28-26-1: It appears that the Kings and their goalie situation has drastically reversed itself as they demolished the Richards-less Stars. Let’s try and get redemption with the Pens and Thrashers tonight!
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St. Louis Blues +160 at Pittsburgh Penguins -180
The Pens are rolling, winners of 5 straight, while the Blues are coming off of a solid 5-0 win in Anaheim. The Blues have only won 3 games this season and two of them have been with Ty Conklin in net – it appears as if Mason will get the start in net. Mason is 0-2 with a 4.10 GAA and .846 SV% life-time against the Pens. Marc-Andre Fleury is starting for the Pens and is looking for his 8th straight win. In their only meeting last season, Pittsburgh dominated the Blues 6-3 but that was in November, before the Blues had their late-season resurgence. In addition, Pittsburgh dominated central division opponents last season, going 4-2-1, while the Blues were 2-3-0. The Blues Both teams matchup relatively evenly on offense and on defense but the difference in this game will be the Pens’ home ice advantage and the play of Marc-Andre Fleury. Amazingly for Pittsburgh, they’ve gone a perfect 5-0 on the road and continue their 5-game home stand.
Pick: Pens -180
Atlanta Thrashers +100 at Montreal Canadiens -120
The Thrashers have played extraordinarily well so far this season, playing 4 of 5 games on the road. Their offense has shined, averaging 4.00 goals per game and they’ve also received solid goaltending from Ondrej Pavelec and Johan Hedberg, averaging 2.60 goals against. Montreal has dropped 5 straight games after winning their first 2, most recently in home games to Colorado and Ottawa. Tonight, Montreal turns to Jaroslav Halak to turn the tides which is an interesting choice, considering Halak is 0-2 with a 9.49 GAA and .724 SV% life-time vs. Atlanta. The home teams won every game of their 4 meetings last season but Atlanta is playing like a different team this year but I think this is Atlanta’s best chance to reverse that trend. The Habs allow 3.43 goals against per game on an average of 30 shots against. The Habs powerplay is fizzling at 15% with the absence of Andrei Markov and I’ll be hard-pressed to see Marc-Andre Bergeron provide a powerplay resurgence. The Thrashers league-leading powerplay is dominant, at 37.5%, and matches up favourably against the Habs’ 5th-worst 71.4% penalty kill. The bookies give Atlanta good money here, and if you are wary about dropping -300 on the puck line, take the Thrashers on the money line.
Pick: Thrashers +100