Chicago at Detroit Spread, Expert Pick & TV Info

Posted by Michael Hunt on Thursday,March 9, 2017 9:20, EST in

One of the best and most-heated rivalries in the NHL was Chicago Blackhawks vs. Detroit Red Wings as they would play 5-6 times in the regular season and then sometimes in the playoffs. The franchises just didn’t like each other. However, Detroit switched conferences a few years ago and now the clubs play only twice a season. Friday will be Chicago’s last-ever game at Joe Louis Arena and the Hawks will be favorites in NHL spreads.

Chicago at Detroit Spread, Expert Pick & TV Info

When: Friday, March 10, 7:30 PM ET
Where: Joe Louis Arena, Detroit
TV: CSNC, FSDT
Stream: NHL.com/tv
Radio: Chicago / Detroit
Opening NHL Lines: Hawks favored by TBA

Why Bet on Chicago?

This will be the second of a back-to- back for red-hot Chicago, which entered Thursday’s home game vs. Anaheim on a seven-game winning streak. Youngster Richard Panik has collected six goals and eight assists in his last 11 games. He has been clicking alongside a resurgent Jonathan Toews and is nearing his first 20-goal season in the NHL.

Corey Crawford was to start for Chicago on Thursday so he might not here. Crawford was going for his fifth straight win. He has a 2.55 GAA and .918 save percentage in 42 games this season. I expect it to be backup Scott Darling vs. Detroit but you never know.

The Hawks got healthy with a few days off. Top-four defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson (upper body) was set to play Thursday. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville predicted that Hjalmarsson will be available, though he first needs to be activated off the injured reserve list. Hjalmarsson last played on Feb. 23.

Chicago acquired fellow defenseman Oduya from Dallas on Feb. 28, but he hasn’t been able to play since the acquisition due to the injury. Oduya was likely to make his Hawks return on Thursday. He had a goal and seven points in 37 contests with the Stars this season. He played in 219 games with the Hawks from the end of the 2011-12 season through 2014-15 before leaving for Dallas as a free agent.

Brian Campbell, another defenseman who is on in his second run with the team, said it took him a while to readjust to the Hawks’ style of play. Oduya is hopeful for a smooth transition.

“Everybody is trying to accomplish the same things but have different ideas how to do it,” Oduya said. “It’s a little bit easier for me because I’ve been around here before.

Why Bet on Detroit?

The Wings’ amazing streak of 25 straight playoff appearances is going to end this season. On Tuesday, Gustav Nyquist scored both goals for the Red Wings in the 3-2 loss to Toronto. The goals ended a 12-game goal-scoring drought for Nyquist, who has suffered through a disappointing season with only nine goals.

Henrik Zetterberg contributed two assists in Tuesday’s loss. He had a hand in both goals by Nyquist in the match. Zetterberg has generated five two-assist efforts during his seven-game point streak. He has piled up 18 points in his last 14 games.

Petr Mrazek allowed three goals on 28 shots on Tuesday. Mrazek gave up all three goals in the first 26 minutes of the game. Mrazek has now dropped three straight decisions (0-2- 1). He has a 15-18- 7 record with a 2.98 goals-against- average and a .902 save percentage.

Coach Jeff Blashill has talked about the need for some Red Wings players to produce more — both in terms of production and from a competitive standpoint.

“We need more out of more people,” Blashill said. “Production and competitiveness, I said this other night, it’s not just our young guys, it was more than that for sure. But (Henrik) Zetterberg’s line was our best line (Tuesday), we need other lines to step up and be the best line, so we just need to individually pick up our games a little bit and be a little better.”

Among others, the Wings need more out of Dylan Larkin (a two-point night recently in Edmonto marked his only points in the last 11 games) and Andreas Athanasiou (no goals, two assists last eight games). Larkin and Athanasiou are especially able to stand out because of their explosive speed. Detroit lost in Chicago 4-3 in OT earlier this season.

Chicago at Detroit Expert Pick: Detroit Red Wings

Take Detroit here as the Wings will be facing a backup goaltender (most likely) and a team playing its second game in 24 hours.