Ice picks: Saturday's best NHL bets

Jan 6, 2012 |

Ottawa Senators at Philadelphia Flyers (-174, 5.5)

The Flyers got goals from all four lines in their 5-4 win over Chicago on Thursday. They racked up 46 shots, including seven by Scott Hartnell.

James van Riemsdyk scored two goals in the win. Coach Peter Laviolette said it was the 22-year-old winger’s best game of the season.

"I liked the fact he was skating to be physical. He banged bodies out there,” the coach said. “I always think that if you want to get yourself into the game, get your feet moving and go bang somebody because it always puts you around the puck."

Four of Philly’s last five games have gone over.

The Senators arrive with the NHL’s eighth-best offense, averaging 3.0 goals and 31.6 shots. In their only previous meeting this season, Philly  won 7-2 on Oct. 18.

Five of the last seven meetings have gone over the total.

Pick: Over

Washington Capitals at San Jose Sharks (-130, 5.5)


Hot teams collide Saturday as Washington brings a four-game win streak to San Jose, which has won three straight.

Alex Ovechkin has sparked the Caps with 17 goals, including five in his last three games. But Washington might not have Nicklas Backstrom, who underwent concussion testing this week after taking an elbow to the head from Calgary forward Rene Bourque. Backstrom skated Thursday and reported feeling “pretty good.”

Whether Backstrom plays or not, this is a bad matchup for Washington.

The Caps have lost their last eight visits to San Jose and are 2-16-1 in their last 19 games against the Sharks.

San Jose is playing terrific defense, holding opponents to four goals in the three-game win streak. The Sharks rank seventh in the NHL with 2.3 goals allowed per game.

Pick: San Jose
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