Pucking the trends: This week's best NHL bets

Apr 21, 2013 |
Brian Elliott has helped the Blues play under in eight of their last nine games.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports
Brian Elliott has helped the Blues play under in eight of their last nine 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 April 15-20

Hot team

Pittsburgh Penguins (2-0 SU)

The Penguins have skated to six consecutive victories and are clearly the team to beat in the East even without Sidney Crosby. Pittsburgh has a favorable schedule down the stretch and will play three likely non-playoff teams (Buffalo, New Jersey, Carolina) in its last four games.

Cold team

Florida Panthers (0-3 SU)

The Panthers are in the league basement thanks to a five-game losing streak. Florida has been outscored 28-8 during the drought and has a tough matchup with the Bruins in Boston on Sunday.

Best over play

New York Rangers (3-0 over/under)

The Rangers are fighting for their playoff lives in the East and their offense has responded with impressive back-to-back outbursts. New York has tallied a total of 14 goals in wins over Buffalo and Florida. The Rangers can eliminate the Devils from playoff contention with a win over their Atlantic rivals on Sunday.

Best under play

St. Louis Blues (0-3 over/under)

Brian Elliott has been standing on his head for the Blues and under bettors are cashing in. St. Louis is 0-8-1 O/U in its past nine contests and has allowed a miniscule 1.11 goals per game during the run. The Blues play the first game of a home-and-home series in Colorado on Sunday.

Surveying the schedule:

- The Dallas Stars are two points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference heading into action Sunday. Wins won’t be easy to come by for the Stars down the stretch as all four of their remaining games are against potential playoff-bound teams (Kings, Sharks, Blue Jackets, and Red Wings).

-The Ottawa Senators fell 4-1 to the Toronto Maple Leafs Saturday night to slide to seventh in the Eastern Conference standings. Clinching a playoff berth won’t be easy for the Senators, who have games remaining against the Penguins, Capitals, Flyers and Bruins.
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