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NHL Betting News and Notes Sunday 4/22

NHL Betting News and Notes Sunday 4/22

Sunday's Best NHL Bet
By Covers.com

Los Angeles Kings at Vancouver Canucks (-175, 5)

The Kings will get another crack at their first playoff series win since 2001 when they visit the Canucks for Game 5 of the Western Conference quarterfinals on Sunday. Los Angeles built the first 3-0 series lead in franchise history but failed to eliminate Vancouver at home on Wednesday. The Presidents' Trophy-winning Canucks welcomed Daniel Sedin back to the lineup Wednesday after a 12-game absence due to a concussion.

Many Kings are not happy about the three-day break between Games 4 and 5, but Jeff Carter is not among them. Carter missed time at the end of the regular season with an ankle injury but returned to the lineup for the start of the Vancouver series. After going three games without a point following a two-assist performance in the series opener, Carter is pleased to have more time to heal. "I think with the two days before the last game, and then the extra day here, it's probably not an ideal situation, but for myself personally and for some other guys around here that are a little banged up, it's nice to get a little extra rest," Carter said.

Cory Schneider is likely to make his third straight start for Vancouver, leaving Roberto Luongo on the bench again. Schneider praised Luongo's demeanor and approach to serving as backup. "He's been great to me and great to the team," Schneider said. "He's handled this extremely well. He hasn't said a word and he's been nothing but a true professional and the great guy that he is."

Much like Carter, Daniel Sedin must be happy to have had three days off. Sedin returned for Game 4 and notched an assist. "The fact we've got three days in between games here is going to permit Danny to get up to his speed," coach Alain Vigneault said.

It's a steep price, but the West’s top seed won’t see its season end at home.

Pick: Canucks

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NHL Playoffs on NBC: What Bettors Need to Know
By Bill McBride
By Covers.com

Pittsburgh Penguins at Philadelphia Flyers (110, 7)

The most intriguing first-round series lived to see another day after the Penguins won Game 5 at home by using a little defense, of all things. Just when you thought neither team had a defense, suddenly it rears its head, creating what could be a Sunday matinee to remember.

Jordan rules

Often injured and often forgotten among Pittsburgh's slew of stars, Jordan Staal has risen to the top in this series. Evgeni Malkin? Sidney Crosby? Both have turned the corner during the Penguins' rally.

But among the many things that are hard to believe in this matchup is the fact that Staal has six goals. On Friday, in Pittsburgh's 3-2 home win, he had one tally, one assist, was a plus-2 and gobbled up 19:22 of ice time on 26 shifts.

Staal, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound power forward who is a matchup nightmare for opponents, has nine points in the series. And with a battle that has featured so many goals and so many odd-man rushes, it's impressive for anyone to be a plus player at this point. Staal is a plus-4.

A little help up front

Lost in all of the hype surrounding Pittsburgh's comeback is that Philadelphia's James van Riemsdyk returned to action in the Flyers' Game 5 loss. Van Riemsdyk, who has battled several injuries this season and even had to stomach trade rumors a year after being Philadelphia's best player last postseason, wasn’t exactly given free rein on Friday night. He took just 11 shifts, covering 7:31 of ice time.

But he was back in a series in which the Flyers might need every ounce of help they can get. Van Riemsdyk disappointed fans this season, posting 11 goals and 24 points. But the upside is still clearly there for the former first-round pick.

After all, Van Riemsdyk had seven goals and 70 shots in two series last season. If he can recapture that magic in this series, Philadelphia may finally advance.

A Fleury flurry

At some point, the goaltender who went 42-17-4 with a .913 save percentage and a 2.36 GAA was going to surface, right? Marc-Andre Fleury led Pittsburgh to two Stanley Cup Finals and won one, so the talent has always been there.

In the last two games -- not coincidentally both Pittsburgh wins -- Fleury has allowed just five goals. He made key stops in the third period of Game 5 as the Flyers buzzed. He's made 46 saves in those six periods and despite all the offense in front of him, Fleury is clearly going to be the make-or-break player who either wins or loses this series for the Penguins.

The numbers are still stomach-churning. Even with the last two wins, he still has a 4.70 GAA in this series. But, it's Game 6 and he's still alive. That's all that matters.

History

The Flyers have won four of their last five Sunday games. Even with the two-game win streak, Pittsburgh has lost six of its last eight playoff games. And the over is still on fire in this series, going 4-1 despite Friday's under.

Boston Bruins at Washington Capitals (N/A)

Hockey bettors have their first back-to-back set of games here, as Boston hosted Washington Saturday, only to jump back on the road and play again -- this time in Washington -- Sunday. The Capitals, who won 4-3 on Troy Brouwer's late goal Saturday, lead the series 3-2 and can close it out at the Verizon Center.

Dennis not delivering

What a pleasant surprise Washington defenseman Dennis Wideman was this regular season. After bouncing around over the last three years -- Washington, Boston, Florida, back to Washington -- he has found a home with the Capitals and was fortunate enough to play in all 82 games.

He delivered along the way, scoring 11 goals and finishing with 46 points. Surely, he and the Capitals could live without the season-long minus-8, but he devoured quality minutes as Washington rallied late and made the postseason.

The playoffs have been a different story. He's been behind the play a bit against his former team and had nothing to show for his six shots heading into Game 5. But Wideman bounced back with an assist Saturday.

Life of Brian

Boston general manager Peter Chiarelli was hopeful when he acquired Brian Rolston late in the regular season. A former Bruin returning to Boston, Rolston might be spurred on by a potential Stanley Cup run and help the club. Well, so far, so good.

