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NHL Betting News and Notes Saturday 3/17
NHL Betting News and Notes Saturday 3/17
Saturday's Best NHL Bets
Pittsburgh Penguins at New Jersey Devils (NA)
The Pens go for their 11th straight win Saturday. They have moved to within four points of the Atlantic Division-leading New York Rangers. This is the fifth of six meetings between the clubs, with the Devils winning the last three games by an 11-4 margin.
Pittsburgh welcomed captain Sidney Crosby back on Thursday and the superstar helped the Penguins to a 5-2 win over the Rangers with two assists and a plus-3 rating. Crosby had been out for more than three months with a nagging concussion/neck injury. Pittsburgh was also boosted by the return of defenseman Kris Letang, who also had been sidelined with concussion symptoms. He had an assist and was a plus-5.
When the NHL season rolls into March, teams rely heavily on goaltending and New Jersey has little worry with future Hall-of-Famer Martin Brodeur. On Thursday, Brodeur recorded his second shutout of the season and 118th of his career. New Jersey’s Ilya Kovalchuk set the NHL single-season record on Thursday with his seventh shootout-winning goal. He has converted 10 times on 12 attempts.
The home team is 8-1 in the last nine meetings.
St. Louis Blues at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (130, 5.5)
The Blues have dropped two straight – one in a shootout – since their season-high, five-game win streak. They need one victory to reach 100 points for the first time since 2000-01.
The Blues top the league in goals-against, and the Lightning stand at the bottom. St. Louis is 6-2-1 in its last nine road games.
Tampa Bay’s playoff hopes took a very damaging blow in a 3-1 loss to struggling Toronto on home ice Thursday. The Lightning have just 12 games left and may need to win almost all of them. Steven Stamkos was held scoreless by the Leafs to fall one point behind Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin for the league lead. Stamkos has 50 goals, one away from his career high and two shy of Vincent Lecavalier’s team record.
Forward Nate Thompson suffered an upper-body injury against Toronto and is doubtful against the Blues.
The Blues beat Tampa Bay 3-0 at home Nov. 12, allowing just 19 shots.
Re: NHL Betting News and Notes Saturday 3/17
Hockey Night In Canada: NHL Betting Preview
By Bill McBride
Toronto Maple Leafs at Ottawa Senators (-155, 5.5)
Been a long time
Lots of teams go down to Florida to relax, but Toronto isn’t one of them. Desperate for a win, the Maple Leafs relied on goaltender James Reimer, of all players, to extract a 3-1 win over Tampa Bay Thursday.
There were plenty of firsts in that victory and that's probably a reason why the Maple Leafs are where they are. It was their first win in six games, and it was Reimer's first victory since Feb. 15. He made 34 saves, improving to 12-12-4.
It probably felt like even longer to Reimer. After all, that stretch was ugly, including a 5-2 loss to Florida Tuesday, a 5-3 loss to the same Panthers on Feb. 28, and a 4-2 loss to Washington on Feb. 25.
He still has three shutouts and there’s a little time left to finish on a positive note. But it will be tough to think of this year as anything but a disappointment for the netminder.
Putting pressure on the champs
The Senators haven't been great, but they've been compiling points. And with Boston riding its roller coaster of a season, that's allowed Ottawa to hang tough in the Northeast Division race.
At least one point had been earned in Ottawa's previous four games, heading into Friday's matchup with Montreal, and the Senators won two of them: 7-3 over Tampa Bay on March 6 and 4-1 over the Rangers on March 8.
The battle doesn’t figure to go away anytime soon, and it will be the difference between home-ice advantage and starting on the road. If the Senators overtake the Bruins, you’re looking at a No. 2 seed. If they don’t, you’re talking a likely No. 7 spot. That’s a huge jump.
And definitely circle April 5 on your calendars. In the last week of the season, Ottawa hosts Boston for the last time. It might come down to that game.
No more Nikolai
When things aren't going well, even wins don't rectify the situation. The victory over Tampa Bay was tempered a tad because Toronto left wing Nikolai Kulemin did not play in it. Kulemin has a broken finger and could be out three weeks, which essentially is the rest of the season.
It is just another disappointment for the Russian. In 70 games, Kulemin had seven goals, 28 points and was a plus-2 on a bad team. Not awful, but when you consider what he did last year - 30 goals, 57 points, and a full 82 games played - there was a lot left to be desired from him this year.
Ottawa has won three of the last four installments of this great rivalry, though Toronto blasted the Senators 5-0 on Feb. 4. Three of the last four meetings have also gone under and four of the last five Maple Leafs games overall have gone under.
