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NHL Previews, Articles, Info. Tuesday 10/20/15

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    NHL knowledge

    Hot teams

    — Penguins won last two games, allowing one goal. Florida won three of its first five games.

    — Islanders won last three games, scoring 14 goals.

    — Dallas Stars won four of their first five games. Flyers won last two games, 3-0/1-0.

    — Canadiens won first six games, allowing seven goals. Blues won last four games, scoring four goals in each game.

    — Lightning won four of its first six games. Nashville won four of first five.

    — Washington won three of its last four games.

    Cold teams

    — Columbus allowed 30 goals in its 0-6 start.

    — Devils lost four of their first five games. Arizona lost last two games, 4-3/5-3.

    — Calgary lost last three games, outscored 12-6.

    Series records

    — Penguins are 6-4 in last ten games with Florida.

    — Islanders lost seve of last ten vs Columbus (last two in SO).

    — Coyotes lost three of last four visits to New Jersey.

    — Dallas Stars lost eight of last ten games with Philly.

    — Blues won five of last seven games with Montreal, but lost last two.

    — Nashville won six of last seven games with Tampa Bay.

    — Flames lost four of last six games with Washington.


    — Five of last six Panther-Penguin games went over total.

    — Last four Columbus-Islander games went over.

    — Last three New Jersey games stayed under the total.

    — Last four Dallas games went over the total.

    — Last four St Louis games went over the total.

    — Under is 2-0-1 in last three Tampa Bay-Nashville games.

    — Over is 5-2 in last seven Washington-Calgary games.


    Preview: Florida at Pittsburgh

    When: 7:00 PM ET, Tuesday, October 20, 2015

    Where: Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has failed to record a point in a career-high six games dating to last season. The two-time Hart Trophy winner looks to make a dent in the scoreboard and send the Penguins to their third straight victory when they host the Florida Panthers on Tuesday.

    “Obviously you want to score (and) want to produce, but when you’re winning, it’s a little easier to go through for sure,” Crosby said. The 28-year-old Crosby was limited to just one shot in Pittsburgh’s 2-1 victory over Toronto on Saturday and has mustered just eight on the season. “We’re not focused on (Crosby’s troubles) because we’re focused on us,” Florida captain Willie Mitchell told the Miami Herald. “If you focus on individual players, you are chasing the game.” The Panthers look to rebound after letting a two-goal lead slip away in a 4-2 setback to Dallas on Saturday.

    TV: 7 p.m. ET, TVA, FSN Florida, ROOT (Pittsburgh)

    ABOUT THE PANTHERS (3-2-0): Jaromir Jagr notched an assist on Saturday to extend his point streak to three games (two goals, three assists) and returns to Pittsburgh, where he began his NHL career in 1990-91. The 43-year-old Jagr (726 goals) resides five tallies shy of Marcel Dionne for fourth place on the all-time list. Veteran goaltender Roberto Luongo is seven years younger than the future Hall of Famer, but he’s got history on his mind as well. Luongo’s next win will be his 404th of his career, moving him past Grant Fuhr and into ninth place on the all-time list.

    ABOUT THE PENGUINS (2-3-0): Evgeni Malkin has scored in back-to-back contests to extend his point streak to three games and netted three goals in three meetings last season with Florida. The 2012 Hart Trophy winner has pummeled the Panthers in his career, recording over a point per game (10 goals, 20 assists in 28 meetings). Patric Hornqvist also netted three goals versus Florida in 2014-15, but has just one assist in five contests this season.


    1. The Penguins won both home meetings with the Panthers last season and 13 of the last 15 in the Steel City.

    2. Pittsburgh native and Florida C Vincent Trocheck told the team’s website that he expects 50-60 guests in attendance on Tuesday.

    3. The Penguins are 0-for-17 on the power play this season.

    PREDICTION: Penguins 3, Panthers 2


    Preview: NY Islanders at Columbus

    When: 7:00 PM ET, Tuesday, October 20, 2015

    Where: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio

    Losing has already begun taking its toll on the beleaguered Columbus Blue Jackets. The NHL’s lone winless team looks to end the worst start in franchise history when they host the Metropolitan Division-rival New York Islanders on Tuesday.

