With just two games on Monday night the hockey world will rejoice with a full slate of games on Tuesday. We’ve seen some crazy stuff in the past few weeks as teams try everything to get back in the playoff picture or stay where they are. Montreal fired their coach and hired their ex. The Blues went on a winning streak under their new coach and even the Arizona Coyotes had a winning record over their last ten games.
It just goes to show you that anything can happen in one single hockey game and it’s important to take calculated risks when you’re betting on the NHL. They won’t always come through, but it’s a much better bang for your buck and a little more exciting when it comes time to watch. We’re here every day to help you make those calculated risks a little less risky. Let’s get to it!
Edmonton Oilers (+1.5)
Tampa Bay Lightning (-1.5)
Total: 5.5 (EVENo, -130u)
Edmonton (-105) at Tampa Bay (-125)
The Oilers and Lightning clash in a true showcase of skill, youth, and energy in a game that both teams would love to win. Edmonton is coming in hot with a three game win streak propelling them into Tampa Bay after they made quick work of a very good Chicago Blackhawks team 3-1.
They’re now 6-4-0 in their last ten games and moved past the Ducks in the Pacific Division standings. The Oilers are just five points behind San Jose for the division lead after the Sharks posted a less than characteristic 4-5-1 record in their last ten games and came smell first place. They’ll get to try and add to that total against a Lightning team that has struggled with injuries and consistency all season long but aren’t ready to give up just yet.
Tampa Bay is coming off a 3-2 win over the Avalanche and are now 5-2-3 in their last ten games and just five points out of a playoff spot. It’s still a large hill for them to climb but with their team getting healthier each day it’s becoming less of a dream and more of a reality. They’re still waiting on their superstar Steven Stamkos to be able to join the team but with a March date in mind that could happen sooner rather than later.
The Oilers are ranked in the top ten in offenses at exactly number ten this season and are averaging just under three goals a game at 2.90 for the year. They’ve been hotter than that as of late though with a total of 14 goals over their last three games including a six goal outburst against the Flyers and a five goal show against the Coyotes. While both of those teams aren’t known for their defense they also hung a very respectable three goals on the Blackhawks in their last victory and are clearly more than capable of finding the back of the net.
They also fire the 7th most shots on net in the NHL and have the 11th best power play so their offense is as well-rounded as they come. It also helps that they have arguably the best player in the NHL this season and points leader in Connor McDavid. Number 97 continues to turn in incredible performance after incredible performance and is catapulting himself to the top of the MVP race.
He has 67 points in 59 games to lead all skaters in the NHL and is in the middle of a four game point streak with two goals and five assists during that span. He is the lifeblood of this Edmonton team and has been sensational all season long. Leon Draisaitl has been the biggest surprise for the Oilers as the 21 year old has also turned in an excellent season with 52 points in 59 games. He has two goals and three assists over his last three games and there seems to be no stopping Edmonton once him and McDavid get going.
In Tampa Bay the offense has hung around the middle of the pack all season long, currently ranked 25th and averaging 2.76 goals a game. They have the 8th ranked power play and are lethal in certain situations but haven’t enjoyed the same consistency some of the top teams have this season.
While they continue to miss Steven Stamos they’re enjoying the emergence of Johnathan Drouin. He scored one of the nicest goals you’ll see against the Avalanche in his last game and is quickly becoming one of Tampa’s most important players. He has 36 points in 50 games this year and four in his last five games including two goals.
Nikita Kucherov is just two years older than the 21 year old but is having one of the best seasons in hockey with 49 points in just 51 games. That’s made even more impressive when you consider he’s been held off the scoresheet in four straight. If he can get clicking early against the Oilers Edmonton may find themselves falling back on their heels.
The biggest difference occurs on defense where the teams are separated by ten spots in the rankings. Edmonton has been excellent this season allowing just 2.58 goals a game and ranking 8th in league rankings. They allow the 11th fewest shots on net and have had a team effort when it comes to stopping the puck.
