NHL Friday Betting Lines Analysis
Best NHL Bets On Friday
By Bob Duff
The action continues on four fronts as the NHL playoffs resume and this is the way you should be wagering on the action. Odds provided courtesy of BetOnline.ag:
Named as the starting goaltender just before puck drop, Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 31 shots – including all 16 he faced in the first period – to help the Penguins begin their pursuit of a second straight Stanley Cup with a Game 1 victory over the Blue Jackets.
Fleury took over after Matt Murray. The previously announced starter was injured in warmup and Fleury picked up his 54th career postseason win to move within two of tying Tom Barrasso (56) for the most in franchise history.
The Blue Jackets are 1-1 in Game 2 all-time, and that one win came against the Penguins.
They did get rookie defenseman Zach Werenski back from a four-game absence but Columbus again struggled to find the net. The Blue Jackets have scored more than two goals in just three of their last 12 games.
Pick: The Blue Jackets (+143) and the under (5.5)
Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist denied all 31 shots he faced to backstop the Rangers to a Game 1 win in Montreal. Lundqvist recorded his 10th career playoff shutout to surpass Mike Richter (nine) for first place on the Rangers’ all-time list.
He improved to 3-0 in four career postseason games at Bell Centre (2.01 GAA, .938 save percentage, one shutout). Game 1 marked just the fifth Rangers shutout in 68 all-time postseason meetings against the Canadiens and second recorded in Montreal. The other Rangers goalie to post a shutout in Montreal was Charlie Rayner in Game 5 of the semifinals.
The Canadiens stayed with the same lines in practice on Thursday, meaning 17-goal scorer Alex Galchenyuk, third on the team in points with 44, remained in coach Claude Julien's doghouse and on the fourth line.
Pick: The Canadiens (-145) and the under (5)
Following in the skates of Curtis Joseph (twice) and Ed Staniowski, Jake Allen's 51-save performance in Game 1 was only the fourth time in Stanley Cup history that a Blues goalie blocked 50 or more shots. Meanwhile, Joel Edmundson became just the fifth St. Louis defenseman to score an overtime winner and the second in the past 16 years.
The Blues bucked a recent trend when they won in OT after Wild forward Zach Parise tied the game with 22.7 seconds left in regulation. NHL teams who surrender a tying goal in the final minute of regulation in a playoff game own a 13-23 record since 2007.
Pick: The Wild (-195) and the under (5)
When Wayne Gretzky first led the Edmonton Oilers into the playoffs back in 1980, they were swept by the Philadelphia Flyers. If that didn't tell Oilers captain Connor McDavid that his work was cut out for him, his first career Stanley Cup game certainly did.
San Jose erased a two-goal deficit and Melker Karlsson scored at 3:22 of overtime to help the defending Western Conference champion Sharks rally past the Oilers in the opener of their first round series. McDavid, who registered points in each of his last 14 regular season games, notched an assist in his Stanley Cup debut.
Pick: The Oilers (-146) and the over (5)
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