Ice picks: Monday's best NHL bets
Buffalo Sabres at Tampa Bay Lightning (-105, 5.5)
The Buffalo Sabres will have to do something they’ve not done all season Monday to improve their position in the playoff chase. They must beat the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Sabres are 0-3 against the Lightning, including a shutout at Tampa Bay in October. Buffalo is 9-2-4 over the last month to pull within two points of eighth place in the Eastern Conference. Tampa Bay has dropped five of its last six games.
The Sabres lost their second straight game in a shootout Saturday at Florida, falling to 7-6 in the tiebreaker. Goalie Ryan Miller has only lost once in regulation since Feb. 14. Miller is 17-7 lifetime against the Lightning, despite being 0-3 with a .895 save percentage this season.
The Sabres need this one to keep pace in the East’s playoff race. Pick:
SabresNew Jersey Devils at New York Rangers (-150, 5)
The New York Rangers were threatening to run away with the top seed in the Eastern Conference only to drop five of their last seven contests. The Rangers' troubles have opened the door for the three contending Atlantic Division teams to close in on them.
On Monday, the New Jersey Devils will look to improve their postseason standing at New York's expense when they meet at Madison Square Garden.
New Jersey began New York's troubles with a 4-1 victory on March 6, but the Devils have their own issues to address. Despite sitting comfortably as the conference's sixth seed, New Jersey has seen its offense go south.
The Devils mustered just 14 shots in their 5-2 loss to Pittsburgh on Saturday - and that effort came on the heels of a pair goalless performances. Pick: