Pucking the trends: This week's best NHL bets

Mar 3, 2013 |
Antti Niemi and the Sharks have played under the total in eight consecutive games.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports
Antti Niemi and the Sharks have played under the total in eight consecutive games.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports
Every week, we update you on who's hot, who's not and situational betting spots in the National Hockey League.

For the week of Feb. 24-Mar. 3.

Hot team

Chicago Blackhawks (5-0 SU)

The Blackhawks extended their winning streak to nine games with recent victories over Detroit, St. Louis and Columbus. Chicago has secured at least a point in all 22 contests this season and 28 straight dating back to March 25, 2012. The Blackhawks return home for clashes with the Wild and Avalanche later in the week.

Cold team

Tampa Bay Lightning (0-4 SU)

After opening the season with six wins in seven games, the Lightning have just three in their last 14 contests. Tampa Bay boasts the league’s top offense (3.5 goals per game) but can’t keep pucks out of its own net. The Bolts open this week with a tough back-to-back set in Pittsburgh and New Jersey.

Best over play

Phoenix Coyotes (4-0 over/under)

The Coyotes have played over the total in four straight games to push their season O/U mark to 12-8-1. Mike Smith has seen an extremely heavy workload of late and his performance has suffered as a result. Smith has started 14 consecutive games and has yielded 15 goals over his last four. Phoenix squares off with Anaheim twice this week before enjoying a three-game homestand.

Best under play

San Jose Sharks (0-3 over/under)

Under bettors are loving the stingy Sharks. San Jose has gone low in eight consecutive games and 15 of 20 this season. Goaltender Antti Niemi boasts an impressive 1.83 GAA and the Sharks are yielding an average of only two goals per game. San Jose plays back-to-back road games in Vancouver and Calgary next.

Surveying the schedule:

-The Edmonton Oilers continue their season-long nine-game road trip this week. The Oilers are 1-2-1 on the current trip.

-The Montreal Canadiens have earned points in 11 straight games but have a busy week ahead. The Habs hit the road for four games this week and boast an impressive 6-1-0-2 record away from the Bell Centre.
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