    “This is getting old. This is getting frustrating. I don’t know what else to say,” veteran forward Scott Hartnell said. “It’s a tough start. It’s embarrassing. A lot of people picked us to be there at the end, to make the playoffs, and we’re doing a pretty good job of ruining that right away.” It hasn’t been pretty as the Blue Jackets have been outscored 30-13 en route to losing all six games and face a club that defeated them in all four meetings in 2014-15. New York captain John Tavares, who had four goals and four assists last season versus Columbus, set up a pair of tallies in Saturday’s 6-3 win over San Jose to extend his point streak to three games (two goals, five assists).

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

    ABOUT THE ISLANDERS (3-1-1): Kyle Okposo has scored in back-to-back contests and has four assists on his three-game point streak. Brock Nelson has also pieced together points in three straight contests (two goals, assist), but has failed to record a point in seven career meetings with Columbus. Jaroslav Halak made 22 saves in his season debut versus San Jose and looks to improve upon his 9-4-3 career mark against the Blue Jackets.

    ABOUT THE BLUE JACKETS (0-6-0): Columbus general manager Jarmo Kekalainen told reporters that he still likes the team despite its troubles. “We have good players in that room. I can’t believe that, in nine days, we went from being a very good team in a lot of peoples’ books to a team that can’t win a game.” Sergei Bobrovsky admitted he had “zero confidence” in himself after a woeful start, but the 2013 Vezina Trophy winner is expected to return to the crease after sitting out Saturday’s 4-1 loss in Chicago.


    1. Columbus C Brandon Dubinsky (illness) missed Monday’s practice, but coach Todd Richards told reporters that he expects him to play.

    2. New York has scored three power-play goals in its last three games.

    3. The last NHL club to start 0-7-0 was the 1997-98 Chicago Blackhawks, who were coached by current Blue Jackets assistant Craig Hartsburg.

    PREDICTION: Islanders 4, Blue Jackets 3


    Preview: Arizona at New Jersey

    When: 7:00 PM ET, Tuesday, October 20, 2015

    Where: Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey

    The New Jersey Devils finally broke into the win column in their fifth game and hope to continue the momentum when they host the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night. New Jersey is coming off a 2-1 overtime victory over the New York Rangers on Sunday at Madison Square Garden to deliver first-year coach John Hynes his first NHL victory.

    “It feels great,” Hynes said of getting his first win. “I am really happy for the team. … They have worked to get better and it is gratifying for our guys to get a win after all of their hard work.” Arizona is kicking off a five-game road trip against Eastern Conference clubs and trying to halt a modest two-game skid. The Coyotes won their first three contests in impressive fashion, outscoring Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Anaheim by a combined 10-2 score. “Obviously it’s early in the year but we’ve got to get back on the winning track,” Arizona forward Mikkel Boedker told the team’s official website.

    TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Arizona, MSG (New Jersey)

    ABOUT THE COYOTES (3-2-0): After laboring through a wretched 2014-15 in which he absorbed a staggering 42 regulation losses, goaltender Mike Smith came out of the gate strong by winning his first three starts while stopping 104 of 106 shots. He has done a turnaround in his last two starts, however, getting yanked in the second period of a 4-3 loss to Minnesota before surrendering five goals in a 5-3 setback versus Boston. A pair of 20-year-olds, Max Domi and Anthony Duclair, are tied for second on the team with six points apiece for Arizona.

    ABOUT THE DEVILS (1-3-1): New Jersey has scored a combined eight goals through the first five games, which helps to explain the team’s exuberance after outlasting the Rangers on Lee Stempniak’s overtime tally. “Maybe that celebration was a little too much for the fifth game of the year, but you could just tell, everyone, some frustration and anger came out there,” Devils goaltender Cory Schneider said. “It was exciting. It felt really good, but it just one game.” Schneider is 5-1-1 with a sparking 0.85 goals-against average versus the Coyotes.


    1. The Devils swept the two-game season series in 2014-15, outscoring Arizona 7-1.

    2. Coyotes captain Shane Doan will play in his 1,400th NHL game on Tuesday.

    3. F Adam Henrique has scored three of New Jersey’s eight goals.

    PREDICTION: Coyotes 4, Devils 3


    Preview: Dallas at Philadelphia

    When: 7:30 PM ET, Tuesday, October 20, 2015

    Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Tyler Seguin has begun the season with a flourish and helped the Dallas Stars to three consecutive victories. With seven points (three goals, four assists) in that stretch, Seguin looks to continue his good fortune when the Stars visit the well-rested Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.

