Hawks-Preds in Tough Playoff Matchup

As we go to press, the Chicago Blackhawks are the second favourites at 7/1 in the Stanley Cup futures market. The Nashville Predators are in the upper half of the table at 12/1. Both teams topped the 100-point mark in the standings this year, but thanks to realignment and the creation of the Wild Card, Nashville and Chicago have to face each other in the first round of the playoffs. Game 1 is Wednesday at 8:30 PM ET on NBCSN. Neither of these two clubs was a good bet against the puck line this season. Despite going 47-25-4-6 and finishing with the third best record in the Western Conference, Nashville wound up 24.58 betting units in the hole at 32-50 ATS. Chicago, just two points behind the Predators at 48-28-3-3, dropped 12.31 betting units on an ATS record of 29-53. The Blackhawks won three of their four matchups during the regular season, and in Game 1 of their Western quarterfinal, it appears they’ll have Patrick Kane (27 goals, 37 assists, 8.8 Point Shares) back in the lineup after missing over six weeks with a broken left clavicle. Kane participated in full-contact drills during Monday’s practice and is considered probable for Wednesday.