Andrej Sekera has been excellent for the Oilers at the age of 30 as a leader on and off the ice but especially along the blue line where he owns a plus/minus of +8 and has chipped in with 25 points including seven goals. He gets helped out a ton by all of the Oilers’ hard back checking forwards but has been an anchor himself this season.
Tampa Bay has been anything but an anchor. They’re 18th in goals allowed, letting in 2.86 a game and have just the 20th ranked penalty kill. Injuries across the board have set them back all year but they’re starting to show some signs of improving. They’ve given up just ten goals over their last five games and will need to keep that up if they have any hope of playing playoff hockey.
Victor Hedman has been a stud for the Lightning with 48 points in 55 games from the D-Spot but has a plus/minus rating of just +2 this season and will need to focus even more on defense with his team in striking distance of the postseason and going up against the high-scoring Oilers.
Ben Bishop has been instrumental in Tampa’s resurgence including stopping 27 of 29 shots in his last game to record the win. He’s now won four straight games and has his goals against average down to 2.80 with a .910 save percentage. Those marks won’t be good enough against Edmonton and he’ll have to hope he brings his best game.
He’s up against Cam Talbot who was stunning in his last outing, stopping 38 of 39 shots against Chicago and coming within one goal of recording his sixth shutout of the year. He’s one of the best goalies when he’s on and must be sharp against the Lightning.
Connor McDavid against Victor Hedman. So much of McDavid’s skill comes from his speed but Hedman has the size to contain him as long as he stays in front of him. It will be an awesome battle from two of the best players in the league at their positions and we can’t wait to see who gets the better of who.
The Oilers are the favorites on the road and that means a good time to bet on them. Edmonton is rolling right now and a plucky Lightning team may be tough, but not tough to beat. Take the Oilers on the spread.
Montreal Canadians (+1.5)
New York Rangers (-1.5)
Total: 5.5 (+110o, -140u)
Montreal (+115) at New York (-145)
Someone should tell the Canadiens the playoffs are starting soon. After beginning the season as one of the hottest teams in the league Montreal now finds themselves with just a two point lead in their own division over the Senators and a four point lead over the Bruins after they lost their third straight game against the Jets. They’re now just 2-7-1 in their last ten games and not even the stereotypical coaching change seems to have helped.
It won’t get any easier for them when they head on the road to take on the Rangers. New York is rocketing towards getting back in the Metropolitan Division and now have a 7-3-0 record in their last ten games and are coming off a big 2-1 win over the seemingly unbeatable Capitals. They’re flat-out one of the hottest teams in the league right now and will try and hold down home ice against a very desperate Montreal team.
Montreal just hasn’t been able to score goals lately and have suffered because of it. They have just three goals in their last three games and were shutout by the Bruins 4-0 in a pivotal division matchup. Alex Galchenyuk was one of the hottest players on the ice to start the season but has cooled off mightily lately. He has just two points in his last five games and is at just 30 on the season.
The Rangers are trending in the opposite direction and are getting it done on defense which is bad news for the Habs. The Rangers have allowed just two goals a game during their last six and seem committed to playing good hockey on both ends of the ice. With the way their offense has been scoring that could be bad news for the rest of the NHL.
Cary Price against Henrik Lundqvist. Price has run out of excuses and is simply looking like a mediocre goalie this season. He still has the capabilities to shut out any one on any night but after losing to the Jets he now has a .918 save percentage and a less-than brilliant 2.45 goals against average. He seems to be getting worse while King Henrik improves. The Rangers’ net minder is 9-2-0 in his last 12 games now with a goals against average of just 2.01 during that span. He seems to have finally regained his confidence after a shaky January and will be key for New York going forward.
Until the Canadiens prove to us that they’re ready to turn their season back around they can’t be the safe bet they once were this season. Take the Rangers at home on the spread and breathe easy.