    Seguin, who was selected as the NHL’s Second Star of the Week, capped his impressive three-game stretch by collecting two goals and as many assists in a 4-2 triumph over Florida on Saturday. The 23-year-old Seguin has also fared well versus Philadelphia, recording 18 points (eight goals, 10 assists) in 14 career encounters and four points last season as Dallas split a pair of meetings. Flyers forward Jakub Voracek also recorded four points in the 2014-15 series, but has managed just one assist in four games this season. “Every single season my starts aren’t the best and I am trying to find the quickest way possible to get to that midseason form,” Voracek told

    TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CSN Philadelphia

    ABOUT THE STARS (4-1-0): Veteran Jason Spezza has scored four goals and set up two others during the team’s winning streak and has enjoyed considerable success versus Philadelphia (nine goals, 21 assists in 32 career meetings). While Kari Lehtonen has been in net for each contest of the three-game winning streak, his 1-10-3 mark with a 3.49 goals-against average versus the Flyers leaves quite a bit to be desired. Antti Niemi, conversely, could get the call as he has won two of three career decisions with Philadelphia while sporting a stingy 1.83 GAA.

    ABOUT THE FLYERS (2-1-1): Coach Dave Hakstol stopped short of revealing his starting goaltender for Tuesday’s tilt, although both Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth are expected to see action with the team playing Dallas on Tuesday and Boston the following night. Neuvirth shined as Mason left the team to address a “personal family matter,” recording 31 saves in a 1-0 victory over Florida on Oct. 12 before turning aside all 30 shots he faced in a 3-0 triumph over Chicago on Wednesday. “Doesn’t matter which game it is,” Mason told the Flyers website. “You’re excited regardless. Both real good opportunities, good teams we’re playing against. Be a good test either way.”


    1. Philadelphia RW Wayne Simmonds has yet to score a goal this season after leading the club with 28 in 2014-15.

    2. With five goals and three assists, Dallas captain Jamie Benn is riding a five-game point streak to begin the season.

    3. The Flyers are just 3-for-16 (18.8 percent) on the power play after finishing third in the league (23.4 percent) in 2014-15.

    PREDICTION: Stars 4, Flyers 2


    Preview: St. Louis at Montreal

    When: 7:30 PM ET, Tuesday, October 20, 2015

    Where: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec

    The Montreal Canadiens have fended off all comers in breezing to the best start in franchise history, but they will face a serious challenge to their perfect record when the St. Louis Blues pay a visit to the Bell Centre on Tuesday night. Montreal is the league’s only unbeaten team and has surrendered a total of only seven goals during its scorching 6-0-0 start.

    The Canadiens showed they would be a force by opening the season with four straight road victories, but the Blues have also displayed their mettle away from home. St. Louis has won four in a row entering the finale of a six-game road trip and have scored four goals in each of the victories during the winning streak. “We’ve grown closer, we’ve spent a lot of time together and I think our game is coming along each and every day,” Blues captain David Backes said. “But we know we’re up against a heck of an opponent and need a great game to win it.” The high-profile matchup will also feature the NHL’s First and Third Stars of the Week in Montreal netminder Carey Price and St. Louis forward Vladimir Tarasenko.

    TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FSN Midwest (St. Louis), RDS Montreal

    ABOUT THE BLUES (5-1-0): Tarasenko has collected at least a point in every game and earned his weekly honor from the league after recording three goals and three assists in four games, including a pair of tallies in Sunday’s 4-2 victory at Winnipeg. “Go look at his goals that he’s scored this year,” St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock said. “There’s probably somebody who’s got more, I don’t know. I haven’t looked at the scoring yet. But there’s nobody that gets them that are as important as him. And he’s doing it again.” Jake Allen is expected to start in net despite an 0-2-0 record and 4.51 goals-against average versus Montreal.

    ABOUT THE CANADIENS (6-0-0): Price won both the Hart and the Vezina Trophy last season and is showing a repeat is possible after garnering First Star honors by winning all three starts last week while permitting a combined three goals. “It’s just having the right mindset on keeping your focus towards what’s ahead and not what’s behind you,” Price told the team’s official website. “It’s the approach I’ve always taken and I think the guys in here are taking the same approach.” Price has had his struggles against the Blues in the past but won both starts against them last season while permitting a combined three goals.


    1. St. Louis’ 4-1 defeat at Montreal last November was its lone regulation loss in its last 14 games (11-1-2) in Canadian cities.

