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    Preview: Minnesota at Detroit

    When: 7:30 PM ET, Friday, April 1, 2016
    Where: Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan

    Although the Minnesota Wild are close to punching their ticket to the playoffs, the Detroit Red Wings’ quest to extend their pronounced postseason stretch to 25 consecutive seasons is in serious jeopardy. Detroit, which hosts Minnesota on Friday, resides one point behind third-place Boston in the Atlantic Division and is two back of Philadelphia – with the Flyers having a game in hand – for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

    “In March, we’ve given up too many goals,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill told MLive on Thursday of the team yielding 49 tallies in 14 games (6-8-0) during the month. “For the most part, we just got to clean up mental errors. We just got to make sure we’re sharp in our decisions every single time.” Minnesota had been sharp during its season-high six-game winning streak before suffering a 3-2 setback to Ottawa on Thursday. Zach Parise scored his team-leading 25th goal and sixth in four contests for the Wild, who sit four points behind Nashville for the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference and five ahead of Colorado for the second.

    TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, NHL Network, FSN North (Minnesota), FSN Detroit Plus

    ABOUT THE WILD (38-29-11): Erik Haula recorded his career-high 14th goal and 34th point on Thursday to match Andrew Brunette with a franchise-best 10-game point streak (five goals, six assists). The 25-year-old Finn has adjusted nicely to interim coach John Torchetti, collecting 21 points (nine goals, 12 assists) in 23 games after notching just 13 (five, eight) in his previous 49. Captain Mikko Koivu has recorded nine points (two goals, seven assists) in his last eight contests and scored twice in Minnesota’s 3-1 victory over Detroit on Dec. 28.

    ABOUT THE RED WINGS (38-28-11): Pavel Datsyuk set up a pair of tallies in a 4-3 setback to Montreal on Tuesday to increase his point total to nine (three goals, six assists) over his last six games. The 37-year-old Russian netted his team’s lone tally versus Minnesota earlier in the season, but Petr Mrazek suffered the hard-luck loss despite stopping 32-of-34 shots. Mrazek has struggled of late as he has been relieved by Jimmy Howard in consecutive outings, prompting Blashill to refuse to publicly name his starter for Friday’s tilt.


    1. Detroit is 9-for-20 on the power play in its last six games while Minnesota has successfully killed 29-of-30 short-handed situations over its last 12 contests.

    2. Wild D Marco Scandella has recorded three assists in his last five games and a career-high 16 this season.

    3. Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg has scored one goal in his last 19 contests.

    PREDICTION: Red Wings 3, Wild 1


    Preview: Boston at St. Louis

    When: 8:00 PM ET, Friday, April 1, 2016
    Where: Scottrade Center, St. Louis, Missouri

    The Central Division has pretty much turned into a two-team race between the Dallas Stars and streaking St. Louis Blues, who will go for their sixth consecutive victory when they host the skidding Boston Bruins on Friday night. The red-hot Blues are two points behind the Stars for first place in the division with one game in hand and five left to play.

    St. Louis finally had its franchise-record four-game shutout streak snapped but it has allowed only one goal over the past five contests. The Blues have won 11 of 13 overall, a span that started with a six-game winning streak from Feb. 28-March 12. The Bruins are staggering down the stretch, having lost six of their last seven, and are clinging to a one-point edge over Detroit for third place in the Atlantic Division. “We know we have to win hockey games, so just go out and do it,” Boston coach Claude Julien said. “It’s as simple as that.”

    TV: 8 p.m. ET, NESN (Boston), FSN Midwest (St. Louis)

    ABOUT THE BRUINS (40-29-8): Boston has scored 10 goals during its 1-6-0 slide, punctuated by a 2-1 loss at New Jersey on Tuesday despite pouring 40 shots on goal. “You want to find ways to win and get at it,” Bruins leading scorer Patrice Bergeron said. “You don’t want to start banging on your heads and kind of get frustrated. It’s about getting results and putting your chin up and going out there and finding a way.” Defenseman John-Michael Liles and center Ryan Spooner are set to return to the lineup, but Dennis Seidenberg and Brett Connolly will miss the next two games.

