Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#71 Chicago Blackhawks vs.
#72 Washington Capitals
Thursday, December 2, 2021 at 7:00pm EST
Capital One Arena, Washington
Written by Chris King

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It’s an interconference clash on the ice in the nation’s capital between a pair of teams looking to pick up two points in the standings. The Chicago Blackhawks are on the road as they travel to face the Washington Capitals Thursday night. Chicago comes in off a 2-0 shutout loss at home to San Jose Sunday night in their most recent contest. Washington collapsed in the third period on the road against Florida Tuesday night, losing 5-4. In the last 10 meetings between the teams, the Capitals have won seven of the last 10 meetings. That includes a 5-3 road victory in the most recent matchup on October 20, 2019.

Chicago Blackhawks Trying to Find Their Footing

Chicago lost for the third time in five games after a four-game win streak as they were shut down by San Jose at home Sunday night. The Blackhawks entered Wednesday seventh in the Central Division, 15 points behind the Wild for the division lead. They stood nine points behind the Predators for the final guaranteed spot in the division and eight points back of the Stars for the second wild card spot. Chicago is 30th on the season when it comes to scoring production as they average 2.10 goals per game. The Blackhawks are 26th in the league in goals against as they allow an average of 3.19 goals per contest. Chicago is 22nd in power play success as they convert 16.2% of their chances with the man advantage this season. The Blackhawks are ninth in the league in penalty killing as they successfully kill off 84.7% of their shorthanded situations this season.

Against San Jose, Chicago was unable to generate anything in the way of offense, wasting a solid defensive showing in a home defeat. The Blackhawks held an 11-4 advantage in shots in the opening period with neither side lighting the lamp, leaving things scoreless after 20 minutes. In the second period, Chicago was outshot 15-9 and outscored 1-0 to trail by that margin after two periods of action. The third period saw the Blackhawks with a 9-3 edge as they pushed for the equalizer but were outscored 1-0 to wind up on the wrong end of the scoreboard. Marc-Andre Fleury made 20 saves for the Blackhawks, who held a 29-22 edge in shots on goal, in the loss. He is expected to get the call between the pipes in this contest as well.

Washington Capitals Hoping to Bounce Back After Meltdown

Washington played 40 excellent minutes of hockey at Florida Wednesday night but it’s a 60-minute game, which proved to be their undoing. The Capitals entered Wednesday two points ahead of the Hurricanes for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division standings. Washington is fifth in the league in goals per game as they average 3.57 goals per contest. The Capitals are 4th in goals against by allowing 2.48 goals per contest. Washington is tied for 17th in power play success as they convert 18.3% of their chances with the man advantage this season. The Capitals are tied for 12th in the league in penalty killing by successfully navigating through 83.6% of their shorthanded situations on the year.

Against Florida, the Capitals were destroyed in the third period, erasing all the good work they had in the first two periods of play. Washington was outshot 15-12 in the opening period but took a 2-1 lead to the dressing room after 20 minutes of play. Connor McMichael opened the scoring with his third of the year at 5:52 off assists from Dmitry Orlov and Nick Jensen. Just 11 seconds later, Beck Malenstyn made it a 2-0 game with his first of the year at 6:03 off assists from Trevor van Riemsdyk and Brett Leason. The Capitals gave up a goal less than a minute later to trim their lead. In the second period, Washington held a 13-9 edge in shots on goal and outscored Florida 2-0 to take a 4-1 lead after two periods. Lars Eller made it 3-1 with his second of the year at 6:40 off assists from Tom Wilson and Orlov. Jensen extended to a 4-1 lead with his third of the season at 12:40 off assists from Nic Dowd and Carl Hagelin. The third period saw Washington dominated as they were outshot by a 27-2 margin and outscored 4-0, giving up the winning goal with 14.4 seconds to play in regulation, to wind up with the loss. Ilya Samsonov made 46 saves for the Capitals, who were outshot 51-27, in the loss. Vitek Vanacek is expected to get the start in goal in this contest.

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Washington had Florida on the ropes before wilting in the third period to take the loss. The Capitals return to home ice for this contest as they take on a Chicago team that has struggled for most of the season. Chicago is just 2-7-1 on the road this season while Washington has posted a 7-1-3 record on home ice. The Blackhawks have struggled when it comes to denting the twine this season and that’s going to be a problem against an explosive Washington attack. You can’t rely on Chicago having a big period as the Panthers did in the third period Tuesday night. The Capitals come up with the home victory in this contest.

Prediction: Washington Capitals -1.5 (+122)

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Chicago comes into this game having seen the under post a 10-8-3 mark in their 21 games this season. The Blackhawks have seen an average of 5.29 goals per game this season though that number edges up slightly to 5.70 goals per contest as the road team on the year. Washington has seen the over go 11-10-2 in their 23 contests this year entering Wednesday night. The Capitals have seen an average total of 6.04 goals per game though that number drops down to an even six goals per game on home ice this season. Chicago is averaging only two goals per game on the road this season. Look for this one to wind up short of the number.

Prediction: Under 6
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Written By Chris King , "Chris King"

Chris King has been immersed in the world of professional and collegiate sports for more than three decades. Whether it's playing pickup games or being involved in organized sports to being a fan, he's checked all the boxes. From the NFL to arena football, the NHL to the KHL, the NBA to the WNBA to college hoops, and even MLB to the KBO.  If it's out there, he's covered it and bet on it as well, as Chris has been an expert bettor in his career.  Before joining Winners and Whiners back in 2015, his work appeared around the internet and in print. He's written books for Ruckus Books about college basketball, the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, golf, and the World Cup. If you're looking for the inside track on hitting a winner, do yourself a favor and read what Chris has to say.