Ice picks: Wednesday's best NHL bets

Files by Associated Press. Picks by Covers.com staff.

San Jose Sharks at Columbus Blue Jackets (+153, 5.5) odds provided by betED

Few opponents this season have been able to slow down San Jose, which is off to the best 30-game start in NHL history. The Columbus Blue Jackets, winners of four in a row at home, have to be hoping the Sharks will be looking past them Wednesday night.

With a showdown at Detroit looming Thursday, the Sharks will try to maintain their focus when they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Sharks take on a team that's been playing well on home ice of late. Columbus (13-14-3) is coming off a 3-1 loss at Chicago on Sunday, but the Blue Jackets have won their last four at Nationwide Arena, allowing a total of four goals in those games.

Rookie Steve Mason has been in net for all of them, solidifying his hold on the starting job due to Pascal Leclaire's struggles. Mason ranks third in the league with a 1.98 goals-against average.

The problem against the Blackhawks was offense, as the Blue Jackets outshot Chicago 32-31 but were held scoreless for the final 58 minutes.

"I think it's frustrating for everyone to live on this 'we played so well' and still only scored one goal," Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said. "Right now we're living on a fine line and there's not much breathing room."

The Blue Jackets have scored three goals or fewer in each of their last 13 games, going 4-for-55 (7.3 percent) on the power play over that span. On the season, they've scored an NHL-worst 10.1 percent of the time with the man advantage.

Columbus needs more production from its top scorers, especially Rick Nash. The forward leads the team with 13 goals and 25 points, but hasn't scored in his last five games, totaling one assist over that span.

His last goal came in a 3-2 loss at San Jose on Dec. 4 - the Blue Jackets' fifth straight against the Sharks.

Pick: San Jose -163

Edmonton Oilers at Vancouver Canucks (-155, 5.5) odds provided by betED

With captain Roberto Luongo still week-to-week with a groin injury, Curtis Sanford is expected to start this contest for Vancouver, which is 5-4-1 without Luongo.

Sanford is 4-4-0 with a 2.87 goals-against average this season and 5-1-1 with a 2.21 GAA lifetime versus the Oilers.

Though Edmonton (14-13-2) evened the season series with Vancouver in the teams' last meeting, the Oilers must find a way to rebound from a 9-2 home loss to Chicago on Tuesday.

"We have to somehow get our energy back up and try to duplicate the game we had against Vancouver our last game at home," captain Ethan Moreau said. "There is going to be a lot of questions going into (Wednesday) because of our effort (Tuesday), but we have an opportunity to play well. That's how we'll be evaluated, by how we respond."

Mathieu Garon allowed five goals and was replaced by Dwayne Roloson, who gave up four for Edmonton, which has lost two of three since winning three in a row.

Roloson, 6-4-2 with a 2.74 GAA on the season, could get the start Wednesday after recording 23 saves against the Canucks on Saturday for his first shutout of the season.

Shawn Horcoff scored against Chicago giving him three goals and eight assists in his last nine games.

Ales Hemsky, Dustin Penner and Robert Nilsson each scored for the Oilers against the Canucks over the weekend.

Pick: Edmonton +145

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Posted by drop_da_puck
5 years ago

anyone else get burned with SJ
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Posted by drop_da_puck
5 years ago

sj suck. they killed a huge 3 team rev.
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Posted by faceoff
5 years ago

I'll tell you what I don't love... Is when Half my post get's deleted for some reason... I was saying: What I love is when someone come's into a forum and TELLS YOU that you are wrong and that the team they pick CAN'T LOSE.... Guaranteed, THEY ARE WRONG most of the time...
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Posted by faceoff
5 years ago

You know what I love more than anything...
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Posted by Gaulstone78
5 years ago

You know it.
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Posted by JohnnyMapleLeaf
5 years ago

Two Numbers have gone to the rafters this year...Clark's in Toronto and Roy's in Montreal. FYI...Both teams lost those games that night.
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Posted by Gaulstone78
5 years ago

NJ@BUF two teams that IMO can play a sit back defensive game and minimize scoring chances. NJ 4th in the league and BUF 9th in the league in SOG against column. On the other hand both teams can score. Seeing as NJ played I think they will opt for the Defensive style tonight. Taking- NJ/BUF under5.5
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Posted by Unit_G
5 years ago