    ABOUT THE BLUES (46-22-9): Rookie Robby Fabbri suffered an injury to his left leg when he was cross-checked by Colorado’s Jack Skille on Tuesday, but coach Ken Hitchcock said he expects him to return to practice in the next day or two. Fabbri has 18 goals and 19 assists on the season, but has come on strong in the second half while registering four goals and seven assists during the current 11-2-0 stretch. While Fabbri is listed as day-to-day, Alexander Steen returned to the lineup Tuesday following a 15-game absence and assisted on both power-play tallies.


    1. Blues G Brian Elliott has three shutouts in his last four outings, but he is 3-6-3 with a 2.90 goals-against average versus Boston.

    2. Bruins G Tuukka Rask is 2-1-3 with a 1.80 GAA in his career against St. Louis.

    3. The Blues have won four of the past five meetings, including a 2-0 victory at Boston on Dec. 22.

    PREDICTION: Blues 3, Bruins 2


    Preview: Chicago at Winnipeg

    When: 8:00 PM ET, Friday, April 1, 2016
    Where: MTS Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba

    The Chicago Blackhawks begin their second stint this season without reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner Duncan Keith on Friday when they conclude a four-game road trip against the Winnipeg Jets. A two-time Norris Trophy winner, Keith has been suspended indefinitely as he awaits a hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety following his use of a high stick that bloodied Minnesota’s Charlie Coyle on Tuesday.

    “He’s not the whole team, but he’s a big part of it,” fellow blue-liner Erik Gustafsson told CSN Chicago of Keith, who also missed a month after having knee surgery earlier in the season. “He’s one of our best defensemen and one of the best in the league. We just have to keep moving and just get on a winning track here, start winning some games in a row.” The Blackhawks dropped a 4-1 decision to the Wild for their seventh loss in 10 outings (3-5-2) but still hold a four-point lead over Nashville for third place in the Central Division. Occupying the cellar is Winnipeg, which has dropped six of its last eight overall (2-4-2) and three of the first four meetings with Chicago this season.

    TV: 8 p.m. ET, CSN Chicago, TSN3 (Winnipeg)

    ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS (44-26-7): Although coach Joel Quenneville told the Chicago Sun-Times that he is “hopeful” Corey Crawford (upper body) returns for the postseason, Scott Darling is expected to man the net for the remainder of the campaign. The 27-year-old recorded his lone shutout of the season and second career on March 18 when he turned aside all 28 shots he faced in Chicago’s 4-0 victory over Winnipeg. Andrew Ladd, who has three goals and an assist in his last three games, scored in that contest in his first appearance at MTS Centre since the former Jets captain was traded to the Blackhawks on Feb. 25 in a multi-player deal.

    ABOUT THE JETS (31-39-7): Former Blackhawks defenseman Dustin Byfuglien lowered the boom on Winnipeg native Mark Stone with a physical – yet clean – open-ice hit as the Jets opened their final homestand of the season with a 2-1 loss to Ottawa on Wednesday. “That was a big hit. That was probably the biggest hit I’ve ever seen in person,” goaltender Michael Hutchinson told the team’s website. “That definitely gave us some momentum.” Mark Scheifele scored his team-leading 26th goal for his seventh point (three goals, four assists) in five games and also tallied in Winnipeg’s 3-1 victory over Chicago on Oct. 29.


    1. Chicago captain Jonathan Toews has recorded 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in 18 career encounters versus his hometown team.

    2. The Jets are 1-for-14 on the power play versus the Blackhawks this season.

    3. Chicago RW Marian Hossa, who scored a short-handed goal versus the Wild, is dealing with an illness and has been ruled out of Friday’s game.

    PREDICTION: Blackhawks 3, Jets 1


    Preview: Washington at Colorado

    When: 9:00 PM ET, Friday, April 1, 2016
    Where: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado

    The Colorado Avalanche are running out of games in their pursuit of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference and the remaining schedule won’t make their uphill task any easier. Colorado trails Minnesota by five points for the second wild-card spot with a game in hand as it prepares to host the NHL-best Washington Capitals on Friday night.

