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NHL • Monday Service Plays • 4/4/16

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    Preview: Tampa Bay at NY Islanders

    When: 7:00 PM ET, Monday, April 4, 2016
    Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York

    The Tampa Bay Lightning have two huge holes in their lineup to fill as they begin a season-ending four-game road trip Monday against the New York Islanders. With defenseman Anton Stralman (broken fibula) already out indefinitely, the Lightning announced Saturday that captain and leading scorer Steven Stamkos will miss 1-to-3 months due to a blood clot near his right collarbone.

    Stamkos was diagnosed with a form of Vascular Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, the same problem that forced Lightning backup goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy to miss the start of the season, and will undergo a procedure Monday before going on blood thinners. “Part of what makes it really difficult to win championships is staying healthy,” Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman told reporters after a 3-1 win over New Jersey on Saturday that put his team on the edge of clinching a playoff spot. “You try to give yourself a chance every year to hang around and get in there, and hopefully at some point, luck is on your side. For us, it’s an opportunity for other players.” The Islanders won’t feel too sorry for the Lightning as they have lost defenseman Travis Hamonic (lower body) and netminder Jaroslav Halak (lower body) for at least the rest of the regular season. New York holds the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference and still has a shot at third place in the Metropolitan Division but needs to bounce back from a 5-0 loss to Pittsburgh on Saturday.

    TV: 7 p.m. ET, NHL Network, TVA, FSN Florida (Tampa Bay), MSG Plus (New York)

    ABOUT THE LIGHTNING (45-28-5): Tampa Bay will need more from its top scorers to make up for the absence of Stamkos, who leads the team with 36 goals, and Nikita Kucherov should draw more attention after netting five tallies in six games to reach 30 for the first time in his career. Defenseman Victor Hedman continues to shine with nine points in eight games and Yzerman said a recall of Jonathan Drouin – the former No. 3 overall pick who was suspended for two months earlier this season – will be considered. Ondrej Palat also has been providing more offense with 17 points in his last 15 games.

    ABOUT THE ISLANDERS (42-26-9): Marek Zidlicky returned after missing 13 games with an upper-body injury to take Hamonic’s spot on the blue line, but New York gave up 33 shots and a pair of power-play goals Saturday. “It’s up to us how bad we want it and where we want to get to,” captain John Tavares told reporters. “I believe in this group, so it’s just disappointing the way we played (Saturday).” Tavares is one tally shy of recording his third 30-goal campaign in seven seasons and leads the club with 61 points – three more than Kyle Okposo, who has registered the second-highest total of his career.


    1. New York C Frans Nielsen has gone 14 games without a tally, still sitting one short of his second career 20-goal campaign.

    2. Tampa Bay G Ben Bishop has limited opponents to two or fewer goals in 40 of his 58 starts this season but has allowed seven in two games against the Islanders this season.

    3. New York G Thomas Greiss, who was rested Saturday, has won his last two outings since giving up six goals in a 7-4 loss at Tampa Bay on March 25.

    PREDICTION: Lightning 3, Islanders 2


    Preview: NY Rangers at Columbus

    When: 7:00 PM ET, Monday, April 4, 2016
    Where: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio

    The New York Rangers have whiffed on two chances to clinch a postseason berth but will try to punch their ticket to the playoffs against yet another opponent they have dominated when they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night. New York attempts to avert a season-high fourth straight loss as it seeks a seventh consecutive victory over Columbus.

    The Rangers’ slide, coupled with a torrid stretch by Pittsburgh, has left them trailing the second-place Penguins by five points and sitting two points ahead of the New York Islanders in the Metropolitan Division. While the struggling Blue Jackets appear to be a prime matchup, New York is coming off successive losses to Buffalo and Carolina – two teams that have each dropped nine in a row to the Rangers. “We know down the stretch teams are trying to finish on a high note,” New York captain Ryan McDonagh told reporters. “It doesn’t matter where you are.” Columbus halted a four-game losing streak with a 5-1 rout at Carolina on Saturday to cap a four-game road trip.

