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Hawks, Wings on NHL lines

The Chicago Blackhawks are still not assured of a postseason berth, but a win over the Detroit Red Wings in NHL betting action Friday night would go a long way toward solidifying that playoff spot.

The teams play a home-and-home set to finish out the season with Sportsbook.ag listing the Hawks at -115 odds for the opener at Joe Louis Arena. The teams will meet again Sunday afternoon at the United Center in Chicago.

Chicago has won four straight games in Detroit, and three straight overall. Jonathan Toews rescued the team with an overtime winner against St. Louis last time out, and the return of Patrick Sharp should give them a lift.

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The Blackhawks' backs are against the wall and they will come out fighting with their bitter rivals. Chicago has had great success against the high-flying Wings and could be a good wager on the NHL betting lines in this crucial matchup.

Red Wings superstar Henrik Zetterberg was injured in their last game and will sit out the final two games of the regular season. This could further hurt the Red Wings' chances on the NHL betting lines.

The race between fifth and eighth in the Western Conference is so tight that, while Chicago could potentially miss out on the postseason, this short series with the Red Wings could be a preview of a possible first-round playoff matchup.

Eight of 10 head-to-head meetings have rewarded UNDER bettors in totals betting.

The New York Rangers will finish their regular season in a key NHL betting matchup with the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. The Rangers failed to put distance between themselves and Carolina with a loss on Thursday to the Atlanta Thrashers.

New York will be home favorites against the non-playoff-bound Devils. New Jersey won the last two head-to-head, after dropping three in a row early in the season against the Rangers.

New York was coming off two solid wins over Philly and Boston before falling to lowly Atlanta last time out. Henrik Lundqvist should bounce back for this game, and the Rangers will be the popular choice on the NHL betting lines.

The Devils would love nothing more than to play spoiler and beat the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. New Jersey won the last game in New York, and the Rangers have just 19 of their 43 wins at home. It could be a recipe for a high payout on the road underdog Devils on the NHL betting lines.

Great goaltending is a reason why the UNDER bet has been rewarded in the majority of games involving these teams.  The UNDER wager has collected in six of the last 10 head-to-head in totals betting.