A little different format today as we transition into things coming out of the NHL All Star break.
A side note for those who have not been following us in previous seasons… we tend to take a few extra days of game data after the break before posting our picks on our regular schedule.
There are 7 games in the NHL tonight and we breakdown our favourite play below.
Good luck on whatever you play!
Odds below are at the time we made the pick.
Most people think of offense first when they talk about the Tampa Bay Lightning, but Tampa’s ability to keep the puck out of its own net has been a big key to the Bolts’ 13-2-1 run over their last 16 games. Tampa’s allowed more than 3 goals just twice during that stretch, and three of those 13 victories came when the Lightning scored 2 goals or less. They’ve been even more defensive-minded on the road, where they’ve held 9 straight opponents to 3 or less and 6 of their last 7 to 2 goals or less (excluding overtime and empty netters). Even in their 3 recent losses, the Bolts allowed 2, 3 and 2 goals in regulation, excluding a last-second empty netter in New Jersey.
Anaheim’s been a much better offensive team at home this season, especially lately. But while the Ducks have potted 3+ goals in 5 of their last 7 at home, you have to take it with a grain of salt. 3 of those 5 times came against teams that were struggling defensively at the time (Rangers, Knights and Predators), while another came Wednesday against a Coyotes team that was playing its first game in a week. In recent home games versus Dallas, Los Angeles and Philadelphia, Anaheim scored just 2 goals in those 3 games combined, and we’re expecting similar struggles to generate much tonight.
Especially considering how the Ducks have had a tough time mustering much offense recently against Tampa. Anaheim has scored more than 2 goals just 1 time in the last 10 meetings, and that came against Peter Budaj when the Ducks scored 4 goals on just 21 shots. Tampa righted the ship nicely Wednesday after giving up 2 early goals to the Kings, holding LA off the scoreboard in the final 39 minutes, and we think the Bolts carry that momentum into tonight’s affair in a rink where they’ve won four of their last five visits.
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