    TV: 7 p.m. ET, MSG (New York), FSN Ohio (Columbus)

    ABOUT THE RANGERS (43-26-9): New York suddenly has reason to feel uneasy about the play of longtime standout goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who was yanked after allowing three goals on nine shots versus Buffalo – the eighth time in his last 10 starts the he has surrendered at least three tallies. “I have to take a lot of blame for the first three goals,” McDonagh told reporters. “I wasn’t executing nearly the way I needed.” Execution has not been an issue for center Derek Stepan, who has netted three goals to go along with six assists in his last six games.

    ABOUT THE BLUE JACKETS (31-39-8): Brandon Saad recorded his first career hat trick Saturday, but he was effusive in his praise of 19-year-old Sonny Milano, the 2014 first-round pick who collected his first point in his second NHL game. “He can read the ice, he can make plays and obviously he’s speedy,” Saad told reporters. “You see him on the forecheck and he’s first to pucks and finds guys in the middle. He’s fun to play with.” Boone Jenner has scored six times in his last eight games to reach 30 for the season, but he’s tallied once in seven games versus the Rangers.


    1. Lundqvist is 8-3-1 with a 2.48 goals-against average versus Columbus.

    2. Blue Jackets D Fedor Tyutin is expected to miss his fifth straight contest due to an undisclosed injury.

    3. Ex-Blue Jackets F Rick Nash has three goals in nine games against his former team.

    PREDICTION: Rangers 4, Blue Jackets 2


    Preview: Florida at Toronto

    When: 7:30 PM ET, Monday, April 4, 2016
    Where: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario

    The Florida Panthers managed to secure their second playoff berth since the 1999-2000 season without even stepping on the ice Sunday and look to maintain their slim hold atop the Atlantic Division when they open a three-game road trip at the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday. Florida has won four of its last five, but the one blemish was a 5-2 home loss to Toronto on Tuesday.

    The Panthers wrapped up a postseason slot when Boston lost at Chicago on Sunday and now will try to maintain their two-point edge over intrastate rival Tampa Bay with four games to play. Florida rallied from a three-goal deficit to beat visiting Montreal 4-3 on Saturday night for its franchise-record 44th victory. “We were kind of lucky. It doesn’t happen very often you come back 3-0,” Panthers veteran forward Jaromir Jagr told reporters. Last week’s loss to the Maple Leafs was only the second in the past nine meetings for Florida, which has won its last three trips to Toronto.

    TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FSN Florida, TSN4 (Toronto)

    ABOUT THE PANTHERS (44-25-9): Florida’s top line of the 44-year-old Jagr and youngsters Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau continue to wreak havoc on opponents, combining for seven points in Saturday’s win. Barkov extended his points streak to five games with a pair of goals and two assists, Jagr boosted his team-high point total to 62 and Huberdeau has scored six times during a five-game goal streak. “They’re phenomenal,” Montreal coach Michel Therrien told the media. “They’ve got size, and they’re strong on the puck. They dominate the game. It’s pretty simple.”

    ABOUT THE MAPLE LEAFS (28-39-11): After being held off the scoresheet for five consecutive teams, rookie William Nylander netted one goal and assisted on another in Saturday’s 3-2 loss to Detroit to give him five tallies and four assists in 18 games. “He had a little bit of a dip in his play in the last few games maybe, but he’s always going to be dangerous,” forward P.A. Parenteau told TSN. “Every time he gets the puck he’s dangerous because he skates so well with it.” Nazem Kadri notched his third career hat trick in Toronto’s win at Florida on Tuesday.


    1. The Panthers have permitted six goals in 16 short-handed situations over the last four games.

    2. Kadri has seven goals and 16 points in 15 career games against Florida.

    3. Panthers RW Reilly Smith is one shy of giving the Panthers four 25-goal scorers for the first time in franchise history.

    PREDICTION: Panthers 4, Maple Leafs 3


    Preview: Arizona at St. Louis

    When: 8:00 PM ET, Monday, April 4, 2016
    Where: Scottrade Center, St. Louis, Missouri

    The door remains open for the St. Louis Blues to capture their second consecutive Central Division title, and a victory over the visiting Arizona Coyotes on Monday will get one foot through it. St. Louis has won six of its last seven games, including a road triumph over Colorado on Sunday, to climb within two points of division-leading Dallas.

