Saturday NHL Game Day Preview
NHL Betting Lines Comparison
By Bob Duff
Launching a four-game road trip Saturday at Madison Square Garden against the New York Rangers, the Canadiens built a 3-0 lead and Carey Price made 26 saves to backstop Montreal to their fifth consecutive victory overall. Montreal had also won five in a row away from the Bell Centre until they were trounced 5-0 in Calgary on Thursday. They will, however, recover and beat the lowly Canucks,.
Vancouver beat Los Angeles 4-3 on Saturday and Anaheim 2-1 on Sunday. Canucks forward Bo Horvat (0-3-3) matched career highs for assists and points in a game in Saturday’s win and he reached the 20-goal plateau for the first time in his NHL career Sunday.
Vancouver’s Corsi is 22nd in the NHL at 48.13, whereas at 52.9, Montreal sits third overall in the league. The Canucks are 27th in the league in scoring efficiency ratio (0.80).
Pick: The Canadiens (-160)
No longer constrained by the 23-player roster, and with cap space available, the Rangers recalled veteran forward Tanner Glass and defenseman Steven Kampfer from AHL Hartford prior to departing on their current four-game road trip.
Going 5-4-1 in thelr last 10 games, the Rangers have been limited to two goals or less in nine of those games. Forward Derek Stepan has gone without a goal for 21 games. The Rangers have won an NHL-high 23 road games.
The Panthers have won 18 one-goal games this season, fourth best in the NHL. That hasn’t helped lately, though.
They are 1-4 in their last five one-goal decisions. Florida’s PDO of 987 is 25th in the NHL but the Panthers are ninth in the NHL in zone starts (51.32), compared to the Rangers, who are a disappointing 26th (47.28).
Pick: The Rangers (+112)
NHL scoring leader Connor McDavid extended his point streak to five games (2-5-7) as the Oilers opened an eight-game homestand Saturday with a 4-3 victory over Detroit.
McDavid has registered points in 10 of 12 games since Feb. 2 (5-10-15) to open a four-point lead in the race for the Art Ross Trophy (22-52-74 in 65 games). The Oilers are 17-7-8 in one-goal games and are 21-1-1 when leading after two periods.
Both the Oilers and the Islanders have PDO ratings of 1005, which ties them for ninth in the NHL. The Islanders’ Corsi of 47.50 puts them 27th in the league, the worst of any team currently holding a playoff position.
Six games into a season-long nine-game road trip, the Isles are 3-2-1. They are 2-3 in Canada this season. Islanders captain John Tavares has 18 points in his last 19 games.
Pick: The Oilers (-150)
The Ducks (Pacific) and Predators (Central) each hold precarious grips on third place in their respective divisions.
The Ducks saw their three-game home-ice winning streak halted by Sunday’s 2-1 loss to Vancouver and will look to close out a three-game homestand by getting back on the winning track. Anaheim have treaded water of late. The Ducks haven’t won consecutive games since Jan. 17-19 and are 7-9-1 since. Ducks forward Rickard Rakell has 22 goals in his last 46 games.
Since Jan. 1, the Predators are fourth in the NHL with 35 points, behind only Washington (48), Minnesota (40) and San Jose (36). Nashville has the fewest regulation losses in the NHL when scoring first (three). The Predators are 2-4 in their last six road games.
Pick: The Ducks (-125).