New York Rangers vs. New Jersey Devils
NHL Betting Pick: New Jersey -125 odds (October 21st 2014)
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After opening the season a perfect 3-0, New Jersey has dropped its last two games including a 4-2 loss in its home opener against San Jose. This is a good spot for the Devils to bounce back as they haven’t dropped their first two home games in regulation since going 0-3-0 in 2009-10. The day after San Jose defeated the Devils, the Rangers took care of the Sharks on Sunday in a 4-0 shutout. That was the second straight win for New York after losing three in a row so it clearly has been pretty inconsistent to start the season. Goalie Henrik Lundqvist is coming off his franchise record 51st shutout but he allowed three goals in each of his last three games following a shutout last season. His save percentage is still just barely above 90 percent at even strength and below it in all situations to an even worse 89.2 percent. On the other side, Devils goalie Cory Schneider has struggled over his last two games but some extra time off will be beneficial as will the fact he has a 0.86 GAA in three appearances against the Rangers, including a 4-0 home victory last Oct. 19. His save percentage is at 92 percent at even strength. The Rangers are 0-6 against the money line in their last six games off two or more consecutive home wins. Play (54) New Jersey Devils
Edmonton Oilers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
Hockey Pick: Tampa Bay -162 odds (October 20th 2014)
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This is a complete mismatch on the ice Monday. Tampa Bay comes in fresh off a 5-2 win over Vancouver Saturday to improve to 3-1-1 on the season. Edmonton on the other hand has lost each of their first 5 games and 4 of the 5 have come by 2 or more goals. The Lightning have outscored the opposition 17-9 early on in 2014, while the Oilers have been outscored 24-11. The fact that Edmonton is playing at home isn’t a big advantage, as the Oilers have consistently finished with one of the worst home records over the last 6 seasons.
Edmonton is 12-43 in their last 55 games against a team with a winning record and just 3-10 in their last 13 home games versus a team who has won more than 60% of their road games. Tampa Bay is 5-1 in their last 6 road games against a team that’s won fewer than 40% of their home games. These trends combine to form a 78% (58-16) system in favor of the Lightning. Take Tampa Bay!
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Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings
NHL Pick: Boston -110 odds (October 15th 2014)
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The Boston Bruins have dominated the Eastern Conference in recent seasons, but it’s been a difficult start to the season for Boston. Their most recent loss was particularly painful, as Danny Briere scored with 0.5 seconds left in regulation to give Colorado a 2-1 victory at the Garden. I expect the Bruins to bounce back with a strong effort tonight in Detroit.
Here are my keys to the game:
1. David Krejci – The Bruins leading scorer last season missed the first three games with an undisclosed injury. He returned against the Avs and played 19 minutes. Look for Krejci to make an impact in tonight’s game.
2. Home Cookin’ – The Wings might not possess the same home ice advantage as you would expect from other teams. Last year they won 21 games on the road, three more than he won at Joe Louis Arena.
3. X-Factor – The Bruins defeated Detroit in last year’s playoffs, winning four straight after losing Game 1 at home in the first round.
Selection: This is a play on the Boston Bruins (Free)
Dallas Stars vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
Betting Pick: Under 5.5 goals (October 14th 2014)
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The Columbus Blue Jackets looking to open the season with three straight wins, while Dallas is looking for their first win of the season. I am playing the total in this game and playing it under.
Columbus is without Brandon Dubinsky, Nathan Horton, Ryan Murray and Boone Jenner. They have been anchored by their top line of Ryan Johansen, Cam Atkinson and Nick Foligno. They have totaled nine points, six coming in their last game.
The Blue Jackets are going with Sergei Bobrovsky between the pipes. He is 6-0-1 with a 1.82 GAA in seven career starts against the Stars.
Dallas has had trouble producing goals this season. Their top line has yet to produce a point this year. They have come up empty on 12 shots this season.
Dallas will turn to top goaltender Kari Lehtonen, who was rested after making 24 saves in a season-opening 3-2 shootout loss. He is 5-5-1 with a 1.91 goals-against average in 11 career starts against Columbus.
Dallas is scoring 1.5 goals and giving up3.0 goals a game. Columbus on the other hand is averaging 4 goals a game and giving up 1.5. Both teams have been excellent at killing penalties as Dallas has only allowed one and Columbus hasn’t allowed any. I like this to go under the total as you have two good goaltenders that play well against each other.
There shouldn’t be many easy special team scores and Dallas hasn’t been scoring much anyway.