5 NHL Games Worth Watching This Thursday
The Big Game
New York Islanders (+120) at Montreal Canadiens (-130) – 7:00 ET
The Isles and Habs are set to clash tonight in a Bell Centre matchup that features two of the best hockey teams in the world at the moment. You’d think the Islanders would licking their chops facing a Canadiens squad with Carey Price on the shelf, but substitute Mike Condon has been spectacular this year sporting a 1.60 GAA in the five games he’s played. The 25-year-old netminder will face his toughest opponent of the season when John Tavares hits the ice for his game back after missing a few games due to illness.
Four More Worth Watching
Boston Bruins (+130) at Washington Capitals (-140) – 7:00 ET
A topsy-turvy offseason had some pundits foreseeing a Bruins freefall in 2015-16, but the club’s been pretty competitive in an Atlantic Division where it’s not hard to rise up the standings. The B’s have their hands full tonight as they clash with the Caps in D.C. It looks like it might be a high scoring affair with both clubs ranking in the league’s Top 5 for goals-per-game. (The over/under is currently at 5 and the outcome’s hit the over in 9 of Boston’s last 11 games.) This tilt is also an excellent opportunity to look at a Caps squad that might finally breakthrough this summer.
Tampa Bay Lightning (-170) at Buffalo Sabres (+165) – 7:00 ET
The Sabres have been a lot of fun to watch this season and they’ve managed to morph into a not bad professional hockey club. That said, the middle of the pack Bolts would love to feast on Buffalo in this Eastern Conference affair and springboard back up into the sunnier side of the divisional seeding. It might just be the Stanley Cup Finals hangover, but the Lightning have been underwhelming as a scoring threat this year and their special teams could use a tune-up. This looks like a fiery affair, plus you get to enjoy a nice Stamkos vs. Eichel storyline.
Winnipeg Jets (+110) at Ottawa Senators (-120) – 7:30 ET
Two Canadian teams that are still living up to last year’s surprise runs will do battle in their nation’s capital. The Sens are riding high from a 2-1 OT win over NHL juggernaut Montreal, while Winnipeg is still in the glow of a hard-earned 4-2 road win in Toronto. By the way, Blake Wheeler is quietly having a fantastic year for the Jets notching 6 goals and providing 10 assists in 13 games. The Sens are going to try and shut the door on Winnipeg’s 3.1 goals-per-game by having Craig Anderson between the pipes.
Nashville Predators (Ev) at Minnesota Wild (-110) – 8:00 ET
Nashville and Minnesota aren’t exactly the league’s glamour clubs, but this Central Division showdown has loads of intrigue to it. Both teams are a solid 7-2-2 on the year with the Preds aiming to sully the 5-0-0 home mark crafted by the Wild. Can Nashville’s blueline talents like Weber, Josi and Jones shut down Parise, Koivu and Zucker? We’ll have our answer tonight in St. Paul.
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