NHL Hockey Lines, Penguins vs. Rangers Betting Picks

Hockey Betting Lines

Penguins vs. Rangers Picks

By Rock Westfall

Unconditional surrender was submitted by the New York Rangers on February 25 and 26 when they sent Rick Nash, Ryan McDonagh, and JT Miller packing at the trade deadline.  The white flag was raised with a public admission letter to their fans indicating the pain of a rebuild was to begin.  Playoffs are now a pipe dream for the Broadway Blueshirts and their fans for what could be years to come.  For the two-time defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins, a post season berth is almost certain.  What is not certain is their goaltending situation as Matt Murray is out indefinitely.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Rangers
Date and Time: Wednesday, March 14, 2018, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
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Penguins vs. Rangers TV Coverage: NBCSN “Rivalry Night”

Goal scoring was a problem for the Rangers before the trades and now it’s even worse.  New York ranks 20th in the NHL for goal scoring.  Even more problematic is a backend that lost its best defenseman in McDonagh.  The Rangers are 25th in the NHL for goals against. With three wins in their last ten games those metrics illustrate why they will be hitting the links next month.

The Penguins have been wildly inconsistent but have managed to catch the Washington Capitals for the lead in the Metropolitan Division.  Despite the absence of Murray, the Pens have beat the NHL odds in four of their last five games.  Over the total has paid in seven of their last ten games.

Injury report

Penguins goalie Matt Murray has been out since March 2 and his status remains indefinite.  Murray backstopped both of the Penguins Stanley Cup titles and his absence leaves an incalculable void.  Rangers backup goalie Ondrej Pavelec is out until mid-March with a bad knee.  Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk is also battling a bad knee and will be out another couple of weeks for the Blueshirts.

Goalie Report

Filling in for Murray has been 22-year-old rookie Tristan Jarry.  Jarry has a .910 save percentage in 25 games this season.  However, in his last five starts he has shown signs of feeling the extra pressure with a slumping save percentage of .887.  Backup Casey DeSmith has a .919 save percentage in ten games.  Interestingly enough the Rangers did not trade marquee man Henrik Lundqvist at the deadline.  “King Henrik” remains the identity of the team.  The 12-year veteran has played better since the surrender with a save percentage of .927 in his last five starts compared to .916 for the entire season.  Alexander Georgiev is the New York backup with a strong .930 save percentage

Players to Watch

For the Broadway Blueshirts Lundqvist is clearly the man to watch.  He has held strong and not complained as the roster was gutted. He loves the Rangers and living in the Big Apple.  He continues to play with pride and represents the team with pure class.  Right wing Mats Zuccarello carries the offensive burden for the Rangers.  He leads the team in scoring with 12 goals and 34 assists.  Star power is the cache of the Penguins.  Boasting three top forwards in Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel they have an embarrassment of riches.  Defenseman Kris Letang is one of the best in the game.  Center Jake Guentzel and right wing Patric Hornqvist are important contributors, especially on the power play.  Malkin leads Pittsburgh with 39 goals and 48 assists.  Additionally, he owns 13 goals and 20 assists on the power play.

Special Teams

The Penguins have the top power play in the NHL.  The Rangers rank eighth for penalty killing though their unit is much thinner now than it was for most of the season.

Key Stats

Pittsburgh has controlled the cashier’s cage in this head to head series with 12 payouts in their last 16 meetings with the Rangers.  Eight of the last nine games between the Rangers and Pens have gone over the total.

Pittsburgh has left MSG with a sack of cash in seven of their last eight visits.  Just one of the last five games in New York between these teams has gone under the total.

Penguins vs. Rangers Free Picks

While Pittsburgh has been erratic without Murray they remain considerably deeper and more capable.  They are also playing for more.

Penguins vs. Rangers Pick: Bet the Pittsburgh Penguins money line
Penguins vs. Rangers Score Prediction: Penguins 5, Rangers 2

Los Angeles Kings vs. Vegas Golden Knights Odds, NHL Betting Lines

NHL Odds

Kings vs. Golden Knights Picks

By Rock Westfall

The Los Angeles Kings enjoyed an early sugar rush of a new head coach to bust out of the gate with a very successful start.  John Stevens emphasized a freer flowing offensive approach than predecessor Darryl Sutter, but now the reality of the Kings roster has caught up with them.  Their lack of offense cannot be covered up for and they are back to the reality of what they always were and that is the same one dimensional defensively oriented team that they were under Sutter.  The Vegas Golden Knights are the sensation of the hockey nation and the first-year expansion team has the league’s best record.  Almost as important is that they play a high scoring attack style that entertains.  The Golden Knights host the Kings on Tuesday

