San Jose Sharks vs. Chicago Blackhawks
Tip-off: Friday, February 22, 2013 – 8:30 PM ET
United Center, Chicago, Illinois
The Chicago Blackhawks are still without a regulation defeat and now YouWager experts consider this team is close to the best start in NHL history.
It’s likely this will happen tonight in chicago against the San Jose Sharks, the first team to get a third crack at giving the Blackhawks that elusive 60-minute loss.
Chicago (13-0-3) beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-3 in a shootout Tuesday to match the league mark of 16 games with at least one point to start a season, together with the 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks — who the won the Stanley Cup.
The Blackhawks have won three hockey games in a row, a streak that started with a 4-1 win over the Sharks last Friday. Even with San Jose’s recent difficulties the Blackhawks might find it hard to make history tonight.
Both of the teams’ meetings this NHL season have been testy affairs, with the Blackhawks’ Jonathan Toews engaging in a rare fight with the Sharks’ Joe Thornton in the most recent matchup. Perhaps what’s more important is that Chicago may have to do without forward Marian Hossa after he was helped off the ice versus Vancouver following a forearm to the back of the head from Jannik Hansen.
The Blackhawks lead the Western Conference with 55 goals and its 34 goals allowed are tied with the Sharks for fewest in the West.
Even with their strong defensive play, San Jose hasn’t impressed online sports betting fans with many victories lately. The Sharks ended an 0-4-3 skid with a 2-1 win versus the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday.
San Jose also lost versus Chicago by a 5-3 score Feb. 5 and have dropped four of five in the series and four straight at the United Center.
The Blackhawks have been able to keep rolling even with a season high-tying four-game goal drought from leading scorer Patrick Kane. The forward had two goals Feb. 5 and an assist last Friday.
San Jose’s Antti Niemi has lost both games versus Chicago this season, allowing four goals each time versus his former team. Emery has won three consecutive matchups with the Sharks with a 1.55 goals-against average.