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NHL • Sunday Service Plays • 3/27/16

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    Preview: New Jersey at Carolina

    When: 5:00 PM ET, Sunday, March 27, 2016
    Where: PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina

    A pair of teams that might have to run the table in order to reach the postseason will clash when the Carolina Hurricanes host the New Jersey Devils on Sunday. New Jersey holds a one-point lead over the Hurricanes for 10th place in the Eastern Conference but faces an uphill climb to make the playoffs as it trails Philadelphia by five for the second wild-card spot with seven games remaining.

    Despite the continued brilliance of rookie goaltender Scott Wedgewood, the Devils absorbed a hard-luck 1-0 overtime loss to NHL-leading Washington on Friday to fall to 5-2-1 over their last eight games. “All points are valuable,” New Jersey forward Kyle Palmieri said. “I have to say it’s disappointing not to get the second one, but it’s tough to get points this time of year, so you’ll take whatever you can get.” The Hurricanes have failed to make the playoffs in each of the last six seasons, and their inability to win close games will be the reason should they come up short again. Carolina has dropped six of its last seven (1-2-4) while nine of its past 10 games have been decided by one goal – a span in which it is 3-2-5.

    TV: 5 p.m. ET, MSG Plus (New Jersey), FSN Carolinas

    ABOUT THE DEVILS (36-31-8): With Cory Schneider sidelined by injury and backup Keith Kinkaid slumping, New Jersey turned to Wedgewood and has been rewarded beyond its wildest dreams. Wedgewood has turned aside 91-of-93 shots in his first three NHL starts, including a 39-save performance in a shutout at Pittsburgh on Thursday. “When you see him play, there’s a poise in the net,” coach John Hynes said. “He doesn’t overreact to shots or he doesn’t overreact to situations. You can see that and you can see his rebound control is very good.”

    ABOUT THE HURRICANES (32-28-15): Carolina was able to dig out of a two-goal hole at Columbus on Thursday by scoring three times in a 98-second span of the third period and also rallied from two goals down with three second-period tallies before enduring a 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Islanders on Saturday. Chris Terry notched an assist Saturday to extend his point streak to a career-high five games. The Hurricanes have come up empty on all 13 power-play chances over their last six games, but they have successfully killed 19 straight penalties in the last seven contests.


    1. Devils C Adam Henrique has scored five times in his last five games overall and netted 10 goals in 18 contests against Carolina.

    2. Hurricanes F Jeff Skinner, who scored his 26th goal Saturday, has netted 10 tallies in 22 games versus New Jersey.

    3. The Devils are 9-2 in games decided in overtime.

    PREDICTION: Devils 3, Hurricanes 2


    Preview: Pittsburgh at NY Rangers

    When: 7:30 PM ET, Sunday, March 27, 2016
    Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York

    The Pittsburgh Penguins are making a spirited late-season run in an attempt to secure home ice in the first round of the playoffs, but standing in the way are the resurgent New York Rangers. Winners of seven of their last eight games, the Penguins visit New York on Sunday for a showdown between two teams battling for second place in the Metropolitan Division.

    Pittsburgh trails the Rangers by four points with a game in hand and holds a one-point advantage over the fourth-place New York Islanders after erupting for a season-high goal total in a 7-2 drubbing at Detroit on Saturday. Nick Bonino and Phil Kessel each recorded career-high five-point performances for the Penguins, who won two of the previous three meetings with the Rangers this season – including a 5-3 victory at Madison Square Garden on March 13. The Rangers their winning streak to three games with a 5-2 victory at nemesis Montreal on Saturday, matching their goal total from the previous 11 visits to the Bell Centre. The Rangers have scored 14 goals in their last three games, including five on the power play.

    TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TVA

    ABOUT THE PENGUINS (41-25-8): Pittsburgh suddenly is dealing with a revolving door along the blue line, losing defenseman Olli Maatta on a week-to-week basis due to a lower-body injury sustained in Thursday’s loss to New Jersey and Brian Dumoulin to an upper-body ailment in Saturday’s victory. Dumoulin, who has played in all 74 games, has been ruled out for Sunday, but blue-liner Ben Lovejoy was back in the lineup Saturday following a 16-game absence. The injuries extend beyond the blue line – forward Chris Kunitz (upper body) is listed as a game-time decision for Sunday’s game.