    The Blues have one game in hand on the Stars and are four points ahead of third-place Chicago with three contests remaining – including a showdown at United Center on Thursday. Arizona is kicking off a season-ending four-game road trip after posting a stunning 3-0 victory over Presidents’ Trophy-winning Washington on Saturday. Mike Smith has been a bright spot in a disappointing season for the Coyotes, allowing fewer than three goals in six of his seven games – including the 31-save effort versus the Capitals for his 30th career shutout – since returning from core muscle surgery. St. Louis is looking to complete a sweep of the three-game season series after totaling 10 goals in the previous two meetings.

    TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Arizona Plus, FSN Midwest (St. Louis)

    ABOUT THE COYOTES (35-36-7): Arizona will miss the playoffs for the fourth straight season but has a bright future ahead as rookies Anthony Duclair (19) and Max Domi (18) have a chance to reach the 20-goal plateau. Both have been slumping, however, as the 19-year-old Duclair has tallied in only two of his last 22 games – with one being a two-goal performance against Calgary on March 28 – while the 21-year-old Domi has scored once in 19 contests. Captain Shane Doan, the 39-year-old who has spent his entire NHL career which began in Winnipeg in 1995-96 with the Coyotes franchise, leads the team with 27 goals – his highest total since he netted 31 in 2008-09.

    ABOUT THE BLUES (47-23-9): Not all was positive for St. Louis on Sunday as Jake Allen missed the final two periods with an undisclosed injury. The 25-year-old and Brian Elliott have given the Blues a strong goaltending tandem, combining for 47 victories, 10 shutouts and a 2.20 goals-against average. Paul Stastny has recorded a goal and seven assists during his five-game point streak and has collected 17 points over his last 12 contests – registering six multi-point performances in that span – while Vladimir Tarasenko has notched two goals and four assists on his five-game run and 15 points over his last 14 outings.


    1. Domi has set a Coyotes rookie record by notching 33 assists, eclipsing the mark Peter Mueller established in 2007-08.

    2. St. Louis D Carl Gunnarsson returned to the lineup Sunday and saw 18:21 of ice time after missing three games with a lower-body injury.

    3. Arizona C Martin Hanzal is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

    PREDICTION: Blues 4, Coyotes 2


    Preview: Los Angeles at Vancouver

    When: 10:00 PM ET, Monday, April 4, 2016
    Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia

    The Los Angeles Kings attempt to end a four-game road losing streak and regain the lead in the Pacific Division when they visit the Vancouver Canucks on Monday. Los Angeles, which is beginning a two-game trek before ending the regular season with a pair of contests at home, has not won on the road since outscoring Central Division powers Chicago and Dallas by a combined 10-2 on March 14 and 15.

    The Kings, who are vying for the second division title in franchise history, trail Anaheim by one point with a home showdown with the Ducks on Thursday looming. Vancouver is seeking a season-high third consecutive victory after knocking off two of the Pacific’s top three clubs in San Jose and Anaheim – defeating both on the road. The Canucks had lost nine straight contests (0-8-1) prior to their current surge but have dropped five straight at home since defeating Nashville on March 12. Los Angeles was blanked at home in its first meeting of the season with the Canucks but have won the last three, including a 5-0 triumph on Dec. 28 in its only visit to Vancouver.

    TV: 10 p.m. ET, FSN West (Los Angeles), Sportsnet Pacific (Vancouver)

    ABOUT THE KINGS (46-27-5): In danger of failing to reach the 20-goal plateau for the first time since 2006-07 with Philadelphia, Jeff Carter has heated up at the right time for Los Angeles. The 31-year-old has netted five tallies in his last four contests after going eight games without one, raising his season total to 23 – good for third on the team behind Tyler Toffoli (29) and Anze Kopitar (25). Captain Dustin Brown needs three points to avoid finishing with fewer than 30 for the fourth consecutive season.

    ABOUT THE CANUCKS (29-36-13): Daniel Sedin leads the team with 28 goals – his highest amount since scoring 30 in 2011-12. The 35-year-old Swede’s next assist will be the 587th of his career, tying him with Paul Kariya for 89th place on the all-time list. Jannik Hansen has recorded back-to-back two-point performances to increase his season total to 36 – three short of his career high set in 2011-12.


