Chicago Blackhawks vs Washington Capitals - 12/15, 8:00 PM ET
A big game in the NHL between two sides at opposite ends of the standings at this moment in time as the Blackhawks take on the Capitals.
The Capitals are currently top of the Metropolitan Division in the Eastern Conference with a brilliant record of 17-5 from 28 games. They are currently on a 6-3-1 run in their last ten games, while they were victorious last time out against Buffalo Sabres.
The hosts currently sit seventh of eight teams in the Central division in the Western Conference with a record of 10-15-2 this season. In their last ten games, they've accumulated a 5-5 record but were beaten in their last outing against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
These two teams met earlier this month and tied in a thrilling 3-3 encounter. These games usually always produce goals, with an average of 6.4 goals per game in their history and we can expect more of the same this time around.
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For the Blackhawks, this game looks like a tough ask on current form. The Chicago side haven't won in regular time in eight of their last nine games, despite scoring first in five of their last six games.
At home, their record is poor having conceded first in each of their last three and they are yet to win a 1st period at home in six of their last seven matches. They've also not won the third period in the same stretch of games, while conceding in the third in 20 of the last 22 home games.
Scoring goals has been a big problem for them too. In 11 of their last 12 NHL home games the Blackhawks have failed to score more than three goals in a game, while failing to score more than two in each of their last six home games.
They're coming up against a side in fine form too. The Capitals have scored first in each of their last six away games while not losing the first period in any of those away games too.
To match up with the Blackhawks problems, Washington haven't lost a third period in 20 of the last 21 NHL games, while also scoring in the third period in seven of the last eight away games they've played.
They've also scored two or more goals in each of their last 17 NHL games, which spells big trouble for the Blackhawks.
Washington Capitals -1.5
To beat Chicago Blackhawks
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Blackhawks vs Capitals review
The Capitals are a team in tremendous shape currently and have found themselves in with a big shout to win the Stanley Cup in 2022.
This is a team that on average this season has been scoring 3.4 goals per match while conceding 2.5 goals which demonstrates their fluid and efficient attacking unit while their defensive unit can be considered as reliable enough to win them games.
With a 17-5 record this season they're among the best-performing sides in the NHL, while their goal difference record is comfortably the best in their division. They have scored 97 goals so far this season, which is only bettered by the Colorado Avalanche, Minnesota Wild, and Florida Panthers across the entire league.
Their defensive record of conceding 71 isn't the best, but they are able to blow teams away with their attack as Alex Ovechkin trails only behind Leon Draisaitl in the scoring charts this season.
When it comes to the Blackhawks, things aren't so rosy.
They are the 26th ranked team in the NHL this season with their poor 10-15 record, earning only 22 points. In direct competition with the Capitals, their averages for the season read poorly.
They struggle to create goalscoring chances regularly in games, which means they only average 2.2 goals per game, while defensively they simply don't have the cohesion or quality to keep teams out and concede an average of 3.2 goals per game so far this season.
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|NHL 2021/22|| |
|Washington Capitals -1.5||+165||+160||+160|
|Chicago Blackhawks +1.5||-195||-180||-185|
Looking at the form of the teams and the way the season has panned out, despite the decent record between the sides this one could be a blowout.
The Blackhawks need points on the board which means they'll push for goals, and that will only open them up more defensively and allow the Capitals to take advantage.
With their brilliant attack on full display, expect the visitors to come away with a comfortable win and extend their record at the top of their division.