19-22: Seems fitting that Buffalo finds their scoring touch when I pick them to go under vs. Detroit. Chris Osgood called out his teammates after the game and with good reason; they held him out to dry.
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Los Angeles Kings +140 at New York Rangers -160
Both teams are rolling into this game with win streaks and unfortunately only one of them will leave with one. The Rangers are winners of their last 5, and have won by 2 in 3 of those games. They’ve beaten very formidable opponents in Anaheim, Washington, and New Jersey during that stretch. The Kings on the other hand have been facing backup goalies along the way before grinding out wins against the Blues and the Islanders. The Rangers, by far, have had a tougher schedule, thus far, en route to a 5-1 record while I still feel the Kings, at 4-1, haven’t beaten a formidable opponent yet. The Kings have averaged 1.0 goals allowed per game on their road trip but have only been able to muster up 2.0 goals per game. The Rangers have shown their scoring touch so far this season and boast an average of 4.0 goals per game. The Rangers haven’t beaten the Kings at the Garden in their last three meetings there, dating back to 2002, but I’m going with the hotter team here.
Pick: Rangers -160
Pittsburgh Penguins -130 at Carolina Hurricanes +110
Rematch? With their third round knockout still fresh in their minds, the Canes have to try and get their season back on track. Unfortunately for the Canes, the harsh reality is that they’ve been absolutely awful in this early season. They’ve allowed 3.4 goals per game while only averaging 2.6 goals scored. Reverse those numbers for the Pens who have regrouped to a 3-game win streak after getting shutout by Phoenix. Pittsburgh is hot and the Canes are getting blown out by a previously winless Tampa Bay team. The Canes, however, are 2-1 at home but the Pens are a solid 4-0 on the road. Everything points to Pens’ dominance here and the bookies are giving great odds at -130.
Pick: Pens -130
Minnesota Wild +135 at Anaheim Ducks -155
The Ducks blew a 3-goal lead in their previous meeting last Saturday in Minnesota to give the Wild their only win and are finally returning home after going 2-2 on their 4-game road trip. The Wild, on the other hand, enter their third game of a 5-game road trip winless after losing handily to the Kings and the Sharks. The Ducks’ D has been superb so far this year, averaging 2.8 goals allowed per game but unfortunately their offensive potential is yet to show itself. The Ducks average only 2.6 goals per game on an average of 25 shots per game. The Wild are really struggling so far this season and injuries aren’t helping their cause: they’ll be limping into Anaheim without forwards Petr Sykora, Pierre-Marc Bouchard, and Cal Clutterbuck. Take the healthier Ducks returning home.
Pick: Ducks -155