Los Angeles Kings vs. Vegas Golden Knights
Date and Time: Tuesday, February 27, 2018, 10:30 p.m. ET
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV
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Kings vs. Golden Knights TV Coverage: NBCSN

Los Angeles peaked on January 2 when they were 24-11-5 and looked like a guarantee to make for the playoffs with home ice advantage.  Their collapse since then has been breathtaking.  Gamblers backing LA have drowned in red ink for the last two months.  LA is in an eight team race for the final five Western Conference playoff spots.  Just six points separate those eight clubs in the standings.

There is no doubt that center Jeff Carter’s four month absence due to injury was a factor in the Kings woes.  But the fact that LA was highly profitable for the first month and a half that Carter was out can’t be ignored.  Carter has returned to the lineup, but will it be enough?  Many NHL insiders believe that the Kings offensive woes under Sutter were never really addressed.

The Kings have been under water lately.  In their last eight games they have lost five times.  They have been a decent value on the road with a mark of 19-13-2.  Just 14 of LA’s 34 away games have gone over the total.

In their first season of existence, Vegas is in the President’s Trophy hunt for best regular season record in the NHL.  The Golden Knights remain in great form with six wins in their last eight games.  Home ice has been a big advantage for Vegas.  The Golden Knights are an astounding 24-5-1-1 at T-Mobile Arena.  Vegas paid half a billion dollars to join the NHL.  To its credit the league offered them good players in the expansion draft.

Special Teams

Vegas boasts one of the best power plays in the NHL with a ranking of fifth.  Comparatively the Kings rank a disappointing 17th for the power play.  This matchup’s Power play comparison is indicative of team’s respective strengths and weaknesses.  The fresh approach of Stevens has worn off.  The Kings traditional scoring problems that doomed Sutter remain.  Power play efficiency is a big reason for the Golden Knights amazing success.

Goalie Report

Marc Andre Fleury has had to fill the void for Vegas due to Malcolm Subban’s injury.  Subban is out indefinitely due to an upper body issue.  Fleury has a stellar save percentage of .930 with a 2.13 goals against average.  Maxime Legace has struggled in Subban’s place as backup.  Legace has a weak .872 save percentage and 3.79 goals against average.  Thus, Fleury is carrying a heavy workload.

For the Kings starter Jonathan Quick and backup Darcy Kuemper are among the top tandems in the game.  Quick has a save percentage of .921 with a 2.46 goals against average in 48 games.  Kuemper’s save percentage is an even better .932 with a 2.10 goals against average in 19 games.

Key Stat

Vegas is defying all laws of gravity and expectations for an expansion team.  Beyond being a President’s Trophy contender they also rank second in the NHL for goal scoring.  In comparison slumping Los Angeles is 18th in the league for goals scored.

Kings vs. Golden Knights Free Picks

Vegas scored a 4-2 win in their only previous home game against LA on November 19.  There is no reason to expect anything different in this one.  The Golden Knights have developed a true four line team that relentlessly attacks in wave after wave.  The scoring depth of Vegas cannot be matched by the Kings.

Kings vs. Golden Knights Pick: Bet the Vegas Golden Knights money line
Kings vs. Golden Knights Score Prediction: Golden Knights 5, Kings 2

Hockey Prediction, Flames at Bruins Betting Lines

NHL Betting Odds

Flames at Bruins Picks

By Jonathan Willis

The Calgary Flames have performed well on their road trip so far, and they are looking to keep it going when they take on the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night. Calgary has won three of its first four during this six-game road trip, and the Flames have covered the spread in each as all games were decided by one goal. The Flames are currently tied with Minnesota for the seventh spot in the Western Conference, and they need to keep winning to feel confident about making the postseason.

Calgary Flames at Boston Bruins
Date and Time: Tuesday, February 13, 2018, 7 p.m. ET
Location: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
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Flames at Bruins TV Coverage: NBCSN

For whatever reason, Calgary has been much better on the road than it has been at home this season. The Flames have been one of the best road teams in the NHL, with a 16-6-5 record away from Calgary. They are making up for a six-game losing streak a little bit ago with this performance.

Under has been a good bet in Calgary’s road games this season. The under is 16-11 overall in their road games.