    ABOUT THE RANGERS (43-24-8): Coach Alain Vigneault shuffled his lines at Friday’s practice, moving Derick Brassard between Rick Nash and Chris Kreider, and it paid off handsomely against the Canadiens. Kreider scored a pair of goals while Brassard netted one tally and set up two others to move into a tie with Mats Zuccarello for the team lead with 57 points. Brassard, who needs three points to match his career high established last season, has notched five goals and six assists in his last 10 games overall and has six tallies and 17 points in 17 career meetings with Pittsburgh.


    1. The Penguins scored a pair of power-play goals Saturday after going 1-for-19 in their previous five games.

    2. Rangers G Henrik Lundquist blanked the Penguins in February but allowed seven goals in a pair of starts versus the Penguins this month.

    3. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, who has recorded a point in 13 of his last 14 games, has collected 24 goals and 70 points in 54 contests versus New York.

    PREDICTION: Rangers 3, Penguins 2


    Preview: Chicago at Vancouver

    When: 8:00 PM ET, Sunday, March 27, 2016
    Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia

    The Chicago Blackhawks attempt to strengthen their hold on third place in the Central Division when they continue their four-game road trip Sunday against the Vancouver Canucks. Chicago began its trek with Saturday’s 4-1 triumph at Calgary to remain two points ahead of surging Nashville, which has won three games in a row and seven of its last 10 to all but lock up the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

    The Blackhawks are hoping their win over the Flames is the beginning of their turnaround, as the reigning Stanley Cup champions had lost six of their previous seven contests (1-4-2) to fall six points behind Central co-leaders Dallas and St. Louis. Vancouver finds itself in the basement of the Western Conference thanks to a slide that reached seven games (0-6-1) with Friday’s 4-0 setback at St. Louis. The Canucks are in desperate need of offense, as they have been shut out in four of their last five contests after being blanked only five times prior to their skid. Vancouver split its first two meetings of the season with the Blackhawks, scoring a season-high six goals in a home victory Nov. 21 before being kept off the scoreboard in Chicago on Dec. 13.

    TV: 8 p.m. ET, WGN (Chicago), Sportsnet (Vancouver)

    ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS (43-25-7): Andrew Ladd is excelling during his second stint with Chicago, recording five goals and three assists in 12 games since being re-acquired from Winnipeg. The 30-year-old, who was selected fourth overall by Carolina in the 2004 draft, won the Stanley Cup with the Hurricanes in 2006 and again with the Blackhawks four years later. Marcus Kruger received 13 minutes, 38 seconds of ice time Saturday in his first game since Dec. 17 because of a wrist injury.

    ABOUT THE CANUCKS (27-34-13): Captain Henrik Sedin has struggled offensively as much as anyone on the team, recording a goal and four assists during his last 13 games after registering a four-point performance — all assists — Feb. 21 against Colorado. The 35-year-old Swede’s most recent point — an assist at Nashville on Thursday — was the 966th of his career, moving him past Maurice Richard for 88th place on the all-time list. Vancouver has four players in the bottom seven of the NHL in plus/minus rating, with Bo Horvat dead last at minus-35 and Radim Vrbata just ahead of him at minus-30.


    1. Canucks LW Jannik Hansen is one tally away from reaching the 20-goal plateau for the first time and four shy of 100 for his career.

    2. Chicago RW Andrew Shaw has scored a goal in each of his last three games after going 11 contests without one.

    3. Vancouver has scored a total of five goals during its slide and 169 overall this season, tying New Jersey for fewest in the league.

    PREDICTION: Blackhawks 5, Canucks 2


    Hot teams
    — New Jersey won three of its last five games.
    — Penguins won seven of last eight games. Rangers won last three games, scoring 14 goals.

    Cold teams
    — Carolina lost six of its last seven games.
    — Blackhawks lost six of their last eight games. Vancouver lost seven in row, outscored 22-5.

    Series records
    — Devils won three of last five visits to Carolina.
    — Rangers won seven of last ten games with Pittsburgh. Rangers are 3-7 in last ten games if they played night before.
    — Chicago-Vancouver split their last ten games.

    — Last three New Jersey games stayed under the total.
    — Over is 5-1-1 in last seven Ranger games.
    — Under is 5-0-1 in last six Vancouver games.

    — Carolina is 7-3 in last ten games if it played night before.
    — Penguins won five of last seven if they played night before.
    — Chicago is 1-6 on road if it played the 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 – – –


    Hockey Crusher

    New Jersey Devils + Carolina Hurricanes – UNDER 5
    (System Record: 65-5, won last 5 games)
    Overall Record: 65-74-21



    ny rangers – OVER 5



    DEVILS (+108)

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