Hockey Today April 16

Hockey Today April 16

NHL LONG SHEET

PITTSBURGH (50-27-0-8, 108 pts.) at OTTAWA (43-34-0-8, 94 pts.)


Top Trends for this game.
PITTSBURGH is 50-35 ATS (+6.5 Units) in all games this season.
PITTSBURGH is 30-17 ATS (+8.9 Units) second half of the season this season.
PITTSBURGH is 40-36 ATS (+93.3 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 2 seasons.
OTTAWA is 43-42 ATS (+86.5 Units) in all games this season.
OTTAWA is 7-10 ATS (-16.8 Units) in home games in April games over the last 3 seasons.
OTTAWA is 18-29 ATS (+47.0 Units) second half of the season this season.
OTTAWA is 6-10 ATS (-18.8 Units) in home games revenging a loss versus opponent this season.
OTTAWA is 14-18 ATS (-14.2 Units) after allowing 4 goals or more this season.
OTTAWA is 7-15 ATS (-13.4 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season this season.

Head-to-Head Series History
OTTAWA is 12-8-0 straight up against PITTSBURGH over the last 3 seasons
10 of 17 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons . (Over=+2.7 Units)


NEW JERSEY (47-31-0-7, 101 pts.) at NY RANGERS (44-27-0-14, 102 pts.)

Top Trends for this game.
NEW JERSEY is 14-21 ATS (-11.1 Units) vs. division opponents this season.
NEW JERSEY is 13-21 ATS (-12.2 Units) after a division game this season.
NY RANGERS are 10-2 ATS (+7.8 Units) revenging a home loss versus opponent this season.
NY RANGERS are 14-5 ATS (+7.9 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season this season.
NEW JERSEY is 25-8 ATS (+13.1 Units) in April games over the last 3 seasons.
NEW JERSEY is 28-17 ATS (+9.1 Units) in road games second half of the season over the last 2 seasons.
NEW JERSEY is 28-14 ATS (+9.6 Units) after scoring 4 goals or more in their previous game over the last 2 seasons.
NY RANGERS are 44-41 ATS (-3.6 Units) in all games this season.
NY RANGERS are 9-12 ATS (-7.7 Units) in a home game where where the total is 5 or less this season.
NY RANGERS are 110-132 ATS (-87.6 Units) in home games second half of the season since 1996.
NY RANGERS are 65-79 ATS (-54.2 Units) in home games vs. division opponents since 1996.
NY RANGERS are 68-85 ATS (-60.0 Units) in home games after a division game since 1996.
NY RANGERS are 8-13 ATS (-10.8 Units) after allowing 4 goals or more this season.

Head-to-Head Series History
NY RANGERS is 16-15 (+0.4 Units) against the spread versus NEW JERSEY over the last 3 seasons
NY RANGERS is 16-15-0 straight up against NEW JERSEY over the last 3 seasons
18 of 25 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons . (Under=+10.1 Units)


DETROIT (56-22-0-7, 119 pts.) at NASHVILLE (42-34-0-9, 93 pts.)

Top Trends for this game.
DETROIT is 25-20 ATS (-24.9 Units) when playing against a team with a losing record in the second half of the season over the last 2 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
DETROIT is 17-10 (+2.3 Units) against the spread versus NASHVILLE over the last 3 seasons
DETROIT is 17-10-0 straight up against NASHVILLE over the last 3 seasons
14 of 26 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons . (Under=+0.6 Units)

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NHL SHORT SHEET

First Round
Game Four
Pittsburgh Leads, 3-0
Pittsburgh at Ottawa, 7:05 ET

Pittsburgh:
16-7 Under off a win
9-2 Under off BB wins by 2+ goals

Ottawa:
6-13 SU off home loss
1-5 SU revenging BB losses by 2+ goals


First Round
Game Three
Rangers Lead, 2-1
New Jersey at NY Rangers, 7:05 ET

New Jersey:
25-8 SU in April
11-2 SU Away as a #4 seed

NY Rangers:
30-14 Under off division loss
37-23 Under at home vs. division


First Round
Game Three
Detroit Leads, 2-1
Detroit at Nashville, 8:05 ET

Detroit:
20-4 SU off BB Overs
20-4 SU revenging a loss by 2+ goals

Nashville:
13-4 Over off division win
11-2 Over at home if total is 5 or less

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Hockey Today

Pittsburgh at Ottawa (7 p.m. EDT). The Penguins can become the first team to advance to the second round with a victory.

STARS


-Joe Thornton, Sharks, scored with 9.4 seconds left in regulation to give San Jose a 3-2 win at Calgary.

