Since I apparently just can’t pick hockey games anymore after another losing day yesterday, I’m breaking down every game on the slate tonight but only betting one of them. I need a break so unless a game really pops out to me, I won’t be betting much this week.
Islanders vs. Sabres (7:00)
On Saturday, the Sabres beat the Devils 3-2 to get their first win in 5 games and their first since January 30th. This season the Islanders are 2-0 against the Sabres with a 3-1 win and 3-0 shutout (with rookie goaltender Ilya Sorokin getting his first career shutout) and in recent years the Islanders have owned the Sabres. Since December 2016, the Islanders are 9-2 against Buffalo. I also like the under tonight as both teams have struggled to score this year, as the Islanders are 26th in goals for per game and the Sabres are 27th. The Islanders are also very good defensively, ranking 4th in fewest goals allowed per game and under 5.5 is 6-1 in matchups between these teams since January 2019. I don’t see the Sabres winning two games in a row so I’m going with the Isles for a unit and the under for half a unit, with Varlamov already confirmed in goal.
Hurricanes vs. Lightning (7:00)
The Lightning let me down on Saturday night and got shut out 4-0 giving Alex Nedeljkovic his first career shutout and taking over first place in the Central Division over Tampa. Carolina now has two shutouts in both games against the Bolts this season. I don’t think that happens again and would lean Tampa to bounce back but I’m not betting the game.
Maples Leafs vs. Flames (7:00)
The Leafs are 2-0 against Calgary this year, winning 4-3 and 3-2. The Leafs should be able to overpower the Flames, who are on a 3 game losing streak and win again. I’d take the Leafs here but I’m not betting it.
Panthers vs. Stars (7:00)
After huge weather issues in Dallas that forced the Stars to postpone games, the Stars are playing in their first game tonight in 9 days. Prior to the storms hitting Texas, the Stars were struggling on a disappointing five game losing streak. Florida’s exceeded expectation so far this year. I’d give Florida the edge here but not enough to bet it as I don’t think either of these teams records really indicate what kind of team they are. This one should be interesting to watch and I’d lean the under.
Blues vs. Kings (8:00)
The LA Kings have been a pesky team their last few games coming off a four game winning streak including back to back wins against the Yotes (that I lost on both games of). The Blues, who are 1-1 on the season this year against LA are coming off a disappointing 5-4 loss to the Sharks. I’d think the Blues bounce back tonight since they have more talent than LA does on both ends of the ice.
Avalanche vs. Golden Knights (8:00)
The game on Saturday at Lake Tahoe between these teams had a nine hour delay between the first and second periods of their game because, shocker, direct sunlight makes the ice bad outdoors. Tonight these teams go back indoors. Vegas and the Avs are pretty evenly matched with all three games this season being decided by one goal in either direction. Too close to tell on these very good Western teams but I’d lean the under as all three games have had five total goals or fewer.
Coyotes vs. Ducks (9:00)
The Yotes are coming off back to back disappointing losses to the LA Kings after being the Blues in their seven game series. The Ducks are dead last in the NHL in goals for per game. I think the Coyotes get back in the W column tonight and I’d also lean the under on this one.
Sharks vs. Wild (10:30)
These two teams have met twice this year, splitting those games. The Wild won 4-1 and then the Sharks answered back 5-3. I would slightly lean the Sharks here but even if I wasn’t in the hole I wouldn’t be betting this one.
1u Islanders ML (-175)
.5u Islanders/Sabres under 5 (+120)
Record: 86-84 (-25.95 units)