It should be a high scoring affair in Chicago, though it looks a challenge for the Calgary Flames to come out on top, amidst ominous signs the Blackhawks may be about to put together another dominant run.
Scoring plenty of goals is also papering over some of Chicago's surprising cracks ,especially over their current three game winning streak, in which they've scored sixteen times.
More specifically in terms of those weaknesses the champs have the worst penalty kill percentage in the league right now, but luckily for them the Flames have their own problems to deal with on special teams.
Calgary's own bright opening to their campaign has wilted somewhat as they sink closer to the foot of the conference. Only one success in five and each loss has come with at least four goals conceded.
The value is with the overs here with more than 6.5 total goals at 2.60. I'm expecting the Blackhawks to cruise to a victory although a handicap win would only net you 2.10.
Standing front and centre even more so than usual at Xcel Energy Center will be Zach Parise as the Minnesota Wild go up against his former club of seven seasons, the New Jersey Devils.
On the back of Parise and Jason Pominville's goals the Wild are rising through the pack and have taken eight points from the last ten available.
Being shutout by lowly Philadelphia last night brought New Jersey back down to earth after they'd finally shown signs of life in the last week, picking up only their second and third wins of the season.
Add Travis Zajac's to the names of significant injuries the Devils are contending against. Patrik Elias, Ryane Clowe and captain Bryce Salvador would all be playing major minutes but are unavailable.
It's a rare occurrence to see them get over two goals over the course of sixty minutes and the Wild would be high on the list of teams you wouldn't want to visit when scoring is a struggle. Back Minnesota to shut them down and take it with a handicap at 2.60.
Minnesota Wild to overcome -1.5 handicap at 2.60
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