Columbus Blue Jackets at Vancouver Canucks (-270, 5.5)
Boosted by Burrows
Vancouver left wing Alexandre Burrows is a streaky sort and has bouts with disappearing far too often. But he scored in a 5-4 loss to Phoenix Wednesday and perhaps recharged what's been a solid season.
It was just his second goal in March and it snapped a five-game goal-less streak, but it gave him 24 tallies and 46 points on the season. More important to the Canucks' defensive cause perhaps, as they try to fine-tune their game for a postseason marathon, Burrows is a plus-20 this season.
He's also not afraid to scrap, either, as shown by his 64 penalty minutes. Clearly, he's not the most important spoke in the Vancouver wheel, but the Canucks will need him at his best if they are to return to the Stanley Cup final.
In a season as miserable as this for Columbus, it’s important to stress the positives when you can find one. And while this team has changed coaches and traded away top talent, the Blue Jackets haven’t stopped fighting.
Despite being blanked 3-0 in Edmonton Wednesday, Columbus is still 3-3 in March and two of those wins have come on the road.
Defenseman Jack Johnson, acquired from Los Angeles in the Jeff Carter, has been good and has offered a reason to think positive for next year.
He has two goals and four assists in nine games and is a plus-1 - something that's not easy to do on a team that has lost 41 games.
Vancouver forward Manny Malhotra missed Wednesday's loss to Phoenix for personal reasons and coach Alain Vigneault has been generic, to say the least, about the situation.
Malhotra skated with the Canucks Thursday but wasn’t made available to the media. All Vigneault has said about the situation, is that it is not a byproduct of Malhotra's eye injury last season. Malhotra has six goals and 17 points this season.
The Canucks have won nine of the last 10 in this series, though the scrappy Blue Jackets outlasted Vancouver 2-1 in a shootout on Feb. 13. The last five games in this rivalry have gone under and the Blue Jackets themselves are 0-4-1 over/under in the last five outings.
Re: NHL Betting News and Notes Saturday 3/17
PHILADELPHIA vs. BOSTON
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Philadelphia's last 6 games when playing on the road against Boston
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Philadelphia's last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Boston's last 5 games when playing Philadelphia
Boston is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games when playing Philadelphia
PITTSBURGH vs. NEW JERSEY
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Pittsburgh's last 5 games when playing on the road against New Jersey
Pittsburgh is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games on the road
New Jersey is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games
New Jersey is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games when playing at home against Pittsburgh
CAROLINA vs. MINNESOTA
Carolina is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games when playing Minnesota
Carolina is 5-15 SU in its last 20 games on the road
Minnesota4-1-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing at home against Carolina
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Minnesota's last 6 games at home
COLORADO vs. NY RANGERS
Colorado is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games
Colorado6-2-1 SU in their last 9 games when playing on the road against NY Rangers
The total has gone OVER in 4 of the NY Rangers last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of the NY Rangers last 5 games at home
NY ISLANDERS vs. MONTREAL
The total has gone OVER in 4 of the NY Islanders last 6 games on the road
NY Islanders are 6-14 SU in their last 20 games when playing Montreal
Montreal is 14-6 SU in their last 20 games when playing NY Islanders
Montreal is 4-1 SU in their last 5 games when playing at home against NY Islanders
ST. LOUIS vs. TAMPA BAY
St. Louis is 9-3 SU in its last 12 games
St. Louis is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games when playing Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games
Tampa Bay is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games when playing St. Louis
TORONTO vs. OTTAWA
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Toronto's last 5 games
Toronto is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games when playing on the road against Ottawa
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Ottawa's last 9 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 12 of Ottawa's last 17 games when playing Toronto
BUFFALO vs. FLORIDA
Buffalo is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing Florida
The total has gone UNDER in 13 of Buffalo's last 17 games when playing on the road against Florida
The total has gone UNDER in 13 of Florida's last 17 games when playing at home against Buffalo
Florida is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games
COLUMBUS vs. VANCOUVER
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Columbus's last 6 games when playing on the road against Vancouver
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Columbus's last 5 games
Vancouver is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Vancouver's last 6 games when playing at home against Columbus
DETROIT vs. SAN JOSE
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Detroit's last 6 games when playing on the road against San Jose
Detroit is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games when playing on the road against San Jose
San Jose is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing at home against Detroit
San Jose is 2-6 SU in its last 8 games
NASHVILLE vs. LOS ANGELES
Nashville is 3-6 SU in its last 9 games on the road
Nashville is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games
Los Angeles is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games when playing Nashville
Los Angeles is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games at home