-Chris Pronger, Ducks, scored two power-play goals and had an assist in Anaheim's 4-2 win at Dallas.

-Daniel Briere, Flyers, had two goals and an assist to lead Philadelphia to a 6-3 victory over Washington.

-Patrice Brisebois and Carey Price, Canadiens. Brisebois snapped a scoreless tie late in the second period and Price posted his first playoff shutout with 27 saves that preserved the 1-0 win at Boston.

STUNNING WIN

San Jose avoided a 3-1 series deficit in its quarterfinal series with Calgary by scoring twice in the final five minutes of regulation for a 3-2 victory on Tuesday night. Jonathan Cheechoo tied the game at 15:06 of the third period before captain Joe Thornton won it with 9.4 seconds left. The Flames set a franchise low for shots on goal in a playoff game with 10, five shy of the previous mark set four times.

RETURNING TO FORM

Daniel Briere helped Philadelphia take a 2-1 lead in its first-round series with Washington after recording two more goals and an assist in a 6-3 win on Tuesday night. He has four goals and two assists in the first three games of this series after struggling for nearly two months in the first year of an eight-year, $52 million contract.

ONE AWAY

Montreal moved within one game of advancing to the second round after outlasting Boston 1-0 in Game 4 on Tuesday night. The Canadiens have trailed just once in winning 10 of 11 games against the Bruins this season.

REGULATED

Colorado tied its quarterfinal series with Minnesota at two games apiece after posting a 5-1 victory on Tuesday night. The first three games of the series - as well as the last two when these two teams met in the 2003 playoffs - all went into overtime and ended in 3-2 scores.

HOME WOES

Dallas lost for the seventh time in eight home playoff games after falling to Anaheim 4-2 on Tuesday night. The Stars outscored the Ducks 9-2 in winning the first two games of the quarterfinals at Anaheim, but allowed three goals in the first 14 1/2 minutes on only four shots.

RETAINED

Jacques Martin, who was stripped of his coaching duties last week, said Tuesday he will accept the offer team owner Alan Cohen made to remain with Florida as their general manager and focus on front office duties. The Panthers haven't reached the postseason since 2000.

SITTING DUCK

Anaheim right wing Rob Niedermayer missed Game 3 of the Ducks' playoff series Tuesday night against Dallas because of an apparent concussion sustained earlier in the series, and wasn't even with the team. The injury apparently happened after he took a hit during the third period of the Ducks' 5-2 loss Saturday night. It wasn't clear if Niedermayer would join the team for Game 4 on Thursday night, or his status for the remainder of the series.

SIGNED


Washington signed right wing Francois Bouchard to a three-year entry-level contract Tuesday. The 19-year-old Bouchard, taken by the Capitals in the second round of the 2006 NHL draft, led the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with 80 assists and 125 points in 2006-07.

SPEAKING

``It's not in the spirit of the game. It worked and it's effective, but it's a gentleman's game, much like golf. I wouldn't have been happy if it had happened to me. I probably would have reacted a little differently. Sean would have been picking his teeth up off the ice if it was me.'' - New York Rangers goalie Stephen Valiquette on teammate Sean Avery's hand- and stick-waving strategy in front of New Jersey netminder Martin Brodeur during Game 3 of that first round series on Sunday.

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Wednesday's best NHL bets
COVERS.com

Pittsburgh vs. Ottawa +145, 5½

The fourth win of a series is the toughest one to get, so they say. They apparently have not seen the 2008 Ottawa Senators.

Even with the return of captain Daniel Alfredsson last game, the Sens were outplayed for the third straight game in this series. The Pens covered the puckline for the third straight game also and Pittsburgh bettors continue to watch their bankrolls grow.

Game 4 shouldn’t be much different. The Sens just look like a team that wants the season to be over, which is obvious by the abundance of silly penalties they’re taking. Ottawa has taken 19 penalties through three games and Pittsburgh has scored five PP goals.

Pick: Pittsburgh -165

New York vs. New Jersey -145, 4½

After Rangers forward Sean Avery screened goalie Martin Brodeur in an unorthodox face-first manner in Game 3, the NHL responded by altering the rulebook. Officials can now call unsportsmanlike conduct at their discretion for just such incidents.

Avery has taken a lot of flak for his actions, but we’re of the opinion in the Covers.com newsroom that any time you can single-handedly get the NHL to alter its rulebook, you’ve done something brilliant.

Avery won’t get a chance to face-guard Brodeur again this series, unless he wants a penalty, but that doesn’t mean the Devils are going to have an easier time tonight. This has been an intense series between two great rivals.

With big underdog value on the Rangers here, it’s hard not to take them in a series between two evenly matched squads.

Pick: Rangers

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