Pittsburgh (38-15-8) at Chicago (39-18-5)
When: Wednesday, March 1st 2017
Where: United Center, Chicago, IL
Time: 8:05 ET | TV: NBC Sports Network
The Chicago Blackhawks look to start a new month the same way February ended when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night. Chicago finished the month winning nine of their 10 games, but are still five points behind Minnesota in the Central Division and Western Conference overall standings. The Blackhawks have won four in a row overall including the first two of their four-game homestand which concludes Friday against the Islanders. The Blackhawks, who posted a 4-2 win over St. Louis on Sunday, could have a new but familiar face in the lineup against Pittsburgh as they acquired defenseman Johnny Oduya from the Dallas Stars on Tuesday. Oduya spent 3.5 seasons with Chicago from 2012-15. Captain Jonathan Toews, who is riding a six-game point streak, needs one goal to pass Jeremy Roenick (267) and tie Tony Amonte for seventh place on the Blackhawks all-time list. Toews has five goals and eight assists during his six-game run. Chicago, which has won four straight meetings with the Penguins, is 26-0-0 this season when scoring at least four goals.
Pittsburgh blew a chance to move ahead of Columbus for second place in the Metropolitan Division, but squandered a two-goal lead in the third period Tuesday en route to a 3-2 loss in Dallas. Captain Sidney Crosby, who leads the league with 34 goals, was scoreless for just the second time in seven games and trails Edmonton’s Connor McDavid (72) by five points in the race for the Art Ross Trophy. Evgeni Malkin has recorded at least one point in 13 of his last 15 games and is four goals away from his first 30-goal season since 2011-12 (career-high 50) after scoring against the Stars. Malkin will also be playing in his 699th game on Wednesday. Defenseman Kris Letang (undisclosed) was a limited participant in Wednesday’s practice, as he has yet to be cleared for contact. Assuming he’s still with the team after Wednesday afternoon’s trade deadline, goalie Marc-Andre Fleury likely will be in the net against Chicago.
Chicago is on fire right now, scoring a ton of goals from their stars and getting solid goaltending, plus the Penguins have lost four in a row in Chicago. I like the Blackhawks to keep rolling tonight.
Pick: Blackhawks -135
HEAD TO HEAD
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