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Oilers Set to Unleash Offense Again vs Blackhawks

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins #93 of the Edmonton Oilers skates in the first period of Game Two of the Western Conference Qualification Round.

The Chicago Blackhawks have had little trouble racking up the goals in their postseason qualification series with Edmonton – but it’s what’s happening at the other end of the ice that has to have them concerned entering Wednesday’s Game 3. Chicago has surrendered 10 goals in two games and watched Connor McDavid record a hat trick in the Oilers’ 6-3 win in Game 2.

Chicago Blackhawks vs Edmonton Oilers
  • Date/Time: August 5, 10:30 p.m. ET
  • Arena: Rogers Place
  • TV Coverage: NBCSCH, NBCSN, SNET
  • Opening Odds: Oilers -140 | O/U 6.5 (Line History)
  • Blackhawks vs Oilers Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

Those of you hoping for movement here will be disappointed. The Oilers opened at -140 and have stayed right around that range at the majority of sportsbooks, while the total of 6.5 appears to be locked in as well.

Chicago News & Notes

First, the good: the Blackhawks have looked outstanding on the offensive end. Led by rookie sensation Dominik Kubalik and his five points (two goals, three assists) in two games, seven different Chicago skaters have scored in the first two games while nine are averaging a point per game so far. They’ve also excelled with the man advantage, going 3-for-11 so far.

Alas, it hasn’t been nearly as rosy on the defensive end, where the Blackhawks have looked completely overmatched. They’ve surrendered those 10 Edmonton goals on just 64 shots, while the Oilers and their league-best power-play unit have gone 4-for-9 with the man advantage. Chicago has also been outhit by a ridiculous 74-43 margin so far.

Edmonton News & Notes

While the Blackhawks have done well to spread the scoring around through two games, the Oilers have been less balanced. McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins have 12 combined points so far, while the rest of the Edmonton skaters have combined for just 11 points. McDavid, in particular, has been virtually unstoppable with four goals and two assists.

And while the Oilers’ defense and goaltending situation doesn’t look much more promising than the Blackhawks’, it isn’t quite so dire. Mikko Koskinen will likely get the nod over Mike Smith as the clearly superior option through two games; Koskinen has posted a .911 save percentage while Smith was yanked from Game 1 after allowing five goals on just 23 shots in defeat.

Betting Pick: Edmonton SU

Only one goaltender has looked serviceable in this series – and he plays for the Oilers. Combine that with the sheer talent of Edmonton’s top forwards and we see the home team taking control of the best-of-five.

Shark Bites
  • Chicago is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games vs Pacific Division opponents.
  • Edmonton is 8-4 SU in its previous 12 games vs Central Division foes.
  • The total has gone OVER in 5 of Chicago’s last 6 games vs Edmonton.