NHL Friday betting thoughts
Betting tips for Friday night
By Bob Duff
On the last night of NHL action before Christmas, we break down some of the matchups, with odds provided by BetOnline.ag:
Detroit Red Wings (+129) at Florida Panthers (-142)
Things went from bad to worse for the Wings in Tuesday’s 4-1 loss at Tampa Bay, as goalie Jimmy Howard, perhaps Detroit’s best performer this season, was lost to a lower-body injury. Howard is the fifth Detroit regular to go on the injured list, and that doesn’t include Mike Green, the leading scorer among Red Wings defensemen, out until after Christmas with an undisclosed injury.
Detroit is 3-5-2 in its last 10 games but doesn’t figure to right the ship in the Sunshine State. The Wings are 0-5-1 against the NHL’s two Florida-based clubs this season. Panthers forward Nick Bjugstad ended a 15-game goalless drought Tuesday against Buffalo
Pick: The Panthers (-142)
Buffalo Sabres (+130) at New York Islanders (-144)
The Sabres come to Brooklyn with a dismal 1-7-1 slate in their last nine road games. Evander Kane is finally beginning to heat up for Buffalo. Entering Thursday’s game against Carolina, Kane had 3-1-4 totals in four games. Buffalo goalie Robin Lehner is 0-3 in shootouts this season and has allowed six goals on six shots. Buffalo is 2-1-1 in the second game of back to backs.
The Isles are 9-7-4 at home but have lost three straight at the Barclays Center. New York forward Anders Lee has 3-11-14 totals in his past 14 games. Isles forward Josh Bailey is riding a seven-game point streak. The Islanders signed veteran forward Stephen Gionta to an NHL contract and immediately recalled him from AHL Bridgeport.
Pick: The Sabres (+130)
Los Angeles Kings (+116) at Dallas Stars (-128)
The last time they came to Dallas, the Kings were off to an 0-3 start for the season but a 4-3 win over the Stars launched a four-game winning streak. L.A. has proven to be a streaky team this season, with three winless skids of three games and a trio of winning runs of three or more games. Jeff Carter, who leads the Kings in scoring, is on pace for the second 40-goal campaign of his career.
Dallas is 3-1-1 in its last five home games and the pourous Stars defense has shored up somewhat, allowing just 19 goals in their last nine games. Dallas is a disappointing 1-6 in overtime this season, while L.A. is a sterling 6-0 in extra time, one of just three NHL teams yet to allow a goal in OT.
Pick: The Kings (+116)
Edmonton Oilers (+147) at San Jose Sharks (-163)
The Oilers look to complete a perfect 3-0 road trip after back-to-back 3-2 wins at St. Louis and Arizona. In fact, five of Edmonton’s last six games have finished 3-2, four of them resulting in Oilers victories. The Oilers have played nine one-goal games in December. Fourth liner Mark Letestu had the Gordie Howe hat trick – a goal, assist and a fight – in the win at Arizona.
The Sharks are 5-1 in their last six games and have won four of five at home. San Jose are known for fast starts, outscoring the opposition 30-18 in the first period. Sharks forward Joe Thornton, who played his 1400th NHL game on Tuesday, has four assists in his last three games. Joonas Donskoi scored twice in Tuesday’s win over Calgary, his first goals since Oct. 29.
Pick: The Sharks (-163)
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