Ice picks: Monday's best NHL bets
San Jose Sharks at New York Rangers (+120, 5)
Finally getting back to Madison Square Garden was supposed to help the Rangers get their game together but so far it looks as though the team is regressing on home ice.
New York has dropped its first two games on home ice and it’s getting ugly enough that fans are already calling for Sean Avery, who was demoted prior to Hartford ahead of the season opener. The Rangers coughed up a 4-1 lead in the third period against the Senators on Saturday and ended up losing 5-4 in a shootout.
“It’s like we did a complete 180 after we got the 4-1 lead,” defenseman Dan Girardi. “We had done a lot well until then, we’d gotten the puck in deep and played in their end, but for whatever reason we stopped making simple plays and doing the things that got us the lead.”
That’s the problem with this team – it can’t hold any momentum. The Rangers can put three or four solid shifts together, but then get pinned in their own end for minutes at a time. This could be an ongoing concern at least until Marc Staal is back from his concussion.
Meanwhile, the Sharks have won five straight on their road trip that concludes Monday.
SharksNashville Predators at Chicago Blackhawks (-180, 5)
The Anaheim Ducks wanted to mix it up with the Nashville Predators Saturday night and the Preds held their own against one of the toughest teams in the league.
They came away with a 3-0, limiting the Ducks to just 20 shots on goal to pick up their third win in the last four games.
“They came out and had some big hits and tried to run us out of our own building,” Nashville captain Shea Weber told reporters. “I think guys in here stepped up. We stayed focused. That was good, I think.”
That’s for sure, but the Preds head into Monday’s game with some injury concerns. Mike Fisher was drilled by Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin and will likely be out for a while with a concussion. Sergei Kostitsyn is also questionable after he suffered a leg injury Thursday, but the Predators defense should be able to keep the Blackhawks in check.
This one should be tight until the final buzzer. Pick: