Check out our betting notes on all 11 NHL games on tap Thursday:
Toronto Maple Leafs at Boston Bruins (-200, 5.5)Probable starting goaltenders: Ben Scrivens (TOR), Anton Khudobin (BOS)
There is cause for concern in Beantown following a pair of losses in which the Bruins failed to protect a lead. Boston watched the Canadiens score twice in the third period to snatch away a 4-3 victory at TD Garden on Sunday before squandering a three-goal lead in a stunning 4-3 overtime loss at Washington on Tuesday. The Maple Leafs have usually been easy prey for the Bruins, dropping the last seven meetings - including a 1-0 setback in Toronto on Feb. 2. However, Toronto arrives in Boston on a roll, having won three straight following Wednesday's 5-4 home victory over provincial rival Ottawa. Boston outscored Toronto 18-3 in its three home wins last season. Buffalo Sabres at New Jersey Devils (-138, 5)Probable starting goaltenders: Jhonas Enroth (BUF), Johan Hedberg (NJ)
The New Jersey Devils have not won since Martin Brodeur's back started to act up and will look to avoid a seventh consecutive defeat when they host the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night. A beleaguered Johan Hedberg has lost all six starts (0-5-1) since Brodeur was injured, including a 4-3 shootout setback at Buffalo on Saturday. The Devils haven't allowed fewer than three goals in that span and have been outscored 25-11 during the skid. The Sabres have seen their last five games decided by one goal, including three shootouts. The over is 3-0-1 in Buffalo’s last four games overall.New York Rangers at New York Islanders (-101, 5.5)Probable starting goaltenders: Henrik Lundqvist (NYR), Evgeni Nabokov (NYI)
With defenseman Marc Staal sidelined indefinitely after he was hit in the right eye by a puck, the Rangers claimed veteran blue-liner Roman Hamrlik off waivers on Wednesday. Henrik Lundqvist has yielded just five goals en route to winning three straight games. The reigning Vezina Trophy winner is 25-11-5 with four shutouts and a 2.16 goals-against average versus the Islanders. Rangers F Brad Richards (back, neck) will miss his second straight game. The over is 8-0 in the last eight meetings at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.Pittsburgh Penguins at Philadelphia Flyers (+116, 6)Probable starting goaltenders: Marc-Andre Fleury (PIT), Ilya Bryzgalov (PHI)
The Flyers and the Penguins have had some classic battles over the last couple of seasons and combined for 11 goals - six in the third period - in Philadelphia’s 6-5 win at Pittsburgh on Feb. 20. Including that triumph, the Flyers have allowed at least four goals in four of their last seven games - and are coming off a 4-2 setback at the New York Rangers on Tuesday. The Penguins have allowed a total of 19 goals in their last four games, including a 7-6 overtime victory at the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday. The over is 4-0 in the Flyers’ last four games vs. Atlantic foes.Florida Panthers at Washington Capitals (-153, 5.5)Probable starting goaltenders: Jacob Markstrom (FLA), Braden Holtby (WSH)
Washington, which has defeated the Panthers five straight times, is tied with Florida for last in the Southeast with 19 points - six behind first-place Carolina. The Panthers snapped a three-game losing streak with a 4-1 victory over the Jets on Tuesday, while the Capitals overcame a three-goal deficit to defeat Boston 4-3 in overtime. Washington has won five straight against Southeast teams and six in a row at home against Florida.Montreal Canadiens at Carolina Hurricanes (-106, 5.5)Probable starting goaltenders: Carey Price (MTL), Justin Peters (CAR)
Justin Peters turned aside 37 shots in his season debut as Carolina held on for its fourth straight victory with a 4-3 triumph over Buffalo on Tuesday. Peters, who is sure to see more action because of the injury to Cam Ward (MCL), will face a Montreal team that saw its 11-game point streak come to an end with a 6-3 road loss to the New York Islanders on Tuesday. The Canadiens had been comfortable away from the Bell Centre this season, collecting 14 of a possible 20 points (6-2-2). Montreal has fared well versus Carolina, posting a 3-0 victory on Feb. 18 to improve to 6-2-1 in the last nine meetings. The Habs are 6-0 in their last six clashes with Southeast foes.Vancouver Canucks at Columbus Blue Jackets (+142, 5.5)
Probable starting goaltenders: Cory Schneider (VAN), Sergei Bobrovsky (CBJ)
The Columbus Blue Jackets host the Canucks having won consecutive games for the first time this season. Columbus, which had one win in its previous eight contests, defeated Colorado in overtime and Edmonton in a shootout, marking four straight games for the Blue Jackets that have gone beyond regulation. With one win in their last five games, the Canucks have watched their comfortable lead in the Northwest Division dwindle to three points. A big reason for their slump - aside from injuries to Ryan Kesler and Manny Malhotra - is the power play, which hasn’t scored in six games (0-for-15). The under is 5-1 in the last six meetings.Winnipeg Jets at Tampa Bay Lightning (-146, 6)Probable starting goaltenders: Al Montoya (WPG), Anders Lindback (TB)
The last time the Jets came to Tampa on Feb. 1, they left with an 8-3 defeat. The Lightning have won only four of 16 games since, including posting a 1-4-1 record at home. Tampa Bay still has the top offense in the league, led by the NHL’s leading goal scorer in Steven Stamkos with 17. The Jets have scored only once in losing the last two games after winning five of their previous six. The 4-1 loss at Florida on Tuesday dropped Winnipeg’s road mark to 6-5-1. The Jets have struggled on special teams, recording only one power-play goal since Feb. 5. The over is 4-1 in Jets’ last five road games.Edmonton Oilers at Detroit Red Wings (-162, 5.5)Probable starting goaltenders: Devan Dubnyk (EDM), Jimmy Howard (DET)
The Red Wings skated to a 2-1 win in the first meeting and are 3-0-1 in their last four home games. Jimmy Howard is heating up, limiting opponents to 10 goals over his last six starts. The Oilers’ power play, which has played a vital role in many of their victories this season, hasn’t scored in three games and is 2-for-20 on their current road trip. Edmonton has one win in its last nine visits to Detroit. That victory came on Dec. 3, 2009.St. Louis Blues at Phoenix Coyotes (+101, 5)
Probable starting goaltenders: Jake Allen (STL), Mike Smith (PHX)
The Blues have dropped three of their last four games and will have to find a way to get their special teams back on track. St. Louis, which has the second-best power play in the NHL at 27.8 percent, is 1-for-19 with the man advantage in its last eight games. The Coyotes are 8-5-1 at Jobing.com Arena and have won four of their last five games as they begin a three-game homestand. The Blues are 0-5 in their last five clashes with Pacific teams.
Dallas Stars at Los Angeles Kings (-164, 5)Probable starting goaltenders: Kari Lehtonen (DAL), Jonathan Quick (LAK)
The Los Angeles Kings attempt to extend their home winning streak to seven games Thursday, when the Pacific Division-rival Stars pay a visit to the Staples Center. Los Angeles has not lost a home contest in regulation since dropping a 5-2 decision to the Chicago Blackhawks in the season opener on Jan. 19. The Stars, who have a 6-5-1 record on the road this season, have posted a 5-1-1 mark in their last seven contests away from home. The over is 4-0 in the Kings' last four tilts vs. Pacific opposition.