Pittsburgh Penguins (-1.5)
Caronlina Hurricanes (+1.5)
Total: 5.5 (-130o, EVENu)
Pittsburgh (-140) at Carolina (+110)
The Hurricanes are in a bad spot. After being shutout by the Leafs 4-0 in their own building Carolina is now dead last in the Eastern Conference with a 24-23-8 record and are just 3-6-1 in their last ten games. Making matter worse for Carolina was that their loss came at home. They had just six losses all year in regulation at home and after Toronto handed them their 7th they get rewarded with a game against the high-flying Penguins.
Pittsburgh is coming off a rare loss at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings but are still 6-1-3 in their last ten games and now have an overall record of 36-14-8. They’re just five points behind the Capitals for first place in the Conference and will do everything in their power to earn that number one seed.
That means taking their less than impressive road record into Carolina and coming out with a win. Despite all the success the Penguins have enjoyed this season they’re just 12-10-5 away from home this season and will need all their wits when they take on the more than desperate ‘Canes. The good news for Pittsburgh is that their trio of Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel and Evgeni Malkin are all back and healthy and ready to continue dominating opposing defenses as they make their march into the postseason.
Cam Ward against Sidney Crosby. Crosby many not have as many points as Connor McDavid this season, but he’s certainly getting them at a faster rate. Sid the Kid trails McDavid by just two points but has done it in far less games. He’s up to 65 points on the year in just 52 games this season and continues to be the best player on the planet. He has five points in his last five games and is up to 32 goals on the year. Cam Ward will have to try and stop him and the Hurricanes’ goalie has had a less than stellar season to say the least. Good Luck.
The Hurricanes have been dynamite at home this season but it feels like even that spell may be wearing off. They’ll need everyone on board to beat the Penguins and we just don’t think they have it in them. Take Pittsburgh on the spread on the road getting great odds.
Ottawa Senators (-1.5)
New Jersey Devils (+1.5)
Total: 5 (-125o, -105u)
Ottawa (-115) at New Jersey (-115)
The Senators and Devils are both coming off a loss and could both use a win, although for very different reasons. Ottawa is just two points behind Montreal in the Atlantic Division and desperately trying to make a name for themselves in the Conference. One big win on the road against the Devils would put them in a tie with Montreal (assuming the Canadiens lost) and that would be huge for Ottawa.
They’re just 5-5-0 in their last ten games but have ben playing some more consistent hockey lately despite the loss to Winnipeg. They fell 3-2 to the Jets in their last outing but now that they can taste first place in the Atlantic and with the Canadiens struggling, we expect a strong effort from them on Tuesday.
They Devils would love a win as well, but for a much different reason. They’re just trying to keep their playoff hopes alive but it’s not looking good. New Jersey lost 6-4 to the Islanders in their last game and are now five points out of a Wild Card Spot. They’re still a very respectable 5-4-1 in their last ten games and even took one of the games against the Islanders in the back to back matchup.
New Jersey still has five teams in front of them in an Eastern Conference that just refuses to settle down, so every single point takes on a whole new meaning this late of the season. They were shutout 3-0 by the Senators in their last game and want some revenge a against a team they’ve won six of the last ten against.
Kyle Palmieri against Mark Stone. Palmieri has had a decent season with 35 points in 57 games but will need to contribute more if he wants to see his Devils get into the postseason. That will have to start against Ottawa after he had a two point night in his last game against the Islanders. He’ll be in tough against Stone who has turned it on since the All-Star break. He’s second on the team in scoring now with 47 points and has six points in his last two games including a ridiculous five point outing against the Leafs. Look out.
The Devils have just a 13-11-4 record at home this season and have lacked the firepower to stay in games all year. Now they have to take on a Senators team that can smell blood in their division and are coming off a loss. Take Ottawa on the spread.
New York Islanders (+1.5)
Detroit Red Wings (-1.5)
Total: 5.5 (EVENo, -130u)
New York (-115) at Detroit (-115)
The Islanders have cooled off a bit since their coaching change but not enough for us to take them lightly. They are still 5-4-1 in their last ten games and coming off a win against the Devils where they scored six goals. They’re just on point behind the Leafs for the second Wild Card spot and in a tie with Florida in the Eastern Conference and get to take on a Detroit team that has been less than impressive this season.
