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NHL • Thursday Service Plays • 3/10/16

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    Preview: Carolina at Boston

    When: 7:00 PM ET, Thursday, March 10, 2016
    Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts

    Locked in a tight battle for first place in the Atlantic Division and a road-heavy schedule awaiting them, the Boston Bruins look to extend their point streak to six games when they host the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night. Boston outlasted Tampa Bay 1-0 on Tuesday in its third straight overtime contest to pull into a tie atop the division with the Lightning, who have a game in hand.

    “We need to be able to win these games as we head into the playoffs, so hopefully we can continue to get better,” said Bruins forward Brad Marchand, who scored Tuesday’s game-winner 10 seconds into overtime. Boston defenseman John-Michael Liles, acquired from Carolina at the trade deadline, may not get the opportunity to face his former teammates. Liles has a hearing with the league scheduled for Thursday because an illegal check to the head on Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov. The Hurricanes appeared to raise the white flag after dealing Liles, captain Eric Staal and Kris Versteeg at the trade deadline, but they are 2-0-1 since and are four points out of the final playoff slot in the Eastern Conference as they kick off a five-game road trip.

    TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Carolinas, NESN (Boston), NHL.TV

    ABOUT THE HURRICANES (30-26-11): Red-hot Jeff Skinner continued his tear by scoring twice in Tuesday’s 4-3 shootout win over Ottawa, including a dramatic tying goal with 0.2 seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime. It was the third time in four games that Skinner collected two points, giving him a team-high 41 points and marking the second time this season he netted the tying goal in the final four seconds of regulation. “Every time you come to the rink you just want to get two points,” said Skinner, who boosted his season total to 25 goals. “That’s our focus.”

    ABOUT THE BRUINS (38-23-7): Marchand extended his career high to 34 goals and continues to thrive on the line with Patrice Bergeron and trade-deadline acquisition Lee Stempniak. The unit has accounted for nine goals and 19 points in the five games since Stemniak joined the team, while Bergeron is on a binge that includes six tallies and nine points in the last seven contests. “We have 14 games left, and we have some work to do,” Bergeron said. “But the same time it’s the time of year where we’re starting to see some good things happen, and we need to keep growing as a team in all areas of the game.”


    1. Bruins G Tuukka Rask is 7-3-1 with a 1.89 goals-against average versus Carolina.

    2. The Hurricanes have dropped six of the last seven meetings versus Boston, including a 4-1 home loss on Feb. 26.

    3. Following games against Carolina and the New York Islanders, the Bruins play eight of their next nine away from home.

    PREDICTION: Bruins 3, Hurricanes 1


    Preview: Buffalo at Montreal

    When: 7:30 PM ET, Thursday, March 10, 2016
    Where: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec

    Barring a miraculous closing run down the stretch, the Montreal Canadiens will be spectators once the playoffs come around, but at least the team has managed to regain some of its mojo at home. The Canadiens look to continue their recent hot stretch at the Bell Centre when they host the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.

    Montreal, which is seven points out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, returned from an ugly 0-3-1 road trip by skating to a 4-3 overtime victory over Dallas on Tuesday night. The victory boosted the Canadiens’ record to 6-0-1 in their last seven home games, but they have had their issues against the Sabres. Buffalo beat Montreal twice in a 10-day span last month and has won five of the last six matchups, including its last three trips to the Bell Centre. The Sabres had a four-game point streak halted in Tuesday’s 4-2 home loss to the New York Rangers.

    TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, MSG Buffalo, RDS, Sportsnet (Montreal)

    ABOUT THE SABRES (27-32-9): Buffalo rallied from a two-goal deficit to beat Toronto in a shootout Monday, but was unable to dig itself from three goals down against the Rangers, failing to score in the first period for the 24th time in 35 home games. “We’re a confident group in the fact we know we’re not out of a game,” Sabres captain Brian Gionta said. “But when things aren’t going our way and we lose some momentum, we have to stop that quicker.” Goaltender Robin Lehner was unhappy after he was yanked early in the second period Tuesday, but coach Dan Bylsma said he will start versus Montreal.

    ABOUT THE CANADIENS (31-30-6): Alex Galchenyuk is on a white-hot goal-scoring spree, notching the overtime game-winning tally as part of yet another two-goal night in Tuesday’s victory. Galchenyuk has pumped in nine goals in the past seven games – scoring twice in four of them – to increase his career-high total to 23. “The way he was at the beginning of the season and the way he is right now – he’s a completely different player,” Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. “In the past, he had nice two- or three-game stretches. This last month, he’s been able to maintain a high standard of play.”


