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NHL Handicapper Free Play: Chicago Blackhawks at Pittsburgh Penguins

01.05.2016     08:39 AM     Alex Smith     Printer Friendly

Submitted by Alex Smith blog entry.
Chicago +100 at Pittsburgh O/U 5 
Recommendation: Chicago

The Chicago Blackhawks open up a home-and-home series at Pittsburgh this evening. Chicago has heated up as of late with a current three-game winning streak and victories in 10 of its last 14 overall. Patrick Kane has continued to light up the scoreboard with 12 points in his last 10 games. Along with his linemates Artem Anisimov and Artemi Panarin, the trio have combined for 49 goals this season. Corey Crawford has been outstanding between the pipes, recording his league-leading sixth shutout in a 26-save effort over Ottawa on Sunday night. The 31-year old netminder has won nine of his last 12 starts and allowed two or fewer goals in nine of those contests. The Penguins are trying to turn things around on their season having won four of their last six games after suffering a five-game losing streak. The return of goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury from a mild concussion means an obvious upgrade to what had been a very unstable tandem of backups Jeff Zatkoff and call-up Matt Murray. Zatkoff lost three of his last four starts and was demoted to the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton upon Fleury's return. The superstar duo of Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby have finally awakened with a combined 10 goals and 11 assists over their last dozen games. Chicago is on a strong roll right now on both ends of the ice with the offense taking at least 28 shots in 11 of their last 12 contests coupled with the hot goaltending of Crawford. Price is right to step in with a play on the short road underdog.

Tags: NHL Chicago Blackhawks Pittsburgh Penguins Alex B. Smith

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