The Red Wings have won two in a row however including their last very surprising win against the Penguins. Detroit is now 4-5-1 in their last ten and still in second to last in the Eastern Conference but have showed some signs of fight over their last few games and won’t be easy competition for the Islanders at home.
Detroit has eight goals now over their last two wins after they were struggling to score all season long and may have found some offensive output. Henrik Zetterberg continues to be the straw that stirs the drink in Detroit and has four points over his last two games and now leads his team with 45 on the season. Despite being 36 years old he’s not ready to five up and will do everything he can to help his team try and make it into the big dance.
Dylan Larkin against John Tavares. We keep expecting Larkin to heat up and he keeps disappointing. He now has zero points in his last five games despite being one of the fastest skaters on the ice and now has to go against Tavares who has taken the league over since the All-Star break. He scored again in his last game against the Devils and Larkin will have to try and get on the scoresheet if the Wings want a chance.
Detroit has looked strong in their last two but winning three in a row seems unlikely for a team that has struggled all year. Take the Islanders getting good odds on the spread on the road.
Winnipeg Jets (+1.5)
Toronto Maple Leafs (-1.5)
Total: 6 (-120o, -110u)
Winnipeg (+115) at Toronto (-145)
It looked like the Leafs might be heading down to the bottom of the Eastern Conference after some tough losses and losing Mitch Marner to injury but they bounced back on Sunday with a huge 4-0 win over the Carolina Hurricanes at home. Now they return to their own building to take on the Jets who are fighting for a playoff spot as well.
Winnipeg is just one point behind Calgary and desperately trying to make up ground as the games get fewer and fewer. The Jets have won two in a row including a big 3-2 win over the Senators and are now 5-4-1 in their last ten games. They have looked like a different team since rookie sensation Patrik Laine returned to the lineup and it seems to have given their leading scorer Mark Scheifele a burst of energy as well.
Scheifele now has 60 points in 59 games this season to sit in the top ten in scoring and has seven points in his last four games including two in the Jets’ latest win against the Senators. He also has his plus/minus rating up to +12 and will give the Leafs fits if they can’t get their defense in order.
Toronto has scored a ton of goals this season and now rank 6th in goals per game at 3.12 but their defense ranks just 24th on the season. The Leafs will hope the version of their team that shutout Carolina will show up back at home in a pivotal battle against the Jets.
Auston Matthews against Patrik Laine. Buckle up! Laine surpassed Matthews for the league lead in rookie scoring after a red-hot week but still leads him by just three points. The two are the front runners for rookie of the year, especially with fellow Leaf rookie Mitch Marner sidelined. These two don’t exactly hate each other, but they’d love to prove who the better rookie is on Tuesday night.
The Leafs are back home where they’re 14-10-4 this season while the Jets enter with a 14-15-4 record on the road. Both records suggest a tight game but Winnipeg has won the last three against Toronto. This is the game the Leafs get revenge so take Toronto on the spread.
Calgary Flames (+1.5)
Nashville Predators (-1.5)
Total: 5.5 (+105o, -135u)
Montreal (+110) at New York (-140)
The Flames and Predators meet up in Smashville for a big Western Conference showdown. Calgary is holding on to the final Wild Card spot with a white knuckle grip and would love nothing more than to separate themselves from the teams chasing them out west. They’re coming off a tough overtime loss to the Canucks but are still 5-4-1 in their last ten games and just two points behind Nashville for the first Wild Card spot.
The Predators are playing well enough with a 5-5-0 record in their last ten games but have given up their spot to a red hot St. Louis Blues team in the division. Now they just need to hold off the rest of the teams vying for a Wild Card spot and it can start with a big win at home against the Flames. The Preds are coming off a giant 4-3 victory over a very good Columbus team and now get to go back home where they’re 16-7-6 this season.
Calgary has had trouble scoring again lately with just four goals in their last three games but now get to up against a team that has forgotten how to play defense lately. The Preds have given up 22 goals in their last five games for an average of more than four a game and Calgary hopes they can take advantage of that on the road.