    1. Kings D Drew Doughty is one power-play goal shy of reaching double digits for the first time in his career.

    2. Vancouver makes a two-game trip to Alberta before wrapping up the season at home against Edmonton on Saturday.

    3. Los Angeles recalled D Kevin Gravel from Ontario of the American Hockey League on Sunday.

    PREDICTION: Kings 4, Canucks 1


    Hot teams
    — Tampa Bay won five of its last seven games. Islanders lost four of their lst six.
    — Panthers won four of their last five games.
    — Blues won six of their last seven games. Florida won four of its last six games.
    — Canucks won last two games, after losing its previous eight.

    Cold teams
    — Rangers lost last three games, all by one goal. Columbus lost four of last five games.
    — Maple Leafs lost four of their last five games.
    — Los Angeles lost five of its last seven games.

    Series records
    — Islanders won three of last four games with Tampa Bay.
    — Rangers won their last six games with Columbus.
    — Florida won seven of last nine games with Toronto
    — Blues won their last seven games with Arizona.
    — Kings won their last three games with Vancouver.

    — Over is 3-1-1 in last five Lightning-Islander games.
    — Over is 5-0-1 in last six Ranger games.
    — Over is 5-0-2 in last seven Florida games.
    — Eight of last ten Arizona games stayed under the total.
    — Under is 4-1-2 in last seven LA-Vancouver games.

    — Blues won their last four gaes if they played the night before.


    Grand Salami – April
    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.

    October | November | December | January | February | March


    Date No. of Games Total Goals Combined Goals Scored Result

    4/1 5 25 36 OVER
    4/2 11 58 57 UNDER
    4/3 5 – – –


    Hockey Crusher

    Los Angeles Kings + Vancouver Canucks – OVER 5
    (System Record: 69-5, won last game)
    Overall Record: 69-77-22



    Steam Rot#: 1
    Team: Tampa Bay
    Line: -105

    Steam Rot#: 3
    Team: NY Rangers
    Line: -160

    Steam Rot#: 3
    Team: NY Rangers/Columbus
    OVER Line: 5



    2-unit Play Take #3 New York Rangers (-160)
    over Columbus Blue Jackets (7:05pm EST)
    Big game tonight for the New York Rangers as they look to sew up a playoff spot in Eastern Conference. They certainly haven’t been playing their best hockey of the season as they come in off of three straight losses. However, all three of those games were decided by a single goal and if there’s a team I’m going to trust in a spot where they absolutely need a win it’s the Rangers. They’ve come up big over the last few seasons when they’ve needed it most. Columbus is just waiting for the offseason at this point, with a 3-8-0 mark in their last 11 games. The Rangers are 37-18 in their last 55 road games versus a team with a losing record, and they’ve won the last six meetings between these two clubs. Take New York to get the job done today.

    Best of Luck – Doc’s Sports


    Tony Cross

    NY Rangers -160


    8 Unit Total Play · Over [5] Florida Panthers vs. [6] Toronto Maple Leafs

    Power Plays Mon Apr 4th, 2016 7:35pm EDT



    3 Unit Play Take #4 Columbus +150
    over New York Rangers
    (7:05pm est):
    Columbus hasn’t been a bad team the last 10 weeks going 14-15 overall straight up. The Blue Jackets were playing well but when goalie Sergei Bobrovsky came back from injury he took back over and Columbus went back down hill. The Blue Jackets gave the last start to Joonas Korpisalo and once again he looked great beating Carolina 5-1. It was announced that he will get the start again here and with Korpisalo in the nets this becomes a live underdog here.

    Looking to also bet against the most overrated team in the NHL here in this one, the New York Rangers. The Rangers are struggling badly down the stretch but that’s not a surprise as the advanced stats show this team isn’t as good as their record.

    Take Columbus here.



    5-Unit Play. Take #NY Rangers (-145)
    over Columbus
    (7:00) p.m., Monday, Apr. 4)
    The NY Rangers have now missed on two chances to clinch a postseason berth but will try tonight against a team they have dominated in the past. NY has now won 7 of the last ten games overall and has taken the last 6 straight over the Blue Jackets. The Rangers have the all-around better squad in this match-up and are almost better in every statistic across the board than the Blue Jackets. Lundqvist is now 8-3-1 while holding 2.48 goals against average against the Blue Jackets. Columbus is 3-7 over their last ten games and is only hoping for a higher draft pick come post season. With the Rangers still fighting to clinch a spot, take the Rangers in Columbus tonight.

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