Chicago -135 at Ottawa O/U 5.5
The price has climbed a bit since the opener but I still think a wager supporting the Chicago Blackhawks is warranted tonight as they travel to Ottawa to face the Senators. Chicago was caught in that dreaded and always tough first home game following a long road trip on Tuesday night as they fell to the Minnesota Wild 2-1. I expect them to be much better tonight against an Ottawa team they have beaten in five of the last six meetings since 2011. The Senators had won four straight games prior to dropping each of their last two contests to Arizona on the road and Philadelphia at home. Ottawa is giving up far too much time, space and scoring opportunities these days and it is putting their goaltender Craig Anderson in a very difficult position where he has to be razor sharp to give them a chance to win. Ottawa has conceded 34+ shots on goal to their opposition in 8 of its last 10 games. Giving up that many looks at the net is going to cause trouble more often than not and Chicago’s very balanced offensive attack is poised to take advantage of these recent Ottawa shortcomings especially someone like Patrick Kane who has been on fire lately notching 12 goals and 32 points since the start of November. The injury bug is starting to hit Ottawa hard as well. The Senators were already without Clarke MacArthur and Chris Phillips and lost two important forwards Milan Michalek and Mika Zibanejad in Tuesday’s loss to Philadelphia. Michalek is out indefinitely with a broken index finger on his right hand while Zibanejad is listed as doubtful for tonight’s game with a head injury. Chicago is coming into this game off two straight losses and they have yet to lose three games in a row this season (Chicago is 4-0 in games after two straight losses). This is an elite team that has consistently responded in the face of any losing streak and I expect more of the same tonight.