Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#57 Vegas Golden Knights -125 vs.
#58 Chicago Blackhawks 6.5
Tuesday, October 22, 2019 at 8:35pm EDT
United Center, Chicago
Written by Joshua Broom

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#57 Vegas
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Tonight, Western Conference NHL action sees the Vegas Golden Knights visit Chicago. Behind effective two-way execution, the Golden Knights have won four of five contests and appear primed following hard-luck playoff results last spring. Though, an improbable Stanley Cup appearance in their inaugural campaign makes anything less than lifting an NHL championship a washout.

Conversely, home-standing Chicago fades further from the time which saw them raise three league titles this decade. Conspicuous by consecutive playoff absences, the Blackhawks are 2-4 this season.

Early line action, as of Monday morning, slightly favors Vegas. The Golden Knights swept Chicago 3-0 last season while finding no shortage of scoring routes vs. backstops Collin Delia and Corey Crawford.

Fluery in a groove

A little offensive firepower, along with Marc-Andre Fleury’s net presence, has tilted Vegas back toward elite status after a 2-2 start. Fluery’s six 2019 victories lead all NHL net-minders as the three-time Stanley Cup winner halts .934 percent of shots lobbed his way. Enjoying perhaps the finest October of his decorated career, the 34-year-old works behind a top-ten defense allowing just 2.3 goals per outing.

And Sunday, in a vintage performance vs. his former employer, Fluery helped Vegas blank Pittsburgh 3-0. With indelible banners overhead, visions of bringing similar glory to a new franchise during an Indian Summer revival sparked Fluery’s 29 saves as Marc Stone, Paul Stastny, and William Karlsson each added one goal to cap the Golden Knights’ 3-0 road win vs. Pittsburgh.

Defensive highlights noted, Vegas’ scoring prowess steadily rises. The Golden Knights rank sixth overall, averaging 3.5 goals per game. Marc Stone leads that charge with six goals and 12 points. Key cogs Max Pacioretty (10 points), William Karlsson (eight points) and Reilly Smith (seven points) each handsomely bolster Stone’s contributions.

Further, the Golden Knights are currently 3-1 away from home and lead the Pacific with a +11 differential.

Colliton searches for answers

With much of their glory day-core remaining, yet aging, the Blackhawks seek a playoff push to bolster head coach Jeremy Colliton’s first full season. At 34-years of age, Colliton replaced departed legend Joel Quenneville early last year. Under Colliton’s guidance the Blackhawks’ defense underperformed in 2018-19’, ranking next-to-last leaguewide. Those numbers ensured Chicago, and its new sideline regime, would again view playoff action from afar.

Interestingly, however, a small sample size shows the 19-20’ Blackhawks’ No. 6 defense surpasses its anemic offense. And a failure to keep pace with Washington Sunday ended Chicago’s modest two-game win streak. Led by Tom Wilson’s third-period strike, the Capitals skated by Chicago 5-3.

Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford’s issues remained as he allowed four pucks through on a weekending-night best consigned to memory. Crawford, a three-time All-Star, has registered one win against three losses this year while stopping just .891 of shots against. Crawford also allows 3.58 goals per game.

Chicago is 2-2-1 from home this season. Patrick Kane is the only Blackhawks’ player to surpass eight points in 2019.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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While Las Vegas owns a definitive talent advantage, the Golden Knights enter today’s contest on the tail end of back-to-back contests. Meanwhile, homestanding Chicago enjoys a day off Monday. The added rest should boost Kane's supporting cast as the high-scoring right-wing seeks offensive support.

That stated, facing a hostile environment, expect the Golden Knights’ road wares to pay dividends in a tight encounter. A bit banged up, but with superior depth, Las Vegas will claim its fourth road win tonight.

Prediction: Vegas

Full-Game Total Pick

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Vegas’ upper-rung two-way balance will aid their cause of grinding out a low-scoring Under victory tonight. Further, the Blackhawks’ defense has been mostly solid, allowing 20 goals -five below NHL average this season. Both performance factors suggest low-scoring hockey tonight from the Second City.

Even on tired, traveled skates, expect a strong performance Tuesday from a gifted Golden Knights bunch. And it will be needed as Chicago holds all the intangible matchup advantages.

While a one score Vegas win seems most likely, these trends further support the Under:

Prediction: Under
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Written By Joshua Broom

A lifelong sports enthusiast, Joshua Broom has lent his thirty-plus years of insight to several sports outlets and has appeared on national radio to talk hoops. Now a dedicated handicapper, Joshua avidly critiques NBA, MLB and college and professional basketball and football trends for the betting public. Check out his picks today at Stat Salt to get a leg up on your bookie.