    2. The Canadiens have killed off 14 straight penalties over the past four contests.

    3. Blues D Kevin Shattenkirk (lower body) will miss his fourth straight game.

    PREDICTION: Canadiens 3, Blues 2


    Preview: Tampa Bay at Nashville

    When: 8:00 PM ET, Tuesday, October 20, 2015

    Where: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee

    The Tampa Bay Lightning hope to have Victor Hedman back in the lineup when they begin their four-game road trip against the Nashville Predators on Tuesday. The hulking defenseman sat out Saturday’s victory over Buffalo with an upper-body injury suffered two nights earlier against Dallas.

    The Lightning halted a two-game skid with their 2-1 triumph over the Sabres in which Alex Killorn snapped a tie during a power play with less than four minutes remaining in the third period. Nashville looks to continue its strong start as it kicks off a three-game homestand. The Predators rebounded from their first loss of the season by getting past Ottawa in a shootout Saturday as James Neal scored two power-play goals in regulation before netting the decisive tally in the third round of the bonus format. Nashville swept the two-game season series in 2014-15, posting a pair of 3-2 victories – including one in overtime.

    TV: 8 p.m. ET, Sun Sports (Tampa Bay), FSN Tennessee (Nashville)

    ABOUT THE LIGHTNING (4-2-0): Hedman took part in practice Monday and hopes to be on the ice against Nashville. “You never want to miss any games. You always want to be out there and contribute,” the 6-6 blue-liner told the team’s website. “I’ve been through a lot in the past, so to limit this to (missing) one game would be good, but we’ll see (Tuesday).” Captain Steven Stamkos is off to a fast start with four goals in his first six games.

    ABOUT THE PREDATORS (4-1-0): Nashville could be without Ryan Ellis, who exited Saturday’s game in the third period after being hit with the puck on the inside of his right knee. The defenseman did not participate in Monday’s practice and is considered day-to-day. Neal and Craig Smith share the team lead with three goals apiece while defenseman Roman Josi has notched a club-high five points.


    1. Predators G Pekka Rinne is 4-0-0 lifetime against Tampa Bay, while Lightning G Ben Bishop has lost both of his career starts versus the Predators.

    2. Tampa Bay LW Jonathan Drouin leads the team with six points in as many contests.

    3. Neal has recorded all four of his points in his last two games after being kept off the scoresheet in the first three contests.

    PREDICTION: Predators 4, Lightning 2


    Preview: Washington at Calgary

    When: 9:00 PM ET, Tuesday, October 20, 2015

    Where: Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta

    Captain Alex Ovechkin looks to reach a milestone when he leads the Washington Capitals into Calgary on Tuesday to face the Flames in the opener of their three-game road trip. The superstar Russian, who is seeking his sixth Maurice Richard Trophy – and fourth in a row, needs one point to reach 900 for his career and tie Tony Amonte for 103rd place on the all-time list.

    The three-time Hart Trophy winner has scored a goal in each of his three games this season – and both contests since being scratched for oversleeping and missing a morning skate Oct. 13. Calgary is off to a slow start after making its first playoff appearance in six seasons and enters Tuesday with a three-game losing streak. The Flames fell to 0-3-0 at Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday as they began their three-game homestand with a 5-2 loss to provincial rival Edmonton, with David Jones scoring both goals. Washington and Calgary split their two meetings last season, with each team winning on the road.

    TV: 9 p.m. ET, CSN DC (Washington), RSN 360 (Calgary)

    ABOUT THE CAPITALS (3-1-0): Washington is hoping for a repeat performance from Nicklas Backstrom, who recorded the game-winning goal and two assists in his season debut against Carolina on Saturday. The 27-year-old Swede missed the team’s first three games as he recovered from offseason hip surgery. Backstrom’s next goal will be the 147th of his career, which will move him past Steve Konowalchuk for sole possession of 14th place on the franchise list.

    ABOUT THE FLAMES (1-4-0): Forwards Sam Bennett and Joe Colborne are expected to be game-time decisions Tuesday because of injuries. Bennett missed Saturday’s loss with an upper-body injury while Colborne has yet to make his season debut because of a broken thumb. “I’m hoping to be back as soon as possible,” Colborne, who participated in his first full practice Monday, told the team’s website. “It’s going to be up to the team doctors and coaches (Tuesday).”


    1. Only Wayne Gretzky, Mike Bossy, Mario Lemieux and Brett Hull scored more goals in their first 10 seasons in the NHL than Ovechkin’s 475.

