NHL 2/16 betting preview

A winning 5-4 result with Saturday’s plays in my NHL Betting Preview article for Line Movement improves the current NHL streak to 12-7 63% with my last 19 betting recommendations on the ice in my betting preview articles. Let’s see how we can add to the profits on this Tuesday NHL slate.

Washington Capitals @ Pittsburgh Penguins

The term “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is one that I often use in sports betting. My betting strategy is to keep riding a certain trend, angle, or streak as long as it continues to cash for me. That thought process is very much in play here in this matchup between the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins. I cashed a ticket with the over in Sunday’s game between these two teams which was a high-scoring affair won by Pittsburgh 6-3. That marked the 7th straight over between these two teams who are now a perfect 7-0 to the over in their last 7 head-to-head matchups.

The Capitals have struggled to neutralize the Penguins offensively and vice versa with the Penguins trying to shut down the Capitals. Pittsburgh snapped a woeful 0-for-21 slide on the power play with Bryan Rust’s power-play goal in the 2nd Period on Sunday. Rust along with Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel on the Pens top line exploded for 4 goals and 8 points in the victory against the Capitals on Sunday. Washington’s defensive struggles have worsened and not improved, and the time off didn’t seem to fix it.

The Capitals have surrendered 22 goals in their last 4 games combined for an average allowance of 5.5 goals per game during that span. Washington isn’t having a problem scoring goals though as their offense has clicked for at least 3 goals in 9 of their last 10 games and the Caps have scored at least 3 goals in each previous meeting against the Penguins this season. The over bonanza whenever these two teams meet is easy to explain. Washington and Pittsburgh have been able to generate high-quality scoring chances in bunches against one another and both teams happen to be ranked 27th and 31st respectively in the NHL in worst save percentage when facing those high danger scoring chances as Vitek Vanecek for Washington and Tristan Jarry for Pittsburgh (who have been the primary starters for their teams so far this season) have not been able to handle pucks that are fired their way from those high danger scoring areas. I’m betting this game over the total once again. All previous seven meetings that have gone over the total have reached at least 7 total goals scored.

Expect more of the same here.

Washington/Pittsburgh Over 6.5 -120


New York Islanders @ Buffalo Sabres

The New York Islanders and Buffalo Sabres will battle for the second straight night after a 3-1 Islanders win against the Sabres on Monday night with Buffalo playing their first game last night since January 31st thanks to a COVID-19 shutdown. It was a sluggish game for the Sabres as one might expect when you haven’t played in two weeks. Buffalo was outshot and didn’t register a single shot on goal in the 3rd Period of yesterday’s 3-1 loss.

The Sabres did not return from their hiatus with a fully healthy lineup as they were without multiple starting defensemen last night including Jake McCabe, Brandon Montour, and Rasmus Ristolainen who are all expected to miss tonight’s game as well. Cluster injuries on the blue line for any team are situations I like to think will result in more goals for the opposing team and we saw the Islanders take advantage of a defense that made a few critical mistakes with the puck during the course of the game.

Anders Lee
Dec 29, 2019; Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA; New York Islanders forward Anders Lee (27) looks on during the second period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The NY Islanders offense has started to find their groove scoring 3+ goals in five of their last six games. On the other side, Buffalo will be looking to get their offense going and should be in a better position to have more scoring production tonight getting the rust out of their system last night playing for the first time in two weeks.

We also may see both backup goalies start this game tonight with Ilya Sorokin for the NY Islanders and Carter Hutton for Buffalo as the projected starting goalies. Sorokin has struggled this season going 0-3 with 3.65 GAA and .871 save percentage and the same goes for Hutton who enters tonight’s contest at 1-3 with a 3.05 GAA and .895 save percentage. Last night’s game stayed under the total but I think we’ll see a different story unfold tonight. The NY Islanders are 3-0 to the over in their last three games following an under in their previous game and Buffalo is 3-1 to the over in four games following an under in their previous game this season.

NY Islanders/Buffalo Over 5.5 +100


Real Kyper at Noon

Colorado Avalanche @ Vegas Golden Knights

The Colorado Avalanche returned from an extended COVID-19 hiatus on Sunday and played like it. The Avs couldn’t get anything going offensively as they were shut out 1-0 by the Vegas Golden Knights. Colorado was still missing seven regulars from their lineup on Sunday including three of the team’s top six defensemen as Cale Makar, Samuel Girard and Erik Johnson were all scratched.

Gabriel Landeskog, Tyson Jost, and Matt Calvert are also out of action currently due to injuries. All that being said, the Avs were valiant with their effort in defeat on Sunday for it being their first game in a long time as they actually held the edge in xG margin in the loss against the Golden Knights and also an 11-9 advantage in high danger scoring chances generated. Colorado head coach Jared Bednar said most of the issues with the Avalanche were just the skating legs not quite being there after being off for a long period and the timing in terms of making crisp plays and passes with the puck being somewhat off which prevented them from garnering more scoring chances and ultimately goals in that game.

The fact the Avalanche now have a game under their belt should help them here in this rematch against the Golden Knights even though the team will be without several key pieces once again. Vegas continues to be stellar playing a complete brand of hockey as their offense has scored timely goals both at 5-on-5 even strength and on the power play which has improved lately after a slow start. The defensive play has been terrific from the Golden Knights as you would expect from a blue line with Alex Pietrangelo and Alec Martinez two veteran, Stanley Cup-winning defensemen on it. Vegas goaltender Robin Lehner remains out with an upper-body injury but Marc-Andre Fleury has made the most of that opportunity going 7-1 this season with a 1.38 GAA and .944 save percentage in 8 starts in the absence of Lehner. Fleury’s only loss was to the Anaheim Ducks by a score of 1-0 last week. 

It’s not easy to bet against Vegas who are 8-2 at home and a goaltender like Marc-Andre Fleury who is clearly locked in right now but it’s worth comparing the moneyline price of this game with Sunday’s game between these two teams. I believe the value has shifted in this game to Colorado based on price and circumstance. Colorado was -115 on Sunday. They are in the -104 to -110 range in this game tonight and I expect the Avalanche to be a bit sharper and execute better after getting that first game following the lengthy pause to their season under their belt. It’s also worth noting that Colorado is a perfect 4-0 following a loss this season. I’ll take Colorado to rebound and get back in the win column tonight.

Colorado -104

Best of the rest of my wagers for Tuesday…

  • NY Rangers -140 (vs. New Jersey)
  • New Jersey/NY Rangers Over 5.5 -120
  • Los Angeles +120 (vs. Minnesota)