After only six games on Wednesday night, the NHL returns to the ice with a big slate of games for Thursday night. 10 games are scheduled with many exciting matchups and some teams like the New York Islanders, returning to action for the first time in five days. With multiple games scheduled, bettors are looking for mismatches and favorable matchups that can and will lead to profitable payouts.
Under 5.5 – Tampa Bay Lightning Vs. St. Louis Blues
|Lightning stat line||12 wins in 21 games||3.10 goals per game||2.76 goals against per game|
|Blues stat line||12 wins in 22 games||3.32 goals per game||2.77 goals against per game|
The Lightning and the Blues face each other on Tuesday night with the Blues winning 4-3 in a shootout. The expectation is for another high-scoring game but both defensive units are going to rebound from the disappointing recent performances. The Lightning defensemen will control the center of the defensive zone which will allow Victor Hedman, Ryan McDonagh, and Mikhail Sercahev to create turnovers on the rush while forcing the Blues forwards to shoot from the wings. The difficult shots will also allow goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy to make plenty of easy saves in the game and eliminate second-chance scoring opportunities.
The Blues meanwhile should eliminate the Lightning skaters with their speed skating defensemen controlling the game. Torey Krug, Justin Faulk, and the rest of the Blues defensive unit will create turnovers in the neutral zone and the defensive zone to limit the Lightning from establishing an offensive zone presence. In addition, the Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington will rebound from a tough recent start and blank the Lightning shots on the net.
The Under will cover with both defenses stepping up.
Over 5.5 – Florida Panthers Vs. Buffalo Sabres
|Panthers stat line||15 wins in 22 games||3.73 goals per game||2.64 goals against per game|
|Sabres stat line||8 wins in 22 games||2.86 goals per game||3.50 goals against per game|
Both these teams are led by their scoring units and the upcoming game should see both offenses in control as a result. The Sabres should find the back of the net a few times with Tage Thompson, Jeff Skinner nad the rest of the forward unit carrying the puck into the offensive zone and finding quick scoring chances on the odd-man rush. The Panthers meanwhile should run up the score against a hapless Sabres defense with Aleksandar Barkov, Anthony Duclair, Jonathan Huberdeau, and the rest of the forward unit establishing a strong offensive zone presence and finding quick shots on the net off of great centering passes. Moreover, the Panthers’ strong offensive zone presence will allow Aaron Ekblad to find open shots from the point to further open up the Panthers’ offense.
The Over will cover in a game controlled by both offenses.
Boston Bruins (-120) Vs. Nashville Predators
|Bruins stat line||11 wins in 19 games||2.95 goals per game||2.79 goals against per game|
|Predators stat line||12 wins in 22 games||2.86 goals per game||2.86 goals against per game|
The Predators are coming off a decisive 6-0 victory over the Columbus Blue Jacket and it’s easy to think that they will continue their winning ways in their current homestand. The problem is that the Predators are facing a Bruins team that can exploit mismatches on both ends of the ice. The Bruins will look to find the back of the net a few times with David Pastrnak, Taylor Hall, and Patrice Bergeron carrying the puck into the offensive zone and finding open skaters near the net on excellent passes. In addition, the Bruins defensemen Charlie McAvoy and Derek Forbort will open up the offense from the point to help the forwards find open ice near the net, allowing the Bruins to run up the score.
On the other end of the ice, the Bruins will eliminate and potentially shut out the Predators’ top-heavy offense with their great skating defensemen leading the way. Charlie McAvoy, Derek Forbort, Brandon Carlo, and the rest of the defensive unit should create turnovers in the neutral zone and control the blue line to limit the Predators from finding scoring chances in the offensive zone. The Bruins will also cut off direct shots on the net forcing the Predators to take extra passes in the offensive zone and allow goaltender Linus Ullmark to have a great game in the net.
The Bruins will win the game with great play on both ends of the ice.
Columbus Blue Jackets (+145) Vs. Dallas Stars
|Blue Jackets stat line||12 wins in 20 games||3.25 goals per game||3.25 goals against per game|
|Stars stat line||11 wins in 20 games||2.80 goals per game||2.75 goals against per game|
The stars are red hot as of late, winning five consecutive games and seven of their last eight games. The expectation is for the Stars to win again on their home ice but the Blue Jackets are a tough matchup for the Stars. The Blue Jackets will look to limit the Stars’ top-heavy offense with Jake Bean, Andrew Peeke, and the rest of the defensive unit controlling the blue line and limiting the Stars forward from carrying the puck into the offensive zone while goaltender Elvis Merzlikins rebounds from a tough recent start and blanks the direct shots on the net.
The Blue Jacket offense meanwhile will find the back of the net at will with Oliver Bjorkstrand, Boone Jenner, Max Domi, and the rest of the forward unit finding quick shots on the odd-man rush while also creating open ice in the offensive zone. The Blue Jacket deep scoring lineup will also allow the Blue Jackets to find goals against the backend of the Stars defensive unit and overwhelm the Stars as a result.
The Blue Jackets will win the game and provide great odds in the process as road Underdogs.
Calgary Flames (-145) Vs. Los Angeles Kings
|Flames stat line||13 wins in 21 games||3.23 goals per game||1.95 goals against per game|
|Kings stat line||9 wins in 21 games||2.67 goals per game||2.76 goals against per game|
The Kings have fallen apart in recent games and are about to face the Flames who are having a phenomenal season. As a result, the Flames will pile on the goals and run up the score with the great offensive play on the odd-man rush and in the offensive zone alike with Johnny Gaudreau, Andrew Mangiapane, Elias Lindholm finding open shots on the net. The Flames should also eliminate and potentially shut out the Kings offense with Rasmus Andersson, Noah Hanifin, and the rest of the defensive unit creating turnovers in the defensive zone while cutting off passing lanes for the Kings offense. In addition, Jacob Markstrom is having a great season in the net and will break up the quick scoring chances while covering up the majority of the Kings’ shots on the net.
The Flames will win the game with a dominant performance.