Picks: Penguins vs. Rangers, Round 3

Updated: November 30, 2009 at 1:06 pm by Matt Bennett

We’ve seen the Pens take it twice, and embarrass the Rangers at the Igloo on Saturday – now it’s time for the Rangers to host.  Eight games on the slate tonight for those of you not interested in a great Monday Night Football matchup! 

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St. Louis Blues +115 at Columbus Blue Jackets -135

Both teams blew leads on Saturday to end up losing in overtime.  The Blues, however, have a few wins to show for their efforts of late and the Jackets haven’t won in 5 games. St. Louis has gone over in 3 of their last 5 games as their offense has finally woken up.  The Blue Jackets are going over for a different reason, poor goaltending has allowed them to go over in 4 of their last 5 games / losses.  The Blues have the 8th-best road offense and powerplay, 3.1 goals per game and 24.1% as well as the 5th best road defense, 2.4 goals against.  The Jackets have the 5th worst home offense, 2.5 goals per game and the 8th worst home defense, 3.0 goals against per game.  The Blues have won their last 2 home games and are 5-1-3 overall on the road while Columbus is 6-2-3 at home.  Both teams favour the over against division opponents and that’s where I’m leaning here.
Pick: Over 5.5 goals +110

Washington Capitals -160 at Carolina Hurricanes +140

If you watched the Capitals play the Habs on Saturday, you saw Alexander Ovechkin do pretty much everything for the Caps (in the midst of massive boos).  Normally that kind of depth would concern me but not against a team that’s been performing like the Canes have.  Michael Leighton goes again after getting shelled for 5 goals in the third period against Buffalo.  That kind of finish won’t get you wins and to expect the Canes to fend off the NHL’s top offense, 3.5 goals per game, is a lot to ask.  Carolina still has the very worst defense in the league, 3.7 goals against, and overall, the worst scoring, 2.3 goals per game.  Eric Staal has contributed maybe as much as he can with 2 assists in his 3 games back but hasn’t been a real threat.
Pick: Caps -160

Buffalo Sabres -125 at Toronto Maple Leafs +105

Two things about these teams.  Number 1, they have gone over the game total just once in their last 7 meetings.  Number 2, Buffalo has won 6 of those 7 meetings.  If Patrick Lalime was in, I could understand some love for the Leafs here but it’s Ryan Miller, who hasn’t allowed more than 2 goals in 4 straight games.  The Leafs have been lighting the lamp recently, but that’s away from home.  At home, the Leafs have the league’s worst offense, 2.1 goals per game and the second-worst defense, 3.4 goals per game, and a dismal 2-6-3 home record.  The Sabres don’t exactly light it up on the road but they do have a more commanding 6-4 road record and 7th-best offense, 2.5 goals against.  Both teams don’t have much luck against division opponents so far this year but the Sabres have the advantage here.
Pick: Sabres -125 and Under 6.0 goals -115

Pittsburgh Penguins -120 at New York Rangers +100

What about Saturday has changed for tonight?  Pittsburgh demolished the Rangers 8-3 in the Sidney Crosby show, handing the Rangers their second straight loss by 4+ goals.  Henrik Lundqvist is going tonight but it’s not like he performed admirably against the Lightning.  Pittsburgh has now won 5 straight meetings between these two and taken it over in 3 of those 5.  You can’t deny that the Pens are clicking again, winning 6 of their last 8, after getting key players back from injury.  The Rangers need some sort of sparkplug and maybe they’ll get that with Sean Avery on the top line – or maybe that’ll just get the Rangers in penalty trouble early.  The Rangers are a slightly better team at home 7-5, but they’ve only won 1 of their last 4 at home.  The Pens just stack up better against the Rangers and while this should be closer, the Pens should come out in front.
Pick: Pens -120

Fan Favourite Record: 9-11, -4.05

Betting results by category so far this season:

  • Money Line 54-62, -16.17
  • Puck Line 10-18, -2.5
  • Game Totals 45-38-1, +0.99
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Matt Bennett is an original DailyFaceoff.com co-Founder. Feel free to reach Bennett directly @bennettdf.
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