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Vancouver Canucks vs. New Jersey Devils Odds & Prediction: November 25th 2014

Will Rogers - NHL PickVancouver Canucks vs. New Jersey Devils
NHL Prediction: Under 5.5 goals -110 odds (November 25th 2014)
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The Vancouver Canucks must be considered as one of the bigger surprises in the NHL this season after finishing the 2013-2014 season third last in the Eastern Conference. They’ve done so mostly by outscoring their opponents, but they will face a formidable Devils defense, and former Canuck Corey Schneider between he pipes.

Here are my keys to the game:

1. Goaltending – Ryan Miller is showing a 13-3-0 record since joining the Canucks, which is a better record than any other No. 1 netminder in the NHL this season. He’s done so despite a rather high 2.63 GAA, but tonight could be a good opportunity to better those numbers as he’s posted a 1.54 GAA over the last 11 meetings with the Devils, winning seven of them. Corey Schneider is returning to face the club he represented 2008-2013 showing a 1.41 GAA with two shutouts over a 3-2-0 stretch.

2. Trends – Five of the Devils last six have gone under the total, and don’t expect to see a lot of fireworks tonight as none of the last four meetings in Vancouver have gone over the total.

3. X-Factor – The Devils are testing their opponents goalie less than any other team in the NHL, bar Buffalo, averaging a lowly 26.4 shots per game.

Selection: This is a play on NJD@VAN to go under the total (Free)

Coyotes vs. Stars NHL Pick from Will Rogers: November 20th 2014

Will Rogers - NHL PickArizona Coyotes vs. Dallas Stars
NHL Pick: Dallas -159 odds (November 20th 2014)
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The Dallas Stars are looking to snap a franchise-record seven home game losing streak while the visiting Arizona Coyotes have two straight road wins. The Stars won the meeting in Arizona on Nov 11 though, and I think they will come out ahead of this contest as well.

Here are my keys to the game:

1. Overall Fire Power – Neither of these two teams have been able to keep the puck out of their own net as they both rank near the bottom of the table regarding goals against per game. At least the Stars have some offensive firepower to turn to, which I’m not sure you can say about the Coyotes who are averaging only 2.47 goals per game. As a comparison, Tyler Seguin leads the Stars with 24 points for the season while Keith Yandle leads the Coyotes with his two goals and 12 assists.

2. Trends – The Coyotes have lost five of their last six on the road versus a team with a home winning % of less than .400. That doesn’t bode well as they’ve also dropped four straight meetings in Dallas.

3. X-factor – Kari Lehtonen is looking to bounce back after two poor performances and the Coyotes might be a perfect opponent as he’s 6-1-0 with a 2.24 GAA in his last seven starts against Arizona.

Selection: This is a play on the Dallas Stars (Free)

Anaheim Ducks vs. Calgary Flames NHL Pick from Jesse Schule: November 18th 2014

Jesse Schule - NHL PickAnaheim Ducks vs. Calgary Flames
NHL Pick: Anaheim -118 odds (November 18th 2014)
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The Calgary Flames have been perhaps the biggest surprise in the league so far, as they currently sit just two points back of Anaheim for 1st in the Western Conference. The Flames missed the playoffs last year, and only Edmonton had fewer points than Calgary in the West Standings. They lost their leading scorer in the off-season, with Mike Cammalleri going to New Jersey, but they signed a veteran goaltender in Jonas Hiller, who found himself the odd man out in Anaheim.

The Ducks have been slumping, with just one win in their last six overall. The good news for Anaheim though is that leading scorer Corey Perry is back in the lineup after missing five games due to illness, and Kyle Palmieri is back from an ankle injury.

This game sets up perfectly as the Ducks are getting healthier, and should be eager to right the ship and put an end to this slump. The Flames are getting way too much credit, based on their impressive start to the season. I think Calgary has been overachieving, and I just don’t think they have enough talent to compete in a very tough Western Conference.

Anaheim has taken 11 of the last 15 meetings with the Flames, and yet the Ducks are just a small favorite tonight.

Buffalo Sabres vs. Minnesota Wild NHL Pick from Jesse Schule: November 13th 2014

Jesse Schule - NHL PickBuffalo Sabres vs. Minnesota Wild
NHL Pick: Under 5 goals (November 13th 2013)
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The Sabres are the worst team in the league, and they are coming off back to back 6-1 losses. There is a good reason why I think tonight’s game in Minnesota might be a little closer than that though. Prior to being blown out in it’s last two games, Buffalo had played 11 straight without going over the total. Additionally, their last game at St. Louis saw five goals scored on special teams, something that is less likely here against the Wild.

The Sabres are terrible on the power-play, converting on less than six percent of their man-advantage opportunities. The only team that is worse than Buffalo in that category, just happens to be the Wild. It certainly won’t help that their leading scorer Zach Parise is out with a concussion, and unlikely to return for tonight’s contest.

These two teams are both ranked in the bottom half of the league in scoring, so it comes as little surprise that they haven’t gone over the total in any of the previous five head to head meetings. The Wild have also played five straight games without going over five goals.