Things are heating up in the NHL with just under two months until the start of the Playoffs (8th April). The top of the standings haven’t changed much since last week but there is plenty of movement behind as teams look to make a last dash to the postseason.
Let’s see how those teams will fare in the week ahead.
New York Islanders @ Washington Capitals
10th February 2020 7:08PM
Barry Trotz bring his New York Islanders team to the Capital One Arena – the scene of his greatest triumph. Trotz coached the Capitals to their one and only Stanley Cup win in 2018 and he looks hell bent on repeating that feat with the Islanders this year.
One of their biggest obstacles on the way will be Monday night’s opponents. The Capitals have separated themselves from the rest in the Metropolitan Division, leading the way with 77 points.
Things are a lot tighter for Trotz and the Islanders. Only six point separate the Penguins in second and the Flyers in sixth. The Islanders are stuck in the middle with 68 points.
The Islanders might be buoyed by the fact that the Capitals come into this one off the back of their worst performance of the season. Todd Reirden’s team lost 7-2 to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.
The Capitals are still the favourites though. You can back them to win at -175 with CanPlay. T.J. Oshie has been one of their standout players for a number of years now and he is available at +160 to score anytime.
We fancy the Islanders to cause a minor upset here – back Trotz & Co. in the Puck Line at +1.5 with CanPlay.
Tampa Bay Lightning @ Pittsburgh Penguins
11th February 2020 @ 7PM
These sides face each other for the second time in less than a week after the Lightning emerged victorious at home on Friday night.
Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh are two of the league’s heavy hitters and we can expect another high-scoring encounter on Tuesday night. Viktor Hedman assisted three in the 4-2 win over the Penguins last week and he will be a key player once again. The Swedish defenceman has provided 36 assists this season.
Pittsburgh have plenty of exciting players too. Evgeni Malkin and Bryan Rust have been key creators for the Pens in the first three quarters of the season.
How do we see this one playing out? Home advantage is obviously a major factor in the outcome of this game but the Lightning are the form team with six wins in a row. Another win on Tuesday night will see them close the gap on the leaders in the Atlantic Division. Bet on the Lightning to win with CanPlay.
Montreal Canadiens @ Boston Bruins
12th February 2020 7:30PM
The Canadiens travel to Boston for this Atlantic Division match-up on Wednesday night. The Habs have maintained their playoff push with three wins in a row but they face a tough task against the division leaders at TD Garden.
Despite losing their last game to the lowly Red Wings on Sunday, the Bruins are in good form. They have won seven of their last ten and built up enough credit in the standings that a blip against Detroit hasn’t had any negative effects.
Montreal are going through a purple patch of their own. Claude Julien’s team have also won seven of their last ten.
Looking ahead to Wednesday night’s game we can see only one winner. Boston have too many top-quality players for the Habs to deal with. David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand are two of the most exciting offensive players in the league and they might be good bets in the goalscorer markets with CanPlay.
Bet on the Bruins with CanPlay.