Tipico Sportsbook & FTN: Tuesday 2/23 NHL Preview
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Buffalo Sabres (+120) @ New Jersey Devils (-145) — O/U 5.5
The Sabres are fresh off a 3-2 loss Monday night at the hands of the New York Islanders. The Sabres only managed to score two goals; they’ve been held to three or fewer goals in 11 of their 15 games. In fact, they’ve only scored more than three goals in regulation twice this season. They enter Tuesday’s matchup with a league-low 1.45 GF/60 at 5v5, according to Natural Stat Trick.
Meanwhile, the Devils have a league-best 1.54 GA/60 and 94.95 save percentage at 5v5. MacKenzie Blackwood has yet to allow more than three goals in a start as he carries a 2.12 GAA and .938 SV% into this contest. Having said that, Blackwood’s only regulation loss on the season came against the Sabres on Feb. 20 by a score of 3-2.
Buffalo has taken two of three against New Jersey this season, but Blackwood only played in one of those games. The Devils’ netminder has played to the under in four of his six matchups this season, including three against the high-powered Boston Bruins. New Jersey has also been held to three or fewer goals in 10 of 13 games this season.
Prediction: 3-2, New Jersey
Best bet: Under 5.5
Montreal Canadiens (-220) @ Ottawa Senators (+180) — O/U 6.5
The Canadiens are the biggest favorites on the board Tuesday evening despite having lost two of three against the Senators this season. The Sens took care of the Habs 3-2 Sunday; their only loss to Montreal this season was a 2-1 defeat, but they outshot the Canadiens in that game by a total of 35-32.
The Canadiens started the season with wins in five of their first seven games, with at least a point in all seven, but they enter Tuesday’s matchup having lost four of five and five of seven. They should not be -220 favorites in this contest, as they’ve scored three or fewer goals in seven straight games.
/The Senators are a competitive team and since they’ve hung around with Montreal, I think taking them on the puckline at +1.5 at -145 is certainly in play. If they lose by one goal, you’d still win the bet. The best bet in this contest is the under considering the Habs’ struggles on offense of late, mixed with the Sens’ 2.35 goals per game, 28th in the NHL.
Prediction: 3-2, Montreal
Best bet: Under 6.5
Pittsburgh Penguins (+100) @ Washington Capitals (-125) — O/U 6.5
The Penguins and Capitals lace them up against each other for the fifth time this season, and this is the first game of two in a row between these two teams. The Pens took the first three meetings and all three games sailed over the total. Washington won the latest contest by a score of 3-1. It likely would have gone over the number as well if not for 39 saves from Tristan Jarry.
The latest game feels like an outlier when you consider both teams had played to the over in their previous seven meetings against each other. The goal light tends to get plenty of work when Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin face off. Both Washington and Pittsburgh rank in the top 10 in goals allowed at 5v5 per 60 minutes. They also rank inside the top 10 in goals for at 5v5. Nine of Pittsburgh’s 16 games have gone over the total and Washington has played to the over in 12 of its 17 games this season.
Prediction: 4-3, Washington
Best bet: Over 6.5
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