    2. Karri Ramo is expected to start in goal for Calgary.

    3. Ovechkin needs six goals to pass former teammate Sergei Fedorov (483) and become the NHL’s all-time leader among Russian-born players.

    PREDICTION: Capitals 5, Flames 3


    Grand Salami – October
    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

    10/7 4 21.5 21 UNDER
    10/8 7 38.5 36 UNDER
    10/9 5 26.5 24 UNDER
    10/10 14 74.5 81 OVER
    10/11 1 5.5 4 UNDER
    10/12 5 27.5 25 UNDER
    10/13 9 48.5 44 UNDER
    10/14 4 22.5 25 OVER
    10/15 8 43.5 43 UNDER
    10/16 7 36.5 37 OVER
    10/17 10 53.5 58 OVER
    10/18 5 25.5 20 UNDER
    10/19 1 5 4 UNDER
    10/20 7 36.5


    Raanta stops 22 shots, Rangers blank Sharks
    October 19, 2015

    NEW YORK (AP) Antti Raanta was just looking to get a win in his New York Rangers debut. He did much more than that.

    Raanta stopped all 22 shots he faced to become the fourth goalie in franchise history to get a shutout in his first start with the team, leading the Rangers to a 4-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Monday night.

    Getting his fourth career shutout, Raanta joined Hal Winkler (1926), John Ross Roach (1928) and Marcel Paille (1957) as the only goaltenders to blank an opponent in his first start with the Rangers.

    ”The only thing I was thinking was to win,” said Raanta, who was playing for the first time since being acquired from Chicago in a draft-day trade in June. ”Our guys defended so well.”

    Marc Staal, Mats Zuccarello, Jesper Fast and Viktor Stalberg scored for New York, which snapped a three game winless streak (0-2-1) after opening the season with three wins.

    ”Everyone in the room knows that the level we were playing at isn’t acceptable,” Staal said. ”It’s something we wanted to take care of.”

    Martin Jones finished with 24 saves in his first loss of the season as the Sharks lost their second straight after opening the season with four wins. Jones had allowed just two goals in the Sharks season-opening winning streak and came in leading the NHL in goals-against average (0.49), save percentage (.982) and shutouts (2).

    ”We lost pretty much every facet of the game,” Sharks coach Pete DeBoer said. ”Lost races to pucks, lost battles, lost special teams (battles). There’s a price to pay to win and the other team was more willing to pay that price than us so we got what we deserved.”

    Rangers coach Alain Vigneault opted to keep the same forward lines and defense pairings that could only score once in the 2-1 overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils on Sunday.

    Vigneault’s gambit paid immediate dividends as Staal scored his first of the season 10:36 into the game. Staal’s point shot appeared to ricochet off of San Jose’s Joel Ward.

    ”I just tried to get to the net as fast as I can and I think it hit someone – one of their guys – and goes in,” said Staal, who later recorded his 100th career assist on Stalberg’s goal. ”We talked about getting a lot more pucks to the net, create some traffic, and then (Fast) was in front taking (Jones’ sightlines) away and that’s how it gets in the back of the net.”

    New York continued to attack in what was the Rangers’ most complete performance of the season.

    While Raanta did not have to work especially hard, his toughest stop occurred early in the second period as New York was killing a 5-on-3 Sharks power play. San Jose center Joe Thornton attempted a quick shot from along the goal line as Patrick Marleau drove the net, but Raanta kicked the puck away.

    The save was significant when Zuccarello scored his fourth of the season later in the period. With Rick Nash screening Jones, Zuccarello whipped a shot from the right side into the net.

    Fast had a breakaway goal 3:47 into the third period.

    ”We gave up too many odd-man rushes,” Jones lamented. ”They did a good job getting to the net.”

    Raanta made a left pad save on Thomas Hertl as the Sharks came in on a 2-on-1.

    Stalberg’s goal with 3:16 left ended the scoring.

    ”We were able to connect the dots,” the Rangers’ Ryan McDonagh said. ”It allowed us to create some rush chances, spend some time in their end and try and negate their speed through the neutral zone.”

    NOTES: This was the second of New York’s 17 back-to-backs this season. … Prior to the game, San Jose announced C Logan Couture had been placed on the injured reserve with a fractured right fibula. Couture suffered the injury during the Sharks’ practice in New Jersey last Thursday. He is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. … San Jose D Paul Martin missed his second straight game with a lower body injury. The Sharks also scratched RW Ben Smith and RW Joonas Donskoi. … New York scratched D Dylan McIlrath, RW Emerson Etem and LW Tanner Glass.



