There are 11 games in the NHL tonight as playoff races heat up down the stretch. We missed on the Pens on Tuesday as our favourite play on the board but like them again tonight in a Metropolitan division clash where things line up nicely for the home side.
We have opinions on 4 other plays tonight as well which are outlined below.
We had planned to get a site update out today but it’s taking a little longer than expected. We’ll do that shortly and will back with a post on Saturday.
Good luck with whatever you play tonight!
Tuesday, we backed the Penguins and also suggested fading the Blue Jackets’ struggling offense. With the two teams facing each other just two days later in Pittsburgh, we’re going back to the well on both counts.
Pittsburgh failed to get the job done for us against a tired Panthers team, winning in overtime but not coming within a sniff of covering the -1.5 puck line. The read on Columbus was bang on, however, as the Jackets managed to score just once against an undermanned Devils squad (that goal came 52 seconds into the first period) before luckily prevailing in a shootout. For all the desperation you’d think Columbus should be playing with at this time of year, there’s no excuse for generating just 18 shots against the AHL lineup New Jersey is icing these days. John Tortorella’s group has now scored two goals or less in four of its last five games and six of its last nine. The pressure of all those deadline moves certainly seems to be weighing on them, and now they have to play their fourth in six nights while visiting a city where they’ve won just four times in their last 22 trips — with Joonas Korpisalo in net to boot.
We’ll take another shot with the Penguins at this price, where we don’t need Pittsburgh to win by margin or even in regulation time. Just win, baby, which is something the Pens have gone seven times in their last 11 games. They’ve also tasted regulation defeat just once in their last eight (5-1-2) and Matt Murray looks back on his game, allowing two or less in three of his last four starts and just 11 regulation time goals in his last five.
- The Blackhawks are on a 20-1-1 run to the Over, and tonight marks the third time in six games that their total has been set at 7. That’ll be enough to keep some people off the Over here, since you need 5 goals from at least one of the teams in order to cash a winning ticket (4-3 would be a push). However, the Sabres have allowed at least 5 in each of their last 3 road games, and they’ve surrendered at least 4 goals in 4 of their last 5 overall (and 6 of 10). Chicago’s offense remains in fine form despite losses in 4 of its last 5 games (the Hawks have scored 28 goals in their last 7 outings) and are well-rested with three days off following a west coast trip. Hawks Team Total Over 3.5 -117 and Hawks Moneyline -128 are both appealing, especially with the Sabres having lost seven straight road games as well as eight consecutive trips to Chicago.
- Dallas moneyline (-125) and Sharks regulation time (-0.5 -103) are other attractive options on tonight’s card. The Stars have won three straight and five of seven, and they’ve been tough to beat at home all year (20-10-2), while Colorado hasn’t won in regulation time in two weeks and has just 10 wins in its last 32. Meanwhile, the Habs go into San Jose where they have lost their last 11 trips (yes, history from a decade ago doesn’t matter, but a streak this long brings at least some psychological baggage), and Montreal’s last road win over a playoff team (as of today’s standings) was January 14 in Boston. San Jose’s had three days off to prepare for this one and has needed overtime in just two of its 21 home victories this season.
- You won’t get rich betting on the Kings to score goals, but at +119 odds tonight, the LA Team Total Over is worth a look in our opinion. St. Louis is playing the tail end of a back-to-back and has allowed 13 goals in its last 3 games after allowing just 9 regulation time markers in its previous 7. LA beat the Blues 4-3 in this rink just two months ago, the third time in the last 4 meetings that the Kings have cashed as underdogs.
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