    1. Galchenyuk scored two goals in Montreal’s two losses to Buffalo last month.

    2. Sabres F Johan Larsson has scored three times in the past four games.

    3. The Canadiens are 0-for-16 on the power play over the past six games.

    PREDICTION: Canadiens 3, Sabres 2


    Preview: Winnipeg at Detroit

    When: 7:30 PM ET, Thursday, March 10, 2016
    Where: Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan

    After falling short against one division cellar dweller, the Detroit Red Wings look to get it in gear against another on Thursday when they host the Winnipeg Jets. Detroit suffered its third straight loss and seventh in 10 games on Tuesday with a 5-3 setback to Columbus to remain just two points up on Philadelphia for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

    “There’s no easy answer, there’s no magic pill,” coach Jeff Blashill told MLive. “… You come out on Thursday and from the drop of the puck you play your very best. It doesn’t guarantee victory but it gives you the best chance of victory.” Detroit is 5-1-1 in the past seven contests at Joe Louis Arena heading into the opener of its three-game homestand versus Winnipeg. As for the Jets, they wrapped up a five-game homestand with a 1-3-1 mark to make themselves comfortable in the basement of the Central Division. Defenseman Jacob Trouba scored in Tuesday’s 4-2 setback to Nashville and tallied twice in Winnipeg’s 4-1 victory over Detroit on Dec. 29.

    TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, TSN3 (Winnipeg), TVA, FSN Detroit, NHL Network

    ABOUT THE JETS (27-34-5): Drew Stafford scored his 17th goal on Tuesday for his third point in four games after mustering just one assist in his previous nine contests. “I do take a lot of pride in being able to produce,” the 30-year-old Stafford told the Winnipeg Sun. “I feel like when I was traded here, I was able to get some of that (goal-scoring) mojo back. I’m a 25-goal scorer, that’s what I am. When I get in that range and am playing with the guys that I’m playing with, I can produce.” Stafford, who is closing in on the 20-goal plateau for the fourth time in his career, set up a pair of tallies in the last meeting with Detroit and has 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in 15 career encounters.

    ABOUT THE RED WINGS (32-23-11): Goaltending issues have come to light in Detroit as Jimmy Howard has dropped 10 of his last 11 decisions (1-6-4) with a less-than-desirable 3.36 goals-against average in that stretch. The veteran yielded four goals before earning an early exit in the first meeting versus Winnipeg, although fellow netminder Petr Mrazek earned a quick shower in his last start against Chicago on Sunday. Special teams haven’t been much better of late as the Red Wings have permitted a pair of power-play goals in each of the last three outings after killing off all 17 of their short-handed situations in the previous six games.


    1. Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg, who had eight shots on goal on Tuesday, has been held off the scoresheet in each of the last eight games.

    2. Winnipeg is just 2-for-25 on the power play in the last eight contests.

    3. Red Wings C Pavel Datsyuk had an assist versus the Blue Jackets and netted his team’s lone goal in the first meeting against the Jets.

    PREDICTION: Red Wings 3, Jets 1


    Preview: Ottawa at Florida

    When: 7:30 PM ET, Thursday, March 10, 2016
    Where: BB&T Center, Sunrise, Florida

    The Florida Panthers can move into a virtual three-way tie for first place in the Atlantic Division when they host the desperate Ottawa Senators on Thursday. The Panthers have managed just one victory in their last six contests (1-3-2) to drop to third in the division after recording 51 shots in Monday’s 5-4 overtime loss to Boston.

    Florida, which has been one of the league’s top defensive teams most of the season, has allowed 21 goals during its current six-game slump and Roberto Luongo owns an .878 save percentage in three games this month. The Senators made a run in February but are just 1-2-2 in March and trail Detroit by five points for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. Captain and leading scorer Erik Karlsson has gone four games without a point for Ottawa, which gave up the tying goal with less than one second left in the third period and lost 4-3 in a shootout at Carolina on Tuesday. Senators goaltender Andrew Hammond told reporters, “Every point we don’t take advantage of at this point is a bit more frustrating.”

    TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, TSN5, RDS2 (Ottawa), FSN Florida

    ABOUT THE SENATORS (31-29-8): While Karlsson is cooling off, leading goal scorer Mike Hoffman (25) has gone without a point in his last five games and recently was dropped to the fourth line. Mark Stone has points in three straight contests and is second on the team with 53 – 15 behind Karlsson – while Bobby Ryan is next with 50. Craig Anderson (knee) is closing in on a return to the lineup after missing the last four games as Hammond has posted a .933 save percentage in five contests this month.

