NHL Expert Wagering Guidance
Saturday hockey betting advice
By Bob Duff
The best of the best from an outstanding slate of Saturday NHL wagering opportunities, with odds courtesy of SportsBetting.ag:
Montreal Canadiens (+162) at Washington Capitals (-180)
It's Carey Price against Alex Ovechkin, and oh yeah, two of the best teams in the NHL are also clashing. How deep is the NHL's Eastern Conference this season? The Capitals are on pace for 114 points and are clinging to the last wildcard playoff position. Both teams will arrive for this game off Friday appearances - the Canadiens at home against San Jose and Washington on the road in Carolina.
Ovechkin has picked up 22 goals and 40 points in 39 career games against Montreal. The Capitals, meanwhile, have proven to be Price's kryptonite. He's 5-9-4 in 18 games versus Washington with a 3.08 goals-against average and a dismal .898 save percentage. With Price getting the start Friday, this one could prove to be a night the Habs put back-up Al Montoya between the pipes.
Pick: The Capitals (-180)
New York Rangers (+106) at Nashville Predators (-117)
Henrik Lundqvist returned to the Rangers net Thursday against Dallas and had the shutout going when his bell was rung as he was run behind the net by Stars forward Cody Eakin, who was suspended four games by the NHL. Antti Raanta took over to finish the final 5:31 of the 2-0 win and together they posted the first shared shutout in the 90-year history of the Rangers franchise. It was New York's third shutout in four games and the Rangers have allowed just two goals against in their last five games.
Spanked 5-2 Thursday by Minnesota, the Predators have lost three of four and four of six. All three of those setbacks in the past four games were by three-goal margins, a total that Nashville has been beaten by seven times already this season.
Pick: The Rangers (+106)
Chicago Blackhawks (+116) at St. Louis Blues (-108)
Always an intense rivalry - remember last spring's seven-game opening-round playoff series - both of these Central Division rivals arrive to the ice off impressive Thursday performances. Chicago rallied from 2-0 and 4-3 deficits to defeat the New York Islanders 5-4 and extend its points streak to 4-0-1. Chicago forward Artemi Panarin scored twice and finished with three points. He's riding a three-game points streak with 3-3-6 numbers.
The Blues scored five unanswered goals to roar back for a 5-2 verdict over New Jersey, extending their home-ice points streak to 11-0-3, the second-longest in franchise history. St. Louis is 13-1-3 at the Scottrade Center. St. Louis goalie Jake Allen is 11-0-2 on home ice. Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko has points in five straight games, with 2-8-10 totals over that span.
Pick: The Blues (-108)
Tampa Bay Lightning (+136) at Edmonton Oilers (-150)
It won't be a Connor McDavid-Steven Stamkos showdown, as Lightning captain Stamkos remains out with a knee injury, but Nikita Kucherov vs. McDavid might work as a solid Plan B. The Lightning, who played Friday at Vancouver, ended a three-game losing streak with a win Wednesday at Calgary. Prior to Friday's game, Kucherov led the Lightning with 13 goals and 30 points. Entering the Vancouver game, Tampa Bay was 5-7-1 since Stamkos was hurt.
The Oilers have been off three days since losing 3-1 to Columbus and are 1-2-3 in their last six games. Edmonton is 4-8-2 against the Eastern Conference. McDavid leads the NHL with 12 multi-point games.
Pick: The Lightning (+136)
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