NHL Picks for December 21st

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A tough way to break our 5 pick winning streak last night with a shootout loss.  The Islanders came to play and I’ll give them credit for that.

I’m bouncing right back with a winner here tonight…

Montreal Canadiens @ Chicago Blackhawks – BLACKHAWKS TO WIN (-170)

(Note: I’m risking 1.70 units to win 1 unit)

The Canadiens are losers of 3 straight games, with their latest a 3-2 loss in Boston.  Montreal is just 13-14-7 on the season.  Tonight Peter Budaj will give Carey Price a break.  Budaj is 1-3 on the season with a 2.50 GAA and .914 SV%.  The Chicago Blackhawks have 8 more wins on the season than the Habs with a 21-9-4 record.  At home the Blackhawks are a stellar 11-2-3.  Corey Crawford looks to finally get a start after 6 straight games on the bench.  Crawford who finished last season with 33 wins and a 2.30 GAA has had his struggles in net posting a 3.00 GAA but still has a winning 12-7-2 record.  Chicago is on a back to back after a 3-2 loss in Pittsburgh last night breaking their 5 game winning streak.  Chicago has won 7 of their last 9 games, and got points in 8 of those 9.  Playing the second of a back to back at home after the first being on the road has actually been good for Chicago.  This year they are 3-0 in those situations and last season they were 5-3, for a combined 8-3 record.  Chicago is averaging 3.63 goals per game at home, while the Canadiens are scoring just 2.19 goals per game on the road.  In their last 5 games the Canadiens are giving up an average 3.20 goals against per game. Take note that the Canadiens have won just 3 of their last 12, and are 1-9 in their last 10 games as an underdog.  The Canadiens are also just 1-4 in their last 5 vs Western Conference opponents.  Chicago is a perfect 6-0 in their last 6 vs a team with a winning % below .400 and are 8-1 in their last 9 games as a favorite of -151 to -200.  Playing in their 4th game in 6 days doesn’t both the Blackhawks, as they are 8-3 in their last 11 times in that situation.  I look for Chicago to bounce back at home against a struggling Montreal team.

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