We’re getting down to the final stretch of the NHL regular season. Several teams are still battling to move into or hold onto a playoff spot, while further up the standings teams are jockeying for home ice advantage and more favourable match ups in the first round.
Tonight is a big night with many meaningful games in the NHL. I have two plays that I will breakdown below. I will be using the best odds from any of our top 3 sportsbooks for each of my plays.
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Ottawa Senators @ Minnesota Wild
The Sens have dropped a couple games in a row and are dealing with some key injuries, but watching them play, I’m still impressed with the quality of hockey they are able to produce. Mark Stone is a threat every time he’s on the ice. Whether he’s using his incredible vision to set up teammates or creating turnovers for quick counter attacks Stone is generating a lot of offense when he’s on his game. With him in the lineup, combined with Turris, who has been firing, the Sens should be able to find the back of the net a few times against the Wild.
Minnesota is currently second in the Central Division, so it may come as a big surprise that they’ve only won 1 of their last 10 games. They are currently on a four game losing streak and although I don’t think they’re playing that bad of hockey, they’re just not getting the bounces. In fact, three of those 4 recent losses came to non-playoff teams.
Sometimes teams can just get in a funk and that’s what seems to have happened to the Wild. For this reason, and the fact I’ve been happy with the Senators recent play, I’m comfortable taking the Sens as underdogs to win this game.
***Karlsson is not expected to play tonight. This has lengthened the Senators odds from 2.35 to 2.50. I’m not as comfortable taking the Senators without Karlsson in the lineup, but I still think there is a small amount of value at this price against a Wild team that is struggling to get wins.
Play: Senators 2.50 @ SportsInteraction.com
Anaheim Ducks @ Winnipeg Jets
The Ducks are riding a 5 game winning streak and are playing some great hockey that has vaulted them into the top spot in the Pacific Division. They are actually 7-0-1 in their last 8 with the lone loss coming in a shootout. The Ducks offense is firing right now as well with 17 goals in their last four games.
Winnipeg has nothing to play for being out of the playoffs, but that doesn’t mean this will be an easy game for the Ducks. The Jets have some firepower of their own and are tough to shut down at home.
That said, I think the Ducks are peaking at just the right time heading into the playoffs and I don’t think they will take their foot off the gas as they hope to keep the lead in the Pacific and likely set up a battle with the Flames in round 1.
Play: Ducks 1.77