The April 19th Blackhawks at Predators matchup is a dogfight for the coveted 4th spot in the Central. Nashville (49 currently has a hold on that spot and the final playoff berth from the division, but Chicago (47), and Dallas (46), are definitely in the mix. That amps up the intensity for Monday’s tilt at Bridgestone Arena.
These squads are set to get real familiar with each other as Monday’s game marks the 1st of three straight, with the next two shifting back to the United Center. The Preds’ have to like how that scheduling shakes out, as they’ve taken all five head to head meetings this season. That’s the major reason Nashville is -140 for this matchup.
Chicago’s Offense Has Been Hot
The Blackhawks have either scored 4 goals or 1 goal in their previous six games, and their 4-2 record over that span shows that solid offensive outputs have been more common. Can that trend continue in the April 19th Blackhawks at Predators meeting considering Chicago has scored just 6 goals in the five head to head meetings so far this season?
Chicago could’ve had a ton of momentum coming into Monday’s contest but a 4-1 loss to last place Detroit this past Thursday has robbed them of a four game win streak. The Blackhawks were able to salvage a split with a 4-0 win on Saturday, but their other two wins over the current stretch came against Columbus – the 2nd worst team in the division.
It was Malcolm Subban who engineered the 29 save SO over Detroit last time out for Chicago, but he had allowed 13 goals in three starts prior. Does Jeremy Colliton go with Subban, or Kevin Lankinen who has allowed 3+ goals in six of his last seven starts?
Nashville Set to Continue Their Dominance Over Chicago
The Predators have just the 16th ranked defense in the NHL in goals/game allowed, but they’ve matched up well with Chicago’s skaters this season. The ‘Hawks have scored 2 goals or less in all five meetings with Nashville this season, including being shut out 3-0 on April 3rd.
It was the Predators offense that failed them during their two game being held to just 2 goals in a 4-1 and a 3-1 loss to Carolina. Not being able to find the back of the net is nothing new for Nashville, as they are just 26th in the league in scoring this season.
Nashville hasn’t been playing too bad on offense overall lately, considering they’ve scored at least 3 goals in 8 of the 12 games since leading scorer Filip Forsberg was lost with an upper body injury. Even so, Juuse Saros will have his work cut out for him vs. a Chicago offense that has been lighting the lamp lately. Saros had held five straight opponents to 2 goals or less, but served up 4 on 29 shots to Carolina on Thursday.
Free April 19th Blackhawks at Predators Pick
No reason to avoid Nashville in this one. Sure the Chicago offense has been clicking a bit lately, but mostly against Columbus and Detroit. Saros will have a bounce back game and Lankinen usually gives up at least 3 goals.
Predators 4 – Blackhawks 2
Pick: Nashville -140