    ABOUT THE PANTHERS (36-21-9): Jaromir Jagr passed Gordie Howe for third place on the all-time list with 1,851 points after notching an assist Monday and tops the team with 49 points this season. Jonathan Huberdeau (concussion) returned to the lineup and registered two assists Monday while fourth-line center Derek Mackenzie (upper body) could be back in the lineup against Ottawa. Jussi Jokinen is riding an eight-game point streak (one goal, eight assists) while fellow veteran Jiri Hudler, acquired from Calgary at the trade deadline, scored two goals Monday.


    1. Florida C Aleksander Barkov has registered seven points (four goals, three assists) in seven games since returning from a concussion.

    2. Ottawa ranked second-to-last in penalty-killing (74.2 percent) entering Wednesday.

    3. The Panthers won two of the first three meetings in the season series, which concludes in Ottawa on April 7.

    PREDICTION: Senators 4, Panthers 3


    Preview: Edmonton at Minnesota

    When: 8:00 PM ET, Thursday, March 10, 2016
    Where: Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota

    The Minnesota Wild benefited from two days of uninterrupted rest and relaxation after seeing their four-game winning streak come to a halt on Sunday. The Wild will get back to work on Thursday as they vie for a season sweep of the Edmonton Oilers when the clubs meet at the Xcel Energy Center.

    “It was awesome, and every guy in the room would probably tell you the same,” forward Jason Zucker told the team’s website following Wednesday’s practice. “It was really nice to have two days (off on Monday and Tuesday). It felt really weird. Yesterday, it felt like I was supposed to be doing something, and I just forgot.” While Minnesota quickly will remember that it is jockeying for position with Colorado for the final postseason spot in the Western Conference, cellar-dwelling Edmonton has no such worries. The Oilers dropped a 3-0 decision to San Jose on Tuesday for their second loss in three games and likely will see a familiar face in Devan Dubnyk, who is 6-1-0 with one shutout and a 1.28 goals-against average versus his former team.

    TV: 8 p.m. ET, RSW (Edmonton), FSN North (Minnesota), NHL.TV

    ABOUT THE OILERS (26-36-7): Rookie Darnell Nurse will have a disciplinary hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety on Thursday under Rule 46.2 (Aggressor) for his altercation with fellow defenseman Roman Polak of the Sharks. Nurse wasn’t given an instigator penalty on the play, but did receive a fighting major and roughing minor. Edmonton was quick to address the potential absence of Nurse by recalling fellow blue-liner Jordan Oesterle from Bakersfield of the American Hockey League on Wednesday.

    ABOUT THE WILD (31-26-10): Ryan Suter and Matt Dumba each scored in a 4-2 setback to St. Louis on Sunday and the defensemen have come up big in the previous tilts versus the Oilers. Suter tallied twice in Minnesota’s 4-3 win on Oct. 27 and Dumba scored and set up a goal in a 5-2 triumph over the Oilers on Feb. 18. Zach Parise would love to see that type of production, but the veteran has mustered just one goal in his last 18 contests.


    1. Minnesota RW Jason Pominville, who has played in 231 consecutive games, is considered day-to-day with a lower-body injury,

    2. Edmonton is 1-for-24 on the power play in the last 11 contests.

    3. The Wild’s performance with the man advantage has been decidedly better as they have converted at least once in 16 of their last 21 games.

    PREDICTION: Wild 2, Oilers 1


    Preview: New Jersey at San Jose

    When: 10:30 PM ET, Thursday, March 10, 2016
    Where: SAP Center at San Jose, San Jose, California

    After routinely making themselves at home on the road this season, the San Jose Sharks will have plenty of time to get re-acquainted with their fans at SAP Center in the next 2 1/2 weeks. The Sharks begin a three-game homestand on Thursday to open a stretch of nine contests in their next 10 at home when they host the New Jersey Devils.

    “It seemed like we were on the road all of February, and like we’ve been coming to Canada every other day,” Logan Couture told the San Jose Mercury News after scoring twice in a 3-0 victory over Edmonton on Tuesday. “It’ll be nice to get back home, but we have to start winning at home.” While the Sharks are 5-1-0 in their last six to nip at the heels of Pacific Division heavyweights Anaheim and Los Angeles, New Jersey has lost eight of its last 10 to fall six points behind Detroit in the race for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. Adam Henrique scored in the Devils’ 2-1 shootout loss to the Sharks on Oct. 16 and had four goals in a three-game stretch before being held off the scoresheet in Sunday’s 6-1 setback to Pittsburgh.

    TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, MSG-Plus (New Jersey), CSN California (San Jose)

    ABOUT THE DEVILS (31-29-7): Keith Kinkaid admitted feeling pretty low after getting pummeled by the Penguins until he received some comforting words from fellow goaltender Cory Schneider. “He shot me a text and talked to me after the game to help me out,” the 26-year-old Kinkaid told of Schneider, who is sidelined with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee. “He said, ‘Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Be yourself and do what got you here.’ I really appreciated that. We have a good goalie bond and a friendship.” Kinkaid, who has dropped four of six road contests, will face the Sharks for the first time in his career .

    ABOUT THE SHARKS (37-23-6): Captain Joe Pavelski tallied for the fifth time in six contests on Tuesday, but was held off the scoresheet in the first meeting with New Jersey before converting in the shootout. Defenseman Brent Burns also tallied in the bonus format of that contest and the NHL’s Third Star of the Week extended his point streak to five games (four goals, five assists) by setting up Couture’s second goal versus the Oilers. Veteran forward Joe Thornton, who also had an assist against Edmonton, is riding a six-game point streak (one goal, seven assists) and has one point in 33 of his last 37 contests (11 goals, 37 assists).


    1. San Jose G Martin Jones, who made 31 saves in the first meeting with New Jersey, has yielded just six goals during his four-game winning streak.

    2. Devils D David Warsofsky practiced on Wednesday after missing the last two contests with a lower-body injury.

    3. While San Jose leads the NHL in wins (25) and points (53) on the road, it is just 12-14-3 at home this season.

    PREDICTION: Sharks 2, Devils 1


    Hot teams
    — Bruins won six of their last eight games.
    — Edmonton won four of its last six games. Minnesota won four of its last five.
    — San Jose won five of its last six games.

    Cold teams
    — Carolina lost four of its last six games.
    — Winnipeg lost eight of its last ten games. Detroit lost last three games, outscored 14-6.
    — Ottawa lost four of its last five games. Florida lost five of its last six.
    — Sabres lost six of their last nine games. Montreal lost four of its last five games.
    — New Jersey lost eight of its last ten games.

    Series records
    — Bruins won six of last seven games with Carolina.
    — Winnipeg won six of its last eight games with Detroit.
    — Panthers won three of last four games with Ottawa.
    — Sabres won five of last six games with Montreal.
    — Minnesota won six of its last eight games with Edmonton.
    — Sharks won five of last six games with New Jersey.

    — Five of last seven Boston games stayed under total.
    — Over is 5-2-1 in last eight Winnipeg games.
    — Six of last eight Florida-Ottawa games stayed under.
    — Over is 4-0-1 in last five Buffalo-Montreal games.
    — Nine of last ten Edmonton games stayed under the total.
    — Six of last eight New Jersey games went over the total.

    — None


    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 – – –


    Hockey Crusher

    Winnipeg Jets + Detroit Red Wings – UNDER 5.5
    (System Record: 55-5, lost last 4 games)
    Overall Record: 55-68-20

    Edmonton Oilers + Minnesota Wild – OVER 5

    Minnesota Wild -178 over Edmonton Oilers

    New Jersey Devils + San Jose Sharks – UNDER 5



    Play San Jose -260 over New Jersey



    Play San Jose -260 over New Jersey—Top Play (25 units)



    1000* Play Detroit -200 over Winnipeg



    500* Play Minnesota -180 over Edmonton



    Steam Rot#: 57
    Team: Buffalo

    so far,,,



    4-Unit Play. Take #57 Buffalo (+145)
    over Montreal
    (7:35) p.m., Thursday, Mar. 10)
    Although the Sabres record (27-32-9) isn’t impressive by any means I do see the team improving as a whole. In their last 13 games they are 6-7 but have only lost by more than a goal twice over the stretch. In their last 5 games they are 2-3 where they lost one in OT and another in a SO. Look at the teams they have lost to over their last ten games as well, NYR, Minnesota, Edmonton, LA, Anaheim and Pittsburgh. I haven’t seen much improvement from the Canadians over the last month and like the value in this pick. Buffalo has beaten Montreal 5 out of the last 6 times they have played while winning 2 already this year. In each one of those games the Sabres beat them by more than one goal. Take the Sabres in Montreal tonight.

    Best of Luck – Strike Point Sports

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