    Free Play Tuesday

    Take: ISLANDERS -135

    I played Columbus in its home opener against the Rangers, and was looking good with just a few minutes remaining when the Blue Jackets took a 2-1 lead. But seconds later they gave up the tying goal, then seconds later they gave up another goal, then seconds later they gave up yet another goal. Three of them in 77 seconds altogether. The Blue Jacket express has gone straight downhill ever since.

    This team is a real mess right now. Lead goalie Sergei Bobrovsky has openly admitted he has “zero confidence” and he’s simply a liability right now. The defense was shaky to begin with and has been worse that. Only one forward line has looked even reasonably effective. The team has also shown a really troubling flaw. Once they fall behind, they stay behind and close games have been turning into routs.

    The Islanders are not a team to get healthy against. This is a very strong outfit and if the early returns are a barometer of things to come, the Isles could be playing for quite some time once the playoffs roll around.

    If you followed me on Sunday playing the Blackhawks on the puck line, there’s every reason to come right back with another anti-Jackets play tonight. They’re eventually going to win a game, but until that time, I intend to keep trying to beat them as long as I keep getting paid. The price is certainly not unreasonable this evening. The home ice advantage for Columbus is decreasing as the locals are not at all happy with the squad, and I’m actually a little surprised this line isn’s a shade higher. At -135, I’ll plunk down a play on the Islanders tonight.


    Dallas Stars’ scorers shining bright for NHL bettors
    By Scott Rickenbach

    The NHL season is three weeks old and already some trends are showing up in the ice. Scott Rickenbach breaks down the teams hockey bettors should keep an eye on – some good, some bad – for this week’s NHL schedule:

    Team to watch: Dallas Stars (4-1-0)

    The Stars are off and running, with three straight wins in which they netted a total of 13 goals. Dallas leads the NHL in scoring (3.8 GPG) and is third in shots, averaging 33.6 an outing. The biggest weapon for the Stars has been their power play, which is clicking at a 33.3 percent rate, good for fourth-best in the league. Dallas is getting terrific production from its three top forward lines, with centers Tyler Seguin, Jason Spezza and Cody Eakin combining for 10 goals and nine assists.

    The Stars are on the road this week, wrapping a four-game away swing in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Dallas won the opened two games on this slate, knocking off Tampa Bay and Florida. Following those games Tuesday and Thursday, in which Dallas should hold moneyline value on the road, the Stars return to the Lone Star State to host the Panthers Saturday.

    Team in trouble: New York Rangers (3-2-1)

    The Rangers opened the season with three straight victories before hitting a three-game skid heading into this week. New York’s scoring, which had 12 goals in the opening trio of games, has just two during this losing skid. Part of that is running into some defensive-minded clubs in New Jersey, Montreal, and Winnipeg but that doesn’t excuse the nine goals given up.

    The Rangers hoped to reset this week, hosting San Jose Monday in a tough travel spot for the Sharks. The Blue Shirts gave No. 1 goalie Henrik Lundqvist a breather Monday, hoping to recharge his batteries after looking a step slow in the loss to the Devils. The Rangers play a back-loaded schedule this week, hosting Arizona Thursday, then playing at Philadelphia Saturday, and back home in MSG for Calgary Sunday. They’ll need Lundqvist for that rough three-in-four span.

    Total team: Boston Bruins (5-0 Over/Under)

    After giving up goals in bulk in the opening three games of the season, the Bruins decided a better defense was having a great offense. Boston has erupted for 11 goals in back-to-back wins against Arizona and Colorado after giving up 16 total tallies the three games prior. All five of those games have topped the total with four of those contests set with 5-goal totals. The biggest boost for the Bruins has been their power play, which is scoring on 38.9 percent of its opportunities. That’s the best attack with the man-advantage in the NHL.

    Boston scored three times on six power-play opportunities against the Coyotes Sunday and take on Philadelphia (Wednesday) and the N.Y. Islanders (Friday) this week, two teams that haven’t exactly been brick walls with a man in the box. Things could get especially interesting for total bettors when they visit Brooklyn to play the Islanders, who score 3.4 goals a night.

