NHL game previews and betting lines analysis
Saturday night hockey betting preview
By Bob Duff
The Wild continue to roll. They are 18-2-2 in their last 22 games and during those 22 games, they have outscored the opposition 83-52. They are 6-1-1 in January. Minnesota goalie Devan Dubnyk leads the NHL in goals-against average and save percentage but has surrendered three goals or more in five of his last eight starts.
Minnesota is without defenseman Jonas Brodin, who missed his first game of the season Thursday due to a broken finger. Nate Prosser took his place and Mike Reilly was recalled from AHL Iowa as insurance. Wild forward Mikael Granlund (0-6-6) is on a five-game point streak.
The Ducks are also playing well, gaining points in six straight games (5-0-1). Anaheim goalie John Gibson is 8-1-2 in his past 11 appearances dating to Dec. 29, leading the NHL in wins (eight), goals-against average (1.44) and save percentage (.953) during that span.
Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg left Thursday’s game with an upper-body injury and is questionable for this game.
Pick: The Wild (-135)
Who would have figured at the start of the season that the Battle of Ontario would prove to be a key Eastern Conference playoff showdown? Ottawa and Toronto are both currently holding down postseason spots. The Senators are 4-1 in their last five games and have scored 19 goals. Senators forward Kyle Turris (3-4-7) is riding a five-game point streak.
Morgan Rielly, Toronto’s top defenseman, is day to day with a lower body injury and the Leafs allowed 40 shots to the Rangers in their first game minus Rielly. Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk is enjoying a career-high nine game point streak (3-10-13). Leafs forward Mitch Marner (0-8-8) in on a five-game point streak.
Pick: The Maple Leafs (-135)
Quietly, the Capitals snuck up on the rest of the NHL. They’ve scored at least seven goals in consecutive games, extending their point streak to 12 games (10-0-2) and moving atop the NHL standings.
Washington has outscored opponents 30-13 over its past five games, scoring at least five goals in each contest. Capitals forwards Nicklas Backstrom (eight games, 4-10-14) and Alex Ovechkin (six games, 3-8-11) are both riding point streaks.
Inconsistency continutes to be the Stars trademark. After scoring a season-high seven goals in a 7-6 win over the New York Rangers, Dallas was blanked 3-0 by the New York Islanders. Dallas forward Tyler Seguin (6-6-12) has 12 points in his last 12 games.
Pick: The Capitals (-135)
The Islanders shutout the Boston Bruins and then fired coach Jack Capuano. In their debut under new coach Doug Weight, they followed up with a 3-0 whitewash of the Dallas Stars, so should they keep firing coaches until they give up a goal? Thomas Griess posted both shutouts and captain John Tavares has three multi-goal games in his last four.
Beginning a five-game road trip, the Kings have lost two in a row and three of five. They just completed a 3-4 seven-game homestand and currently sit one point out of a playoff spot. They are 4-5-1 in their last 10 road games.
Pick: The Kings (-110)