Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#63 Chicago Blackhawks vs.
#64 Carolina Hurricanes
Tuesday, May 4, 2021 at 7:05pm EDT
PNC Arena, Raleigh
Written by Valdis Pans

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With their playoff hopes officially shattered, the Chicago Blackhawks (6th in Central Division) will round off their back-to-back stretch against the Carolina Hurricanes (1st in Central), who are riding an 11-game point streak with eight victories.

‘Hawks Lose Fifth In Row

The Chicago Blackhawks (22-24-6) were officially eliminated from the race to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs this year after dropping their season-high fifth straight decision (0-4-1) following a 5-2 defeat to the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena last night. The ‘Hawks were outshot by more than a double (38-17), killed just two of their three penalties and went 0-for-3 with the man-advantage, eventually cutting Carolina’s initial 4-0 lead to 4-2 with five-and-a-half minutes remaining before the ‘Canes buried an empty-netter 1:16 from time. Ian Mitchell (3 goals, 6 points this year) and Alex DeBrincat (26 goals, 49 points) both tallied for Chicago.

Goalie Malcolm Subban (6-8-1 on the season with a 3.20 GAA and a .900 save percentage) gave up four goals on 18 shots in the first half of the game yesterday before being pulled for Collin Delia, who stopped all 19 shots faced in relief. Delia is 0-2-0 for the ongoing campaign with a 4.03 GAA and a .891 save percentage and is expected to face the Hurricanes only for the second time in his career. The Blackhawks, meanwhile, are 15th in least goals scored per game this season (2.81), 7th in most goals conceded on average (3.27), 10th in power play (22.4%) and 27th in penalty kill (76.4%).

‘Canes Extend Point Streak

The Carolina Hurricanes (35-10-7) expanded their current point streak to 11 fixtures (8-0-3) after banking their fourth consecutive victory following a 5-2 triumph against the Chicago Blackhawks at PNC Arena yesterday. Sebastian Aho (24 goals, 55 points this year) banked an even-strength snipe, a power-play goal and an empty-netter to record his fourth career hat trick, thus extending his current point streak to eight outings (6 goals, 9 assists). Dougie Hamilton (10 markers, 42 points) had a goal and an assist, while Martin Necas (38 points) tallied his 12th snipe of the season.

Goalie Alex Nedeljkovic (15-4-3 on the year with a 1.89 GAA and a .932 save percentage) made 15 saves last night to improve to a 7-0-1 total in his past eight starts. Petr Mrazek (5-1-2 on the season with a 1.60 GAA and a .939 save percentage), who missed six games with a lower-body injury, though, is set to return to action tonight, having recorded a 3-2-1 previous tally against the Blackhawks with a 2.36 GAA and a .926 save percentage. The Hurricanes are 10th in most goals scored per game in 2020-21 (3.21), 3rd in least goals given up on average (2.33), top of the league in power-play (27.1%) and 3rd best in penalty kill (84.9%).

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Despite having qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs a while ago and currently just fighting to retain their leading position in the Central Division, the Hurricanes have not eased off on their overall approach to the last few matchups of the regular season. The team continues to give it's all, which definitely will be bad news for the Blackhawks, who have already dropped nine of their previous 11 overall contests against Carolina, losing their most recent four trips to Raleigh, being beaten by more than one strike on the very last three. Out of the previous 10 victories of the ‘Canes, nine have been achieved by a margin of at least two markers, while seven of the past nine defeats of the Blackhawks have all been by more than one goal. So, do pick Carolina! And do so on the puck line!

Prediction: Carolina Hurricanes -1.5 (+100)

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Five of the previous six overall outings between the Hurricanes and the Blackhawks have all been high-scoring contests, averaging no less than 7.60 tallies per game. So, do expect another goal-fest between the pair on Tuesday! The most recent four overall matchups of Chicago have already delivered when it comes to scoring, recording an average of 8.50 markers per fixture. Four of the past six overall outings of Carolina, meanwhile, have all witnessed at least six strikes on the scoreboard, averaging no less than 6.75 snipes per encounter.

Prediction: Over 6
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Written By Valdis Pans , "Valdis Pans"

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