East vs. West NHL action gets underway Tuesday night as the Chicago Blackhawks host the Carolina Hurricanes. Each team enters today's action hot, having put together respectable winning streaks. Carolina is unbeaten in its last three. Meanwhile, Chicago's won four straight.
During that unbeaten run, the Blackhawks have secured fifth place in the Central Division with 23 points. Chicago last took the ice Sunday, downing Buffalo 4-1. Consistent offense has become a staple of the Blackhawks' recent play as Patrick Kane continues dominating opposing defenses.
The Hurricanes are eking clutch wins while keeping alive their successful run. Both Minnesota and Buffalo dropped overtime contests vs. Carolina last week. Andrei Svechnikov, much like Kane, is carrying his team through the November rush. His lead places Carolina third among Metropolitan teams.
The Hurricanes own a 4-0 late-October road shutout vs. Chicago. Carolina opens as -100 favorites.
Hurricanes pull out winning stopsCarolina pulled another road win from scrappy competition, defeating Minnesota 4-3 Saturday. Four Hurricanes, led by Svechinikov's OT winner, scored assisted goals vs. the home-standing Wild. Warren Foegele, Brock McGinn and Joel Edmundson aided Svechinikov's heroics and set the stage for tonight's prime action. The Hurricanes' co-leader Dougie Hamilton added a game-winning assist Sat. night. Backstop James Reimer ran his record to 3-4, while stopping 32 of Minnesota's 35 shots.
One season after making a Conference Finals bid, the Hurricanes' 70 goals for rank #seven NHL. The team's 59 goals against rank sixth. Much of Carolina's success is related to its 23.8 percent power-play conversion. The Hurricanes are efficient when gaining the man advantage. Carolina's #11 ranked penalty kill helps sway tight games in their favor. Having an excellent 2019, (9-3-1, 2.62 gaa, .904 save percentage) Panther backstop Petr Mrazek is listed as probable. Mrazek stopped 32 shots during Carolina’s recent 4-0 shutout of the Blackhawks.
Chicago finding its way after rough startFocused, Chicago used explosive offense and timely defense to overmatch its last four. The Blackhawks torched their two most recent opponents -Nashville and Buffalo- 11-3. Patrick Kane lit the lamp Sunday and ran his goals-scored streak to six games. Kane and Jonathan Toews' one-goal performances bolstered 18-year-old Kirby Dach's two scoring strikes. Dach, a center with fleet agility, is finding professional footing after being selected third overall in the 2019 rookie draft.
Behind those offensive highlights, the Blackhawks have reclaimed a torrid scoring pace set last season. Though the team's much-improved defense (59 goals against, #6 NHL) has Chicago among their division mix. The 2019 Hawks average 3.05 goals, convert 14.5 percent power plays and kill 80 percent of their opponents' penalty advantages. While those offense and penalty play numbers aren't impressive, they have greatly improved in November.
At 4-4-1, netminder Corey Crawford (3.01 gaa, .914 save percentage) is listed as tonight's probable. Crawford's won three of his last four starts.
Trends courtesy of Odds Shark
- Carolina is 4-1 SU in their last 5 games against Chicago.
- Carolina is 12-3 SU in their last 15 games against an opponent in the West conference.
- Carolina is 5-0 SU in their last 5 games against an opponent in the Central division.