Colorado +115 at Chicago O/U 6
The Chicago Blackhawks are not the better of these two teams nor are they in a quality scheduling spot for this matchup against the Colorado Avalanche and that has me backing the road underdog in this matchup. Colorado is in a battle for one of the two Wildcard playoff spots in the Western Conference and are in need of victories at this stage of the season. The Avalanche have won three of their last four games and the only loss came to the defending Western Conference champs Nashville 4-3 in OT on Sunday afternoon. Nathan MacKinnon is in the midst of a career season with the Colorado Avalanche. MacKinnon has put up six goals and six assists during his five game point streak to boost his NHL best individual scoring average to 1.35 points per game. He’s already set career highs in goals and points and this Colorado team pretty much goes as their star Nathan MacKinnon does who forms a dynamic top line alongside Mikko Rantanen and captain Gabriel Landeskog. Colorado has also received some solid secondary scoring contributions from Matt Nieto who has goals in three straight games for the Avs. They’ve also gotten solid goaltending from the recently returning Semyon Varlamov who has allowed 2 goals or fewer in three of his last four starts between the pipes. Chicago hasn’t played a home game since February 23rd as they have been on the road for quite some time and this will be their 4th game in 6 nights and the Blackhawks are 4-12 in their last 16 games overall and also 3-8 in their last 11 home games here at the United Center. Their goaltending is simply not reliable these days with the combination of J.F. Berube and Anton Forsberg struggling with consistency in their performances as they try to fill the void left by the injury to Chicago’s #1 goaltender Corey Crawford. Colorado has won two straight head-to-head encounters against Chicago and I think they are poised to make it three straight wins over the Hawks tonight.