Rolston, a 1991 first-round draft pick of the New Jersey Devils, was traded from the New York Islanders and he finished a ho-hum regular season with seven goals and 24 points. But he has turned it on a bit in the postseason. In Game 3, a 4-3 win for the Bruins, Rolston had a goal, two shots and two hits. However, Rolston was shut out in Games 4 and 5.

Coach speak

The two coaches in this series, Boston's Claude Julien and Washington's Dale Hunter, have never faced each other in the postseason before, but you wouldn't know it by their words. With a quickness, they have developed a nice little rivalry of their own.

Hunter, known to take out a player or two back in his playing days, accused the Bruins of targeting Washington forward Nicklas Backstrom’s head.

But Julien didn't win the Stanley Cup last season by getting into head games with the opposition. So, he quickly tried to diffuse the situation when the Boston media tried to give him the bait.

"Coach, what do you think of Hunter's accusations?" "It's ludicrous," Julien said. "It's ridiculous."

Enough said. But certainly more than enough to fill a few newspaper columns in Washington and Boston.

History

The Bruins have won six of their last seven road games, and the Capitals have lost five of their last seven Sunday games. The Bruins have gone over in eight of their last 11 games without a day’s rest. (8-2-1).

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NHL: Streaks, Trends, Notes
Sportspic.com

Penguins at Philadelphia

The Flyers had a chance to sweep rival Penguins out of the playoffs on Wednesday, but instead Pittsburgh cut the series deficit to 3-1 with a massive 10-3 road victory as an underdog. Then on Friday, Pittsburgh goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury turned aside 24-of-26 helping Penguins close the gap to 3-2 in this best-of-seven series. This has suddenly become a series and with road teams winning at a 67.65 clip in these playoff (23-of-34 as of Saturday) stick with Penguins the better team which scores a league-high 3.3 goals/game. Keep in mind, the road team in this series has won 18-of-26, Penguins are on a solid 9-4 stretch last 13 meetings at Wells Fargo Center and have won 10-of-16 vs Flyers in second season.

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BOSTON (51-30-0-5, 107 pts.) at WASHINGTON (44-33-0-9, 97 pts.)

There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

Head-to-Head Series History
WASHINGTON is 9-7 (+2.2 Units) against the spread versus BOSTON over the last 3 seasons
WASHINGTON is 9-7-0 straight up against BOSTON over the last 3 seasons
11 of 16 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons . (Under=+5.3 Units)


PITTSBURGH (53-27-0-7, 113 pts.) at PHILADELPHIA (50-28-0-9, 109 pts.)


Top Trends for this game.
PITTSBURGH is 12-15 ATS (-11.7 Units) after a division game this season.
PITTSBURGH is 20-6 ATS (+11.1 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season this season.
PHILADELPHIA is 69-84 ATS (-76.9 Units) in home games revenging a loss versus opponent since 1996.
PHILADELPHIA is 27-28 ATS (-13.8 Units) in home games second half of the season over the last 2 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
PHILADELPHIA is 12-11 (+3.0 Units) against the spread versus PITTSBURGH over the last 3 seasons
PHILADELPHIA is 12-11-0 straight up against PITTSBURGH over the last 3 seasons
11 of 21 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons . (Over=-0.5 Units, Under=-1.6 Units)


LOS ANGELES (43-28-0-15, 101 pts.) at VANCOUVER (52-25-0-9, 113 pts.)

Top Trends for this game.
LOS ANGELES is 42-43 ATS (-11.8 Units) in all games this season.
VANCOUVER is 13-2 ATS (+10.0 Units) when playing with 3 or more days rest over the last 2 seasons.
LOS ANGELES is 21-12 ATS (+33.0 Units) in road games after scoring 1 goal or less in their previous game over the last 3 seasons.
VANCOUVER is 31-39 ATS (-31.5 Units) in home games in April games since 1996.
VANCOUVER is 191-179 ATS (-90.3 Units) in home games second half of the season since 1996.

Head-to-Head Series History
VANCOUVER is 12-10-0 straight up against LOS ANGELES over the last 3 seasons
11 of 18 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons . (Under=+2.9 Units)

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PITTSBURGH vs. PHILADELPHIA
Pittsburgh is 9-4 SU in its last 13 games when playing on the road against Philadelphia
The total has gone OVER in 14 of Pittsburgh's last 16 games
Philadelphia is 4-9 SU in its last 13 games when playing at home against Pittsburgh
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Philadelphia's last 5 games

BOSTON vs. WASHINGTON
The total has gone UNDER in 16 of Boston's last 23 games when playing Washington
The total has gone OVER in 15 of Boston's last 23 games on the road
Washington is 8-4 SU in its last 12 games when playing at home against Boston
The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Washington's last 15 games when playing at home against Boston

LOS ANGELES vs. VANCOUVER
Los Angeles is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games when playing Vancouver
Los Angeles is 12-6 SU in its last 18 games
Vancouver is 9-4 SU in its last 13 games
Vancouver is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games

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Boston at Washington
Boston: 24-10 SU after a loss
Washington: 4-12 SU after winning 3 of their last 4 games

Pittsburgh at Philadelphia
Pittsburgh: 13-17 SU as a road favorite
Philadelphia: 14-0 SU off a loss by 1 goal

Los Angeles at Vancouver
Los Angeles: 17-26 SU revenging a loss scoring 1 or 0 goals
Vancouver: 13-2 SU playing with 3+ days rest

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