Clark wore #17 . . . Linden wore #16 . . . hmmmm . . .
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Posted by Unit_G
5 years ago

Oilers/Canucks is a rivalry game so anything could happen. I'm beginning to wonder to about the Oilers. They just might win tonight. Didn't the Leafs lose that same night the retired Clark's jersey #
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Posted by Gaulstone78
5 years ago

Hey all whattup I don't wanna repeat afforementioned info so I'll just say that I really like L.A. tonight but think I'll play- LA +1.5 PL
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Posted by RobG
5 years ago

Like Doleman said, the Canucks won't lose on the night they retire Linden's number. Van ML, and Over 5.5.
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Posted by cantex48
5 years ago

Wow,so many opinions I almost feel like am in Harrods...just to say Hey stump,figured u was up in squamish,or sumthin...heard y'all been getting snow!!!!hahaha,am checking now,cuz as I thump my ample quebec chest....called habs to lose,but yet saw kovalev callin out refs for odd penalty calls...this seems redundant,howver,oh yeah,and he mighta scored first goal in forever...out got busy...
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Posted by Candeeman
5 years ago

Lucky Logan, in the NFL
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Posted by justpredictor
5 years ago

tborgzilla: Are you playing pro picks pool today for NHL..
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Posted by ml78
5 years ago

hit that chicago /nyr/ana under parlay---thanks cjvegas. going hard on the under in Van
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Posted by doleman88
5 years ago

PS - I predict it getting nasty too :P lots of fights tonight..
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Posted by doleman88
5 years ago

I am a Canucks fan for life so I have bias but I guarantee the Nucks win tonight. Retiring Lindens number tonight so they will have a little something extra going. I went to the game on Sunday vs the Panthers and after the first period they got their legs back after coming home from that long road trip. I see them picking up where they left off and scoring a lot of goals on Edmonton who played last night. Also, not sure of the stats, but I feel like we've owned Edmonton recently and I think it'll be a hard fought game but Van has something to prove tonight @ home on Linden night. 4-2 Nucks.
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Posted by benhogan76
5 years ago

It is very reliable, I havent had a problem with it all year.
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Posted by benhogan76
5 years ago

I am seeing Kipper going agaisnt Backstrom, also for anyone playing Rangers Kings I see Valiquette and Labarbera going in that game.
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Posted by benhogan76
5 years ago

expect, sorry
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Posted by benhogan76
5 years ago

The problem with Sabres this year is that they seem to be having trouble finishing plays. They get tons of chances each game but just cant seem to find the net each night. I would lean to Buffalo for win but would espect tight game, Devils are very well coached team.
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Posted by benhogan76
5 years ago

DDH I gotta admit I am life long Oilers fan but really like this flames team. Iggy, Dion and Kipper are among my favorite players right now. I really do think there is value in Flames tonight if Kipper plays and if total is 5 I would lean to the over. I read that Gaborik is going to play tonight.
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Posted by Odds1_stinker
5 years ago

Sabres PL Sharks U.5.5
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Posted by Bman2000
5 years ago

I dont care if 99 was on the ice with the devils...Chalk up a loss.......
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Posted by tborgzilla
5 years ago

My picks for the night if anyone cares to take a look. Proline Picks Ive got SJ beating CBJ w/Over 5.5 NJ @ BUF Over 5.5 NYR @ LA Over 5.5 $20.00 Card that pays out $134.80 NJ @ BUF Over 5.5 w/BUF winning, Clemmenson is BTP. I think hes 5-1 in the last 6 a SO loss last night to Toronto. Hopefully he rebounds tonight. Buffalo is hovering around .500 @ home. SJ @ CLB w/SJ winning..SJ is just too strong. CGY @ MIN Over 5.5 i think with Gaborik in the lineup pucks will be going past Kippy and Backstrom will give up a couple aswell. NYR @ LA Over 5.5 EDM @ VAN Over 5.5 $2.00 Card that pays out $48.70 GL guys!!
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Top Response

Posted by Unit_G
5 years ago

"Columbus"