second period, while Drake Caggiula sealed the win 11:40 into the third period.
Corey Crawford had a great game against the Canadiens, turning aside 32 of 33 shots to snap his two-game skid. Crawford is 8-13-2 this season and has a 3.00 GAA and a .908 save percentage. Robin Lehner is 14-7-4 with a 2.85 GAA and a .923 save percentage, recording four wins over his last five starts. The Blackhawks are tied-17th in the league in goals against (3.10) and seventh in penalty killing (83.0%).
On the other side, Chicago scores 2.90 goals per contest (20th in the league). The Blackhawks struggle with the man advantage, converting just 15.6% of their power-play opportunities (27th). Patrick Kane is their best player this season, no doubt. He’s scored 24 goals along with 36 assists thus far. Kane couldn’t find the net in six straight outings, but he’s been tallying at least an assists per game in that span.
The Maple Leafs failed to meet the expectations against the Flames’ stout defenseToronto is coming off a 2-1 shootout defeat to the Calgary Flames this past Thursday. The Maple Leafs were listed as -145 home favorites, but they were shut down by the Flames’ D and David Rittich who tallied 35 saves during the game and three stops in the shootout. At least, the Maple Leafs played some good defense, and Frederik Andersen finished the game with 31 saves.
The Maple Leafs entered the game with Calgary as the most efficient team in the league. Now, they are second with 3.60 goals scored per game, right behind the Florida Panthers. As well as Florida, the Maple Leafs have been struggling mightily on the defensive end. Toronto is 23rd in the league in goals against (3.23) and 25th in penalty killing (76.1%).
Frederik Andersen has been doing a good job all season, and he’s 22-8-6 with a 2.80 GAA and a .912 save percentage. Still, Andersen has suffered four losses in his last five starts. On the other side, Michael Hutchinson has been awful so far, tallying a 3-7-1 record with a 3.83 GAA and a .885 save percentage. Auston Matthews leads the way for the skaters with 34 goals and 23 assists, while Mitch Marner added 13 goals and 33 dishes.
- 12-6 in the last 18 games overall
- 10-5 in the last 15 outings as favorites
The top supporting trends for this game, found on Oddsshark.com, are: Chicago:
- 5-11 in the last 16 outings as underdogs of -200 or more