Boston continues to perform well and has nearly caught Tampa Bay for the top spot in the East at this point. The Bruins are just three points back with a game in hand, and they have been on fire lately. Boston is 8-2 in its last 10 games.

The under has been the right play in Bruins games too this season. Under is 17-12 when Boston is playing in TD Garden.

Injuries to Watch

The only player listed on the injury report for Calgary is Kris Versteeg. Versteeg has been out since the end of November with a lower-body injury but has started skating again. He is still a long way away from returning though.

Both Anders Bjork and Kevan Miller are considered day-to-day with upper-body injuries and may or may not be able to play for this one. They have both been out for a little bit of time, but they should be back relatively soon.

Player to Watch

Although Connor McDavid gets a lot of attention, Johnny Gaudreau is showing that there is another forward in Alberta that can put up amazing numbers. Gaudreau is having a banner year and looks set to crush his career-high in points. With just 14 more points over his last 26 games, he’ll get there.

Gaudreau has been something else in recent weeks. He has scored a point in six straight games and has three goals and six assists overall during that timeframe. Very few teams have been able to shut him out all year as he flusters opponents with his speed.

He may be undersized at 5’9 and 157 pounds, but there’s no denying the impact he has. He can maneuver around bigger defenders and find passing lanes that others can’t with his quickness.

Key Stat

Boston is the best team in the NHL at keeping opponents from scoring. The Bruins are allowing just 2.4 goals per game, and that has made Tuukka Rask a serious contender for another Vezina Trophy. It’s been a banner year for Rask after a slow start, but the defenders are top notch as well and the forwards backcheck and block shots as well as any team.

In fact, it’s such a team effort that they are superb on the penalty kill too. Boston is allowing teams to convert less than 17 percent of their power play chances, placing them fourth in the league.

Flames at Bruins Free Picks

The Flames do have some trouble scoring outside of their first line. While Gaudreau is among the league leaders in points, only one other player has cracked 40 points this season. That means teams with good defensemen can focus on shutting down the top line and making the second and third lines beat them.

For that reason, Boston is going to get the win. The Bruins will keep Gaudreau’s line in check and find the back of the net a few times in a comfortable victory.

Flames at Bruins Pick: Bet on the Bruins to ice the Flames
Flames at Bruins Score Prediction: Bruins4 – Flames 1

NHL Hockey Betting Lines, Flyers vs Capitals Predictions

NHL Betting Odds

Flyers at Capitals Picks

By Jonathan Willis

The Washington Capitals are looking to extend their lead in the Metropolitan Division when they take on the Philadelphia Flyers in one of NBC’s mid-week games. Washington is used to being atop the Metropolitan, so that’s not big news, but are well behind both Tampa Bay and Boston for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. The Caps finished atop the Eastern Conference the past two seasons and would like to make it three in a row.

Philadelphia Flyers at Washington Capitals
Date and Time: Wednesday, January 31, 2018, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
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Flyers at Capitals TV Coverage: NBCSN

Philly is hoping that the All-Star Break didn’t kill the team’s momentum. The Flyers had been a team on fire before the break, winning eight of their last 10 games. That vaulted them right into the thick of things in the crowded Metropolitan.

The Flyers have been one of the league’s better road teams this season. Philly has gotten at least a point in 15 of their 23 road games and is 17-6 against the puck line.

Washington welcomed the All-Star Break, as the Capitals had gone on a bit of a skid leading into the long weekend. The Capitals had lost three straight home games, a rarity for them, and will be looking to reestablish their dominance at home. They were 17-5 at home prior to those three losses.

Injuries to Watch

The Flyers are expected to be pretty healthy coming into this game. Brian Elliott was scratched from their last game prior to the All-Star break because of a lower-body injury, but he might be able to play against the Caps in this one. If he can’t go, Michal Neuvirth will be minding the net.

Washington is one of the few teams with no players on the injury report. That’s good news heading into the last third of the season.

Player to Watch

Over the past 13 seasons, Alex Ovechkin has been the face of the Washington Capitals. He has been the lynchpin of the team through thick and thin, and it will be he who the Caps lean on during their stretch run.

Ovechkin just recently hit a couple of milestones that highlight just how great he has been. Right before the All-Star break, he notched his 500th career assist and tallied his 13th straight 30-goal season in a win over Florida.

There is no denying that he is a shoot-first player, but when you are as talented as Ovie, it’s hard not to be. He has led the NHL in shots in 10 of his 12 complete seasons and has been the league’s leader in goals for six seasons. Ovechkin is currently leading the NHL in both shots and goals, and he is looking to crack the 50-goal mark for the eighth time in his career.

