Stephen Nover's NHL Game of the Year
Chicago vs. New Jersey,
12/06/2019 19:00 EDT,
Score: 2 - 1
Money Line: -140 New Jersey
Neither of these teams are good. But this spot sets up huge for New Jersey.
The Blackhawks are off an improbable 4-3 overtime road win against the Bruins Thursday night. Chicago was plus $2.00. The Blackhawks nearly blew a 3-0 third period lead, but hung on.
Chicago was 1-5-1 entering the matchup. The Blackhawks have a cluster injury problem on defense missing Duncan Keith and Olli Maatta. They are giving up 4.7 goals per game in their last four games.
New Jersey has been idle since Tuesday. The Devils nearly upset Las Vegas in their last game, falling 4-3 at home. New Jersey outshot the Golden Knights, 35-30. The Devils shouldn't lack motivation and focus on a three-game losing streak and being home.
The Blackhawks have less than 24 hours to savor pulling off one of the biggest road upsets of the season. Chicago is 2-8 the past 10 times facing a below .500 opponent and doesn't have a good road history against the Devils losing 11 of the past 15 times in New Jersey.