The Chicago Blackhawks will be looking for a third straight home opener victory when they welcome the Buffalo Sabres to the United Center on Saturday night as betting favorites at the online sportsbooks.
The Hawks are pegged as early 13/2 favorites to win their third Stanley Cup in six years in futures betting at Bodog, and are also a strong 5/1 bet to claim this season’s Presidents’ Trophy for the NHL team with the best regular season record.
The Sabres are winless in their last five games against the Blackhawks dating back to 2009. However, Buffalo was far from a pushover in a pair of 2-1 losses to Chicago last season.
Also on Saturday night, the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings will look to get back on track when they visit the Arizona Coyotes.
Matchup Reports: Sabres vs. Blackhawks | Rangers vs. Blue Jackets
The Kings celebrated their second Cup victory in three seasons with a banner-raising on Wednesday, prior to their season opener against the Sharks. But it was San Jose who ended the night in celebration, routing the Kings 4-0; sweet revenge after Los Angeles overcame a 3-0 series deficit to eliminate San Jose in seven games in last spring’s first-round series.
The Kings, winners in four of their last six regular season matchups with the Sharks, open their campaign with Stanley Cup odds at the sportsbooks of 10/1 at Bodog, while the Sharks closely trail, with odds of 12/1.
An old Western Conference rivalry will be revived when the Anaheim Ducks visit the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night. The game is just the third meeting between the two clubs since the Red Wings moved to the Eastern Conference last season.
Anaheim, who joins the Kings with 10/1 odds in Stanley Cup betting at Bodog, posted a pair of wins in two games against Detroit last season. However, the teams are an even 6-6 in 12 head-to-head meetings since the start of the shortened 2013 season.
In other NHL opening weekend action, the defending Eastern Conference champion New York Rangers play a pair of games, visiting Columbus on Saturday night before returning home to face the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Rangers, who sit in the middle of the pack with Stanley Cup odds of 22/1, split the season series with the Blue Jackets last year, with each team claiming a pair of road wins, but have taken three of four from Toronto in the Leafs’ most recent visits to MSG.