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Blackhawks vs. Penguins NHL Pick from Jesse Schule: January 21st 2015

Jesse Schule - NHL PickChicago Blackhawks vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
NHL Pick: Over 5.5 goals -110 odds (January 21st 2015)
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The Penguins and the Hawks are two of the highest scoring teams in hockey, each team averaging over three goals per game. This will be the second game in as many nights for both clubs, which should mean there’s a good chance one or both team will turn to it’s backup goaltender.

Chicago’s offense exploded for six goals in a 6-1 thrashing of the Coyotes on home ice last night. The Pens lost in overtime at Philly last night, with backup goaltender Thomas Greiss between the pipes. Starting netminder Marc-Andre Fleury was pulled after allowing four goals on just 17 shots in a loss to the Rangers his last time out. He’s surrendered a total of nine goals, losing his last two starts.

The Penguins are one of the league’s best on home ice, and they also tend to play high scoring games in Pittsburgh. None of their last five home games have fallen short of the number, and they have won eight of their last nine home games versus the Hawks.

With this being the final game before the All Star break, we could see a bit of careless play with both teams showing perhaps less focus than you would normally expect.

Vancouver vs. Tampa Bay NHL Pick from Will Rogers: January 20th 2015

Will Rogers - NHL PickVancouver Canucks vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
NHL Pick: Tampa Bay -170 odds (January 20th 2015)
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The Vancouver Canucks opened a five game road swing with a 5-1 loss at Nashville, but have won three straight since. They’re off a 2-1 win at Florida last night, and won’t have to travel far to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight. The Canucks have lost 12 of their last 15 games playing on back-to-back days though, and I expect them to struggle here against a Lightning team looking to build on an extended home game winning streak.

Here are my keys to the game:

1. Goaltending – Ryan Miller has been hot lately, but has only started both ends of a back-to-back situation once this season and that was as early as last week. It’s been plenty of hockey for 34 year old Miller lately, and that mean we should see Eddie Lack tending the net tonight. Lack was torched for four goals on 24 shots when the two teams met in the lone meeting so far this season in the season opener. My sources is telling me that the Lightning will go with Ben Bishop, who has dominated the Nucks over previous meetings going 3-0-0 behind a 2.33 GAA.

2. Home Cookin – The Lightning are tied with the Blues and the Predators for the league lead with their 18 wins on home ice. They’ve had plenty of success over recent games, going undefeated over their last seven at Amalie Arena.

3. X-Factor – Steven Stamkos is leading the Lightning with his 26 goals. He’s scored five goals over his last five appearances and tallied two goals and one assist in the first match-up with the Nucks this season.

Selection: This is a play on the Tampa Bay Lightning (free)

Canucks vs. Hurricanes NHL Pick from Will Rogers: January 16th 2015

Will Rogers - NHL PickVancouver Canucks vs. Carolina Hurricanes
NHL Pick: Over 5 goals (January 16th 2015)
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The Vancouver Canucks are off a 4-0 win at Philadelphia last night but might find a tougher opponent in the rejuvenated Carolina Hurricanes tonight. The Canes are 4-1-1 in the new year, winning all four on home ice. They rank near the bottom of the league for goals per game, but have shown some real improvement over recent games. I think we’re getting decent value on the over here.

Here are my keys to the game:

1. The Canucks Goaltending Situation – With Ryan Miller playing the full game last night we are likely to see back-up Eddie Lack in goal for the Nucks tonight. He was roughed up by the Predators in Nashville his last outing, conceding five goals on 30 shots and is 2-2-1 behind a 2.86 GAA on the road for the season.

2. Trends – The Nucks will play their third road game in four days, and five of the their last seven playing on back-to-back days have gone over the total. Only one of the last six meetings in Carolina have gone under.

3. X-Factor – Jordan Staal tallied his first goal for the season as he opened the scoring in the Canes 3-2 SO win against the Avs Tuesday. His return from injury has been a real boost for the Canes who are 4-2-1 with Jordan on the ice.

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