Key Stat

Neither Elliott or Neuvirth is a great, or even good, goaltender. That puts the pressure on the defense to be solid and not allow a lot of scoring opportunities, and the Flyers have done just that. Philadelphia is fifth in the NHL in shots allowed, giving up 30.2 shots per game.

The Flyers have two young defensemen that are already playing at an elite level. Ivan Provorov isn’t old enough to legally drink in this country, but he has helped shut down some of the best players in the game. He logs a ton of minutes and has been who Philly has leaned on the most.

Shayne Gostisbehere has been the other defenseman Philly has counted on. Gostisbehere is in his third season in the NHL and is known more for his offensive chops, but has come along as a defender too.

Flyers at Capitals Free Picks

Before the All-Star break, these teams met in our nation’s capital with Philadelphia coming on top 2-1. This time around, Washington will emerge victorious. The Capitals will find success against the Flyers other defensemen, and that will be the difference in this one.

Flyers at Capitals Pick: Back the hometown Capitals on the puck line
Flyers at Capitals Score Prediction: Capitals 3 – Flyers 1

NHL Hockey Predictions, Flyers vs Red Wings Betting Picks

NHL Hockey Odds

Flyers at Red Wings Picks

By Adam Markowitz

It’s been another rebuilding year for the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit looks like it is going to miss out on the playoffs yet again this season. Only two teams in the East currently have worse records, and they have been unable to string together good performances lately too. The Red Wings are hopeful that they can right the ship at least a little bit at this point. A win over the Philadelphia Flyers on national television would help in that regard.

Philadelphia Flyers at Detroit Red Wings
Date and Time:Tuesday, January 23, 2018, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan
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Flyers at Red Wings TV Coverage: NBCSN

Philadelphia is one of the hotter teams in the NHL at the moment. The Flyers have won seven of their last eight and just got done picking up a nice road win against the Capitals on Sunday afternoon.

Yet another road win has made this a great team to bet on away from home. The Flyers have gotten points in 14 of their 22 road games, and are 17-5 ATS on the road.

Detroit has not had much to celebrate this season, home or away. The Red Wings have lost units on both the moneyline and the puck line this year. Lately, they have been in a particularly bad slump, losing four of their last five. Additionally, Detroit has lost its last three home games.

Injuries to Watch

The Red Wings are expecting to have one back from injury for this one. C Luke Glendening has been out for over a month with a wrist injury, but looks set to make his return against the Flyers. However, three other injured players look set to miss this game. Both C Darren Helm and LW Justin Abdelkader have been out for about a week and neither one is expected to play here. Additionally, D Trevor Daley suffered an injury on Saturday and is likely to miss this one.

For Philadelphia, there is nothing new to report on the injury front. That’s a welcome spot of news this time of year. The Flyers are hoping that luck holds up for as long as possible.

Matchup to Watch

Those injuries have been very costly for the Red Wings. Detroit is one of the worst teams on the penalty kill in the NHL. The Red Wings are allowing teams to score 21.1 percent of the time they are on the power play, a figure that is well below-average.

Without players like Helm, Abdelkader, and Daley, the penalty kill has performed even worse. Detroit has allowed opponents to score two power play goals in three of its last four games as a result of the injuries. Unsurprisingly, the Red Wings lost all three of those games by multiple goals.

Philadelphia has not scored on the power play in its last four games, but might break through here. They found the back of the net on their lone power play against Detroit the last time these teams met and will look to do so again.

Flyers at Red Wings Free Picks

During Philadelphia’s run, the Flyers have gotten good production out of both their goaltenders and their offense. Through the first half of the streak, the offense led the way with 21 goals in the first four games. Lately, it’s been defense though. Philly has given up just four goals in its last three games, and held Washington to just one goal on the road.

Give the Flyers credit for bouncing back when they could have mailed it in early. They lost 10 games in a row during the last half of November, putting them in a bad spot. However, they have since rallied and are now looking like a playoff team. In particular, the play of Michal Neuvirth and Brian Elliott has been much better than expected. Goaltending let down Philly last year, but it has been a boon this season.

With the Red Wings having to take a road trip to New Jersey the night before this game, the Flyers will have a day of rest. That will help them pick up the win.

Flyers at Red Wings Pick: Take the Flyers to get it done on the road here
Flyers at Red Wings Score Prediction: Flyers 3 – Red Wings 2