    Injury to note: Victor Hedman, D Tampa Bay Lightning

    Hedman has been sidelined with a head injury since the middle of the month and missed Saturday’s game against Buffalo. The 6-foot-6 blueliner was back at practice this week and hopes to play against Nashville Tuesday. Hedman is not only a bruiser on the ice for the Bolts but has five assists and a plus-5 rating through his first five games of the schedule.

    Playbook: Montreal Candiens (6-0-0)

    The Montreal Canadiens have leaned heavily on goaltender Carey Price to carry the franchise the past few seasons, but are taking some of the burden off the Heart Trophy winner in the opening stretch of the season. Montreal, which averaged only 2.61 goals a game last year, is scoring a red-hot 3.3 goals a night, which is good enough for fifth in the NHL and takes a lot of pressure of Price to be perfect between the pipes.

    The Habs have changed their offensive attack in 2015-16, controlling the puck when they enter the offensive zone rather than dumping and chasing on the forecheck like previous seasons. Montreal has gotten the puck into the middle of the neutral zone when on the rush, forcing defenders to make a choice: play the puck or cover the wingers.

    “I agree that we’re coming up with control, but we’ve always wanted that,” Brendan Gallagher told reporters. “I just think we’re doing a better job of winning neutral-zone battles, coming up with support, understanding where the puck’s going to be going.”



    1. NSA(The Legend) NHL – Devils -110

    3. VegasSI NHL – Sharks under 5

    4. SportsAction365 NHL – Sharks +115

    5. Gameday Network NHL – Devils -110

    6. Vegas Line Crushers NHL – Sharks under 5

    7. Gerry “Big Cat” Andino NHL – Islanders -130

    8. Lou Panelli NHL – Lightning +110

    12. Vincent Pioli NHL – Sharks +115

    13. International Sports Syndicate NHL – Flames +120

    14. SCORE NHL – Canadiens over 5

    15. East Coast Line Movers NHL – Islanders -130

    17. Chicago Sports Group NHL – Islanders -130

    18. Hollywood Sportsline NHL – Flyers +105

    19. VIP Action NHL – Sharks +115

    20. South Beach Sports NHL – Flames +120

    21. Z Code System NHL – Flames +120

    22. Sports Cash System NHL – Penguins -145

    23. BettingOnlineUSA NHL – Devils under 5

    24. Sports Betting Professor NHL – Flyers +105

    25. 100 Percent Winners NHL – Canadiens -145

    26. NY Players Club NHL – Canadiens over 5

    27. Las Vegas Private CEO Club NHL – Flames +120

    28. Michigan Sports NHL – Penguins -145

    29. Charlie’s Sports NHL – Sharks +115

    30. Fred Callahan NHL – Penguins over 5

    31. PointSpreadReport NHL – Devils -110

    32. FreeSportsPicksParlays NHL – Canadiens -145

    33. Las Vegas Sports Commission NHL – Penguins -145


    JR ODonnell | NHL Total

    free pick – 54 PIT / 53 FLA – OVER 5.0

    Analysis: Power Rated @ NHL Pitts /Fla =7.2 goals


    NHL Hockey Betting Trends – Tuesday – Oct, 20

    NY Islanders at Columbus, 7:05 PM EDT
    New York: 28-14 SU first half of the season
    Columbus: 0-10 SU after allowing 4 goals or more 3 straight games

    Florida at Pittsburgh, 7:05 PM EDT
    Florida: 15-8 SU after allowing 4 goals or more
    Pittsburgh: 7-11 SU in a home game where where the total is 5 or less

    Arizona at New Jersey,
    7:05 PM EDT
    Arizona: 18-52 SU as an underdog
    New Jersey: 92-56 SU after failing to cover 4 of their last 5

    Dallas at Philadelphia, 7:35 PM EDT
    Dallas: 11-3 SU in road games off a road win
    Philadelphia: 34-48 SU after allowing 1 goal or less in 2 straight games

    St Louis at Montreal, 7:35 PM EDT
    St Louis: 97-71 SU in road games in non-conference games
    Montreal: 27-35 SU in home games after 2 straight wins by 2 goals or more

    Tampa Bay at Nashville, 8:05 PM EDT
    Tampa Bay: 27-10 SU when playing only their 2nd game in 5 days
    Nashville: 6-18 SU after scoring 4 goals or more in their previous game

    Washington at Calgary, 9:05 PM EDT
    Washington: 7-16 SU after allowing 2 goals or less in 2 straight games
    Calgary: 25-16 SU after a division game

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