    The five remaining games for the Avalanche will likely come against teams who have all made the postseason. Colorado, which has dropped three of its past four contests, actually may catch a break in playing the Capitals, who have already clinched the Presidents’ Trophy and have nothing for which to play. Washington coach Barry Trotz acknowledged that motivation is an issue for his team following a 2-1 shootout loss at Philadelphia on Wednesday in what was a potential first-round playoff matchup. “The biggest difference in two teams is probably the desperation level on Philadelphia, and ours probably wasn’t as high,” Trotz said after the Capitals failed in their bid for a franchise-record 55th victory.

    TV: 9 p.m. ET, CSN Washington, Altitude (Colorado)

    ABOUT THE CAPITALS (54-16-6): Goaltender Braden Holtby leads the league by a wide margin with 46 victories and needs two more to match the NHL single-season record of 48 established by New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur in 2006-07. “It’s kind of a thing for all of us, and we want to give him what he deserves,” Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner said. “He’s played so good for us this season, that we want his name to go up in history and have that as his honor. But it’s a little feather in our cap as well.” Captain Alex Ovechkin is six shy of his third straight 50-goal season.

    ABOUT THE AVALANCHE (39-34-4): Colorado is hoping for a boost with the return of leading scorer Matt Duchene, who told the Denver Post he will play Friday after missing the past six games with a knee injury. “I feel good,” said Duchene, who tops the team with 29 goals and 56 points. “I think I’m ready to go. I skated hard the last four days – five days actually now. … I’m looking forward to it.” The news is not as positive on second-leading scorer Nathan MacKinnon, who was not at practice Thursday and is expected to miss his sixth consecutive game with a knee injury.


    1. Holtby is 3-1-0 with a 2.50 goals-against average in four starts versus Colorado.

    2. Avalanche G Semyon Varlamov is 2-1-0 with a 1.35 GAA versus Washington.

    3. Washington trounced visiting Colorado 7-3 on Nov. 21 to extend its winning streak to three straight in the series.

    PREDICTION: Avalanche 3, Capitals 2


    Preview: Vancouver at Anaheim

    When: 10:00 PM ET, Friday, April 1, 2016
    Where: Honda Center, Anaheim, California

    The Anaheim Ducks have been playing leapfrog with Los Angeles for the top spot in the Pacific Division, and they hope to take advantage of their turn when they continue their final homestand of the regular season Friday against the Vancouver Canucks. After overtaking the Kings for the division lead and extending their winning streak to three games by routing Calgary on Wednesday, the Ducks fell back into second place a night later as Los Angeles blanked the Flames.

    Ryan Kesler recorded a career-high four points in the opener of the Ducks’ four-game stretch at Honda Center and has collected 12 (four goals) during his last eight contests. Vancouver halted its nine-game slide (0-8-1) in a big way Thursday, enjoying its biggest offensive output since March 12 in a 4-2 victory at San Jose. The Canucks struggled to score during their skid, producing a total of eight goals while getting shut out on four occasions. Vancouver and Anaheim split the first four contests of their five-game season series, with the Canucks posting both of their victories in the shootout.

    TV: 10 p.m. ET, Sportsnet Pacific (Vancouver), Prime Ticket, FSN San Diego (Anaheim)

    ABOUT THE CANUCKS (28-36-13): Jannik Hansen ended his six-game goal-scoring drought Thursday, hitting the 20-goal plateau for the first time in his career and joining Daniel Sedin as the only members of the Canucks to reach the mark this season. Chris Tanev returned to the lineup against the Sharks after missing six games with an upper-body injury while fellow defenseman Nikita Tryamkin was back following a one-game absence because of a bad ankle. Sven Baertschi, who is third on the team in goals with 15, suffered an upper-body injury Thursday and is questionable to face Anaheim.

    ABOUT THE DUCKS (43-23-10): Kesler has registered 48 points in 74 games this season — one more than the amount he recorded over 81 contests in his debut campaign with Anaheim in 2014-15. The 31-year-old is two tallies shy of reaching the 20-goal plateau for the third consecutive season and eighth time in his career. Corey Perry, who has hit the 30-goal mark in five of his last six campaigns, has tallied in two straight contests and is riding a five-game point streak.


    1. Perry is two games shy of 800 for his NHL career.

    2. Vancouver RW Jake Virtanen will finish serving his two-game suspension for delivering a late hit on San Jose’s Roman Polak on Tuesday.

