A rather fascinating night awaits us in the NHL, with a large number of games with huge playoff implications. Of course we are also reviewing the betting odds to see what we can uncover.
Despite winning two of three last night, Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne was not sharp and allowed three goals on 10 shots in the Predators 4-3 home loss to Colorado as -230 favorites. Nashville’s in the playoffs, but could have crawled within two points of Chicago for third place and has to travel to Dallas tonight.
That was just our second losing day in eight for NHL picks and we will also closely be following the Blackhawks at Minnesota, as the Wild go five-game sweep of Chicago this season, after being knocked out of the playoffs by them the last two seasons.
We are looking at the NHL odds of three other contests with the intent of returning to winning ways.
Pittsburgh (42-33 SU) is trying to ride the coattails of Sidney Crosby into second place in the Metropolitan Division. A victory tonight over Buffalo (31-45 SU) moves the Penguins to within two points of overtaking the New York Rangers and guarantees them at least one home series in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Crosby has 22 points in Pittsburgh last 15 contests and they have won eight of nine in the process. The Sabres have not been a pushover in winning four of seven and two of the losses were by a single goal. However, Pittsburgh is a supersized -270 home favorite for a reason, having won eight straight over Buffalo, six of them by two or more goals. The Pens have always been tough to beat when they get rolling and are 12-3 having won four of five and are 7-0 in the second half of the season versus opposing clubs averaging 29.5 or more shots on net.
Free Pick – Pittsburgh wins
After winning five of six, Toronto (27-48 SU) has taken on two playoff teams in recent games and come up short on both occasions. It does not getting any easier tonight having to do battle with Florida (42-33 SU). The Panthers are coming off massive win at Tampa Bay Saturday and can retake first place this evening with a half dozen games left on the schedule.
If the Maple Leafs are to even be competitive, they have to solve their power plays woes. Last night in 3-0 loss at Tampa Bay, they were 0-7 with a man advantage and have just three scores in past 32 power plays, which covers nine games.