Los Angeles Kings at Vancouver Canucks (-175, 5)
So far, the Los Angeles Kings are getting by all right without Anze Kopitar, who suffered a season-ending ankle injury on Saturday. The Kings have won both of their games since, but this is the sort of injury that will catch up with the team sooner rather than later.
Kopitar doesn’t get a lot of publicity, but he’s the heartbeat of this team’s offense. He had 73 points in 75 games this season and was a plus-25. What’s worse, Los Angeles’ No. 2 scorer Justin Williams is also out with a shoulder injury, leaving captain Dustin Brown and his 54 points to carry the offensive load.
“It's just going to be a good test for this young hockey club," coach Terry Murray told reporters. "We'll be better when we come through it. There's no question about it. Guys are going to be in a higher situation, more important situation, and they'll grow immensely through this opportunity."
Maybe eventually, but this is a tough spot for the Kings, even against a Canucks club that is on autopilot. Alex Burrows scored twice to lead the Canucks to 3-1 win over Nashville on Tuesday, completing a 4-0 road trip for the club.Pick
: UnderOttawa Senators at Florida Panthers (-135, 5)
Anytime when you see the Florida Panthers set as a chalk, you have to take a serious look at it – especially this time of year.
The Panthers are 1-7 in the last eight games in which they’ve been favored and that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Well, outside of coach Pete DeBoer, apparently.
They were all one-goal games late or in the third period," DeBoer told reporters after Florida dropped a 3-2 decision to the Columbus Blue Jackets in a shootout. "We lost twice in the shootout. Our guys aren't quitting. We're just not getting the points I think are deserving of their effort. They're battling right to the final game."
Rewind a week ago and that wasn't the tune goaltender Tomas Vokoun was singing. The Panthers may be keeping it close lately, but this number is too steep. Pick:
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