    3. Anaheim concludes its homestand against Dallas and Winnipeg before beginning a season-ending three-game road trip with a showdown in Los Angeles on April 7.

    PREDICTION: Ducks 5, Canucks 2


    Hot teams
    — Minnesota won six of its last seven games.
    — St Louis won its last five games, allowing a total of one goal.
    — Chicago won three of its last four road games.
    — Washington won five of its last eight games.
    — Ducks won five of their last seven games.

    Cold teams
    — Detroit is 4-5 in its last nine games.
    — Bruins lost six of their last seven games.
    — Winnipeg lost last three games, scoring five goals.
    — Avalanche lost three of its last four games.
    — Canucks lost nine of their last ten games.

    Series records
    — Minnesota/Detroit split their last ten games.
    — Blues won four of last five games with Boston.
    — Chicago won five of last six games with Winnipeg.
    — Washington won its last three games with Colorado.
    — Ducks won five of last eight games with Vancouver.

    — Over is 5-0-1 in last six Detroit games.
    — Under is 6-1-1 in last eight Boston games.
    — Five of last six Chicago-Winnipeg games stayed under.
    — Under is 3-0-1 in last four Washington games.
    — Four of last five Anaheim games went over the total.

    — Minnesota lost five of last seven if they played night before.
    — Canucks lost six of last nine if they played night before.


    Grand Salami – March
    By VI News

    The Grand Salami in pro hockey is decided by adding up all the goals scored in every game scheduled for that particular day. You can wager on ‘over’ or ‘under’ the Grand Salami total. The total is set by adding up all listed ‘over/under’ odds for each game on that particular day.

    Note: The Grand Salami will have no action if any game is suspended or cancelled before the regulation time of three twenty minute periods. Also, regardless of the number of goals scored during the shoot out portion of the overtime, the final scored recorded for the game will give the winning team on more goal than its opponent based on the score at the end of regulation time.

    *The majority of sportsbooks do not put out a total on the Grand Salami when there is only one game on the card. For tracking purposes, we will continue to show the ‘over/under’ for goals and combined goals scored on days with just one game.


    Date No. of Games Total Goals Combined Goals Scored Result

    3/1 8 48.5 49 OVER
    3/2 3 16.5 17 OVER
    3/3 12 65.5 69 OVER
    3/4 3 15.5 20 OVER
    3/5 11 58 62 OVER
    3/6 6 30.5 34 OVER
    3/7 7 36 38 OVER
    3/8 8 44.5 41 UNDER
    3/9 6 32.5 32 UNDER
    3/10 6 32.5 29 UNDER
    3/11 5 26.5 28 OVER
    3/12 12 63.5 66 OVER
    3/13 3 16 13 UNDER
    3/14 6 30 41 OVER
    3/15 8 43.5 40 UNDER
    3/16 6 32.5 32 UNDER
    3/17 8 43.5 51 OVER
    3/18 6 32 26 UNDER
    3/19 11 56.5 53 UNDER
    3/20 7 37 34 UNDER
    3/21 4 20.5 25 OVER
    3/22 10 54.5 51 UNDER
    3/23 2 10.5 11 OVER
    3/24 11 59.5 68 OVER
    3/25 3 15 16 OVER
    3/26 14 72.5 84 OVER
    3/27 3 15 15 PUSH
    3/28 8 40.5 42 OVER
    3/29 9 48.5 50 OVER
    3/30 3 16.5 17 OVER
    3/31 10 54.5 53 UNDER


    Hockey Crusher

    Chicago Blackhawks -145 over Winnipeg Jets
    (System Record: 67-5, lost last game)
    Overall Record: 67-76-22

    Vancouver Canucks + Anaheim Ducks – OVER 5



    Steam Rot#: 53
    Team: Boston
    Line: +163

    Steam Rot#: 59
    Team: Anaheim
    Line: -300



    4-Unit Play. Take #55 Chicago (-145)
    over Winnipeg
    (8:05) p.m., Friday, Apr. 1)
    The Blackhawks have surrendered 3.1 goals per game during a 3-5-1 stretch and now may face the rest of the season without Duncan Keith their top defensemen. Keith will be out for at least 5 games for a high stick to Minnesota’s Charlie Coyle the other night. But even with Keith out tonight I still like the depth of this Chicago team over the Jets. Scott Darling will make his 8th start against the Jets where he normally performs at a high level. Back in March he recorded a 4-0 shutout with 28 saves against the Jets. Winnipeg is having a hard time scoring the puck and have only registered 14 goals during a 2-4-2 run. Take the Blackhawks tonight in Winnipeg.

