Minnesota vs. San Jose (-190, 5)
Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock called the Sharks the best team in the West before they proved his point and beat his club 4-2 Thursday night. That win was part of a current four-game winning streak for San Jose, which the Sharks have used to vault to the top of the Western standings with 20 points, two ahead of Detroit.
Babcock says the Sharks almost always outshoot the other team and the additions of Rob Blake and Dan Boyle have shored up San Jose’s defense in a major way, which was always the team’s Achilles’ heel.
Now San Jose takes on a Wild squad that’s tied for the lead in the Northwest. The Sharks have won the last seven meetings with Minnesota and they’re 6-0 at home this season.
Pick: San Jose
Anaheim vs. Los Angeles (+140, 5.5)
The Kings do not need to see a team like the Ducks right now. L.A. is entrenched in a four-game losing streak, while Anaheim is the hottest team in the league with six wins and a shootout loss in its last seven games.
The key to winning for Anaheim has been simple – production. The Ducks have scored 28 goals in their last seven games and they are watching their playmakers come alive. Ryan Getzlaf enters Tuesday’s game on a six-game point streak and 38-year-old Teemu Selanne has seven goals in his last five games.
L.A., meanwhile, can’t keep the puck out of the net. The Kings have allowed 16 goals in their last four contests.
Washington vs. Ottawa (NA)
Alex Ovechkin is back for the Caps after returning home to Russia to visit his sick grandfather and should be in the lineup to face Ottawa. That’s good news for the Caps, but you might not see any smiles on their faces.
Head coach Bruce Boudreau put Washington through what he says is the toughest practice he’s ever done since coming to Washington on Sunday, a day the Caps were originally supposed to have off. The grueling practice came the night after Washington lost 5-0 to Buffalo and Boudreau had no problem calling out specific players for their shoddy performances.
The Sens are just 1-4-1 on home ice this year so Caps bettors are hoping Ottawa will be the place to get things rolling again in a battle between the two national capitals on American election night.