Islanders vs Blackhawks Picks and Predictions: Islanders Look To Get Back On Track

In a matchup between two teams struggling out of the gates, look for the Islanders to get their road trip back on track against the Blackhawks, who have looked rather uninspiring. Find out what we're backing in our Islanders vs Blackhawks picks.

Last Updated: Oct 19, 2021 12:30 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Ilya Sorokin New York Islanders NHL
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The NHL betting board has 11 games on Tuesday night including a clash between a pair of winless teams as the New York Islanders take on the Chicago Blackhawks.

NHL betting lines have the Islanders as slim -120 road favorites at United Center with the Over/Under opening at 6 before ticking down to 5.5. 

Here are our best free Islanders vs Blackhawks picks and predictions for Tuesday, October 19, with the puck dropping at 8 p.m. ET.

Islanders vs Blackhawks odds

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Islanders vs Blackhawks picks

Picks made on 10/19/2021 at 11:55 a.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Islanders vs Blackhawks game info

Location: United Center, Chicago, IL
Date: Tuesday, October 19, 2021
Puck drop: 8:00 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN

Islanders vs Blackhawks betting preview

Injuries

Islanders: Semyon Varlamov G (Out), Johnny Boychuck D (Out).
Blackhawks: Wyatt Kalynuk D (Out), Caleb Jones D (Out).
Find our latest NHL injury reports.

Islanders vs Blackhawks head-to-head record since 2018

Islanders: 2-3, 15 goals for.
Blackhawks: 3-2, 16 goals for. 

Betting trend to know

The Blackhawks are 1-5 in their last six home games. Find more NHL betting trends for Islanders vs. Blackhawks.

Islanders vs Blackhawks picks and predictions

It's been a rough start to the season for both of these squads but it's especially worrisome for the Isles who were looking to build on their success from the spring when they were one game away from making the Stanley Cup Finals. The Islanders have been outscored 11-4 in their first two games as they try to survive a brutal early-season schedule which will see them play 13 games in a row on the road. 

Chicago has opened the season with three straight losses on the road, being outscored 13-7 in the process, and will look to get on track in their home opener.

The Blackhawks missed out on the playoffs last year but were expected to improve after trading for All-Star defenseman Seth Jones and 2021 Vezina Trophy Marc-Andre Fleury, while captain Jonathan Toews returned to the lineup after missing all of last season due to illness. Instead, all three of those players have struggled. Fleury has a 7.06 GAA and .826 save percentage in two starts while Toews has yet to notch a point and is minus-4. 

Both of these teams have looked really bad to start the year but at least the Islanders have shown some spark on offense in 5-on-5 hockey where they are ninth in the league in expected goals per 60 minutes (2.55) while ranking 14th in high danger chances per 60 (11.92). On other hand, the Blackhawks are dead-last in xGF/60 (1.25) and 28th in HDCF/60 (6.33).

While both teams have also struggled on the defensive end of the ice, the Isles were outstanding in that area last season and their top blueline pairing of Ryan Pulock and Adam Pelech is one of the best in the business. New York seems like the better all-around team and they need to win now before this extended road trip wears them out. 

The Islanders are dead-last in the league in goals allowed per game this season with 5.5 while the Blackhawks are tied for 29th with 4.33. But there's plenty of reason to think that those numbers are massive outliers and will soon return to more reasonable levels.

The Islanders have been without starting goalie Semyon Varlamov who is still on the IR as he recovers from an undisclosed injury, but backup Ilya Sorokin was outstanding last year going 13-6-3 with a 2.17 GAA and a .918 save percentage in 22 games.

Meanwhile, the Blackhawks have Fleury between the pipes and the reigning Vezina Trophy winner went 26-10 with a 1.98 GAA and a save percentage of .928 for the Knights last season. Fleury currently ranks last in the NHL with minus-5.42 goals saved above average, while Sorokin is second-last at minus-4.80 but the resumes for both netminders suggest they are much better than that. 

Factor in Chicago's struggles to move the puck and generate offense at even strength, and we're backing the Under. 

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