We’re nearing the midway point of the lockout shortened NHL season and the Chicago Blackhawks have yet to lose a game. Their points streak – now at 20 games – has gone from record-setting to incredible to almost unfathomable.
They extended their streak to 20 with a 3-0 win over the St. Louis Blues last night, which also extended their winning streak to seven games. And they’ll have a great opportunity to continue both of those streaks at home today against one of the league’s weakest squads.
The Blues will be back in action today as well as they look to rebound against Edmonton. Here’s a look at all three NHL games for Friday and our exceptional picks.
Edmonton Oilers +1.5 at St. Louis Blues -1.5
St. Louis will certainly be hungry to avenge its first shutout loss in two seasons today, which is bad news for Edmonton, who is one of the league’s weakest scoring teams.
The Oilers are coming off a nice 5-1 win against the Dallas Stars, but they will likely have a much tougher time dealing with the Blues, who have defeated the Oilers in six consecutive meetings.
The Blues aren’t the best defensive team in the league (allow 2.84 goals per game), but they’ll be plenty motivated to rebound from last night’s defeat and with home ice, they should take care of business against the Oilers. Take St. Louis to cover -1.5 at home.
Columbus Blue Jackets +1.5 at Chicago Blackhawks -1.5
Considering the Blackhawks are easily the hottest team in the league right now and the Blue Jackets are 5-12-3 on the season, it would be pretty insane to go against Chicago in this one, especially since they are at home where they’ve gone 8-0-1 this season. If you need any more confirmation, consider this: Chicago is scoring 3.1 goals per game and is allowing just 1.7. That’s a differencial that should grow even more when playing a lowly squad like Columbus. Take Chicago to easily cover -1.5 here.
Minnesota Wild +1.5 at Anaheim Ducks -1.5
Although the Ducks have maintained one of the league’s best marks all season, they have managed to fly under the radar for the most part even with a 14-3-1 record.
The Wild have been playing a little better as of late, but still have not lived up to preseason expectations and their road struggles will present a big roadblock for them today against a team that is 7-1-0 on its home ice.
Look for the Ducks to keep rolling as well and cover -1.5 in the win.