    3-Unit Play. Take #58 Colorado (+110)
    over Washington
    (9:05) p.m., Friday, Apr. 1)
    With Washington already comfortable look for Colorado to take advantage and make their playoff push tonight. Capitals are 1-4 in their last 5 verse a team with a winning record and believe the desperation of Colorado will overtake Washington’s skill level tonight.

    2-Unit Play. Take #51 Minnesota (+110)
    over Detroit
    (7:35) p.m., Friday, Apr. 1)
    Minnesota is statistically better in almost every category than the Red Wings. They have the better offense, defense, power play, goal tender and are more disciplined on the ice. I don’t think Detroit is playing very good hockey right now and have struggled against the better clubs as of late. Minnesota is 6-1 in their last 7 overall and like how their new coach has them playing right now. Take Minnesota in Detroit tonight.



    3 Unit Play Take #52 Detroit -120
    over Minnesota
    (7:35pm est):
    The Detroit Red Wings are playing better than their overall record. They’ve outshot their last 10 opponents by a healthy +2.6 shots per game and overall rank 7th in Corsi For% this season much higher than their opponent in this one. They have an above average goalie and an excellent home crowd as well.

    On the other side of things the Minnesota Wild lost last night ending a six game winning streak. Teams usually struggle after a long winning streak is snapped and now playing just a day later makes this even more difficult. The Wild were outshot in that six game streak by 3 shots per game also.

    Take Detroit here. Big MLB season right around the corner. Join me as baseball has been my best sport here at Doc’s Sports. I’ve had an excellent 6 winning years out of 7 overall on the diamond and the month of April is when I usually have done my best work, winning over 10k in profits the past 3 combined.

    Thank you and good luck,


    NHL Hockey Betting Trends – Fri – April, 1

    Minnesota at Detroit, 7:35 PM ET
    Minnesota: 4-11 SU after having won 3 of their last 4
    Detroit: 21-1 SU in home games after 5 or more consecutive overs

    Boston at St Louis, 8:05 PM ET
    Boston: 10-16 SU in non-conference games
    St Louis: 14-5 SU after scoring 3 goals or more in 2 straight games

    Chicago at Winnipeg, 8:05 PM ET
    Chicago: 9-1 SU in road games after a blowout loss by 3 goals or more
    Winnipeg: 5-16 SU after playing a game where 4 or fewer total goals were scored

    Washington at Colorado, 9:05 PM ET
    Washington: 20-8 SU as a road favorite
    Colorado: 25-48 SU revenging a road blowout loss vs opp by 3 goals or more

    Vancouver at Anaheim, 10:05 PM ET
    Vancouver: 8-19 SU off a win or tie in their previous game
    Anaheim: 13-4 SU after playing a game where 9 or more total goals were scored



    *7-Unit* Play. Take #055 Chicago -150
    over Winnipeg
    (Friday, April 1st at 8:05 PM ET)

    Take Chicago on the moneyline as my 7-Unit NHL Smash for Friday night.

    This pick falls into one of my top NHL systems and I have Chicago winning big here tonight as they are the superior overall team. The Blackhawks are 8-1 in their last 9 trips to the Peg and they are 16-5 in their last 21 games when their opponent puts up 2 goals or less in their previous game. This is a huge bounce back game for the Blackhawks and they are 21-7 in their last 28 games after a loss by 3 or more goals. The Jets are just 5-14 in their last 19 home games and 6-22 in their last 28 games after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game. Play Chicago ML with extreme confidence.



    Bruins @ Blues (UNDER 5) 1*
    Minnesota @DETROIT
    (M/L) DETROIT 2*



    Minnesota Wild +105

    St. Louis Blues -150

    Washington Capitals -120

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