Sean Monahan against P.K. Subban. Subban has picked up his play on offense with five points in his last three games but will need to start focused on defense with his team struggling to stop anyone. That means focusing in on Monahan who is due to break out. He was one of the hottest skaters for the Flames in January but hasn’t registered a point in four games. Look for him to get it going on the road.
Both teams are fighting for their playoff lives but haven’t found the consistency that playoff teams normally do. We’ll give the edge to the Predators who have played well at home all season long. Take Nashville on the spread and the over in what could be a high-scoring affair.
Chicago Blackhawks (+1.5)
Minnesota Wild (-1.5)
Total: 5.5 (EVENo, -130u)
Chicago (+110) at Minnesota (-140)
This could have easily been the game of the night but with both tea’s playoff chances all but assured we figured there were some more deserving teams of the recognition. With that being said there’s few teams more deserving of a birth in the postseason. Minnesota is first in the West with a 39-13-6 record overall this season and a 7-2-1 mark in their last ten games. They’ve won two straight including a big 5-2 romp over the Predators and are now sitting seven points ahead of Chicago for first place in the Central Division.
The Blackhawks had their big win streak snapped earlier last week but responded by taking care of the Sabres 5-1 in their last outing. They’re now 6-4-0 in their last ten games and while they have little chance of catching the Wild, a win on the road against them would be a good place to start. Chicago was scaring fans and bettors alike earlier in the year with weird struggles but they appear ready to play some playoff hockey finally.
Patrick Kane continues to take over for the Windy City. He’s up to 60 points on the year to sit in the top ten among league scorers and has eight points in his last five games including a goal and an assist against Buffalo in his last game. He’ll try to stay sharp against the Wild who have the second best defense in all of hockey thanks to Ryan Suter and Devan Dubnyk in net.
Jonathan Toews against Mikael Granlund. Granlund may not be a household name but the 24 year old has been playing at an all-star level all year. He has 54 points now after dropping a goal and an assist against the Predators his last time out but will be in tough against the defense of Toews. He may be a gifted scorer but Toews can also play some of the best two-way hockey in the NHL.
Chicago got the better of Minnesota 4-3 in their last thrilling game but now head on the road where the Wild have been unbelievable this season. Take Minnesota on the moneyline in what should be a tight game.
LA Kings (-1.5)
Colorado Avalanche (+1.5)
Total: 5 (-1300o, EVENu)
Montreal (-190) at New York (+160)
Our last game of the night pits the Kings at the Avalanche in the mile-high city and that’s good news for LA. Colorado continues to lose and are now 3-6-1 in their last ten and twelve points behind the next worse team in the league. Their goal differential continues to climb…in the wrong direction as they are now a brutal -77 on the year. With the trade deadline looming, this team may look a lot different after all is said and done, but until then they’ll continue to trout out the same lines that have lost 38 games this season.
LA needs a game like this. They’re losers of three straight and are just 5-5-0 in their last ten games. They’re now two points out of a Wild Card spot and looking like the team that struggled in the first half of the season. Everyone expects this team to make it to the postseason but they’re running out of time in a hurry. They failed to score a goal against the Ducks in their last game and their offense has taken a real hit this season.
The Kings are just 25th in scoring this year and are averaging only 2.47 goals a game. A big part of the problem has been the play of Anze Kopitar. As the new captain this season the pressure may be getting to him. He still plays great defense for a forward but has watched his production drop with the puck on his stick. He has just one point over his last five games and only 33 in 52 this season.
Matt Duchene against Peter Budaj. Duchene is fighting for his team but it may not be his team for much longer. He’s at the top of many trade targets and rightly so. Despite playing for the worst team in the NHL he has 36 points this season including three in his last two games. He’ll be at it against Budaj in net who has been excellent for the Kings this season but struggled as of late and now winless in five of his last six games.
It’s impossible to bet on the Avalanche these days no matter how good the odds my look at home. Take the Kings on the road and hope they break out of their funk.
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