The NHL is back in action as the qualifying round and the round-robin portions of the NHL restart are over. Now,
it is time for the regular 16-team field. Therefore, the Chicago Blackhawks open their best of seven first-round series with the top-seeded Vegas Golden Knights in Edmonton on Tuesday night.
The Blackhawks are heading into this game after knocking off the Oilers in four games in the qualifying round, winning 3-2 in Game 4 Friday night. And on the other side, Vegas won against Colorado 4-3 in overtime Saturday.
Chicago Blackhawks Form
The Blackhawks are heading into this game after some top-class performances in the games against the Oilers.
They are one of the teams that wouldn’t have even been in the playoff picture had the field not been expanded due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But they took advantage of that as they downed Edmonton in their own arena.
Their offensive game was good in those games and goaltender Corey Crawford made 43 saves for the Blackhawks in the last game against Edmonton.
On the offensive side of the game, the Blackhawks score an average of 2.97 goals per game. And on the defensive end of the ice as they are allowing 3.06 goals per contest. Chicago is having issues with the man advantage as they convert only 15.2 per cent of their power-play chances this season.
Vegas Golden Knights Form
The Golden Knights are one of the better teams in the NHL after the restart. Moreover, they played well in their three round-robin games, dispatching the Blues, Stars and then the Avalanche to lock down the top seed in the Western Conference. Therefore, they will aim to build on that during this postseason in their quest for the Stanley Cup. Against Colorado, they played well but they faced a solid offensive team. Therefore, they needed to go in extra time in order to secure the top seed in the Western Conference.
On the offensive side of the game, Vegas is a very solid offensive team that averages 3.15 goals per game this season. And on the defensive side of the game, the Golden Knights are allowing 2.94 goals per contest. Vegas is an effective team with the man advantage as they convert 22 per cent of their power play opportunities this season.
The Blackhawks surprised many in the Great White North as they eliminated the Edmonton in their own barn. However, they will be facing a much stronger opponent this time around. Therefore, they will need a great performance from their main players such as Toews and Kane. However, Vegas is a team with a winning momentum on their side and are the favourites to win this one. So I expect that the Golden Knights will win this one.
My Free Pick & Prediction for Chicago Blackhawks vs. Vegas Golden Knights on 08/12/2020 is: take Vegas Golden Knights -190 (Moneyline)
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