Around the rink: Saturday's NHL betting notes

Feb 23, 2013 |
Check out our quick-hitting betting notes for all 12 NHL games on tap Saturday:

New Jersey Devils at Washington Capitals (+106, 5)

Probable starting goaltenders: Johan Hedberg (NJ), Braden Holtby (WSH)

One of the schedule quirks of the shortened season is the rare two-game series at the same venue. After dropping a 3-2 decision at home to the New Jersey Devils on Thursday, the Washington Capitals will get an immediate chance for revenge when they host the Devils again Saturday. Washington looked like it was starting to turn things around with a three-game winning streak last week but has totaled three goals in back-to-back losses while letting goaltender Braden Holtby get peppered by a combined 77 shots. The Devils are 5-0 in the last five meetings.

Winnipeg Jets at Philadelphia Flyers (-129, 5.5)

Probable starting goaltenders: Ondrej Pavelec (WPG), Ilya Bryzgalov (PHI)

The Winnipeg Jets began their five-game road trip with two wins and will look for a third Saturday. The Jets have won in their last six trips to Philadelphia, including four wins when they were the Atlanta Thrashers. Philadelphia beat the Jets 3-2 in Winnipeg on Feb. 12 and the over is 4-1 in the Flyers’ last five overall.

Phoenix Coyotes at Edmonton Oilers (+102, 5)

Probable starting goaltenders: Mike Smith (PHX), Nikolai Khabibulin (EDM)

Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith stopped 30 shots Monday for his third shutout in his last eight starts. On Saturday, Smith and the Coyotes visit the Edmonton Oilers, who have had trouble scoring as of late, with only four even-strength goals in their last four games. To make matters worse for the Oilers, top playmaker Taylor Hall has been suspended for the team’s next two games for a knee-on-knee hit earlier in the week. The Coyotes are 5-0 in their last five trips to Edmonton.

Colorado Avalanche at Los Angeles Kings (-173, 5)

Probable starting goaltenders: Semyon Varlamov (COL), Jonathan Quick (LAK)

The Avalanche increased their winning streak to five games over the Kings with a 3-1 victory on Jan. 22. Colorado has struggled on the road (2-5-0), but may receive a boost with the possible return of captain Gabriel Landeskog. The reigning Calder Trophy winner has been sidelined for 11 games with a concussion. The Kings are starting a stretch where they play 13 of their next 16 in Tinseltown. The reigning Stanley Cup champions have played only four contests (2-1-1) at the Staples Center this season. The under is 4-0-2 in the last six meetings.

New York Islanders at Buffalo Sabres (-125, 5.5)

Probable starting goaltenders: Evgeni Nabokov (NYI), Ryan Miller (BUF)

Buffalo suffered its third straight loss and fifth in six outings with a 3-1 setback to Toronto on Thursday, but the Sabres can hang their hat on a 3-2 triumph over the Islanders on Feb. 9. Islanders G Evgeni Nabokov struggled in his last outing versus Buffalo, stopping 12 of 15 shots to drop to 4-4-1 in his career against the franchise. The Sabres are 1-6 in their last seven vs. a team with a losing record.

New York Rangers at Montreal Canadiens (-128, 5)

Probable starting goaltenders: Martin Biron (NYR), Carey Price (MTL)

The Rangers will be without top-line forward Rick Nash for a third consecutive game. Nash, who is nursing an undisclosed injury, missed the teams' earlier meeting at Madison Square Garden - an aesthetically challenged 3-1 victory by the Canadiens on Tuesday. The venue now shifts to the Bell Centre, where Montreal has won its last six meetings and eight of nine (8-0-1) with its Original Six rival. Rangers D Marc Staal missed the morning skate because of a bout with the flu. He will be a game-time decision. The under is 4-1 in the Habs’ last five overall.

Toronto Maple Leafs at Ottawa Senators (+102, 5)

Probable starting goaltenders: Ben Scrivens (TOR), Ben Bishop (OTT)

The injuries keep piling up for the Senators. Ottawa lost G Craig Andersonto an ankle injury in a 3-2 win over the Rangers Thursday, so Ben Bishop will be between the pipes for the Sens. In spite of all the injuries, the Senators have won three in a row. The Maple Leafs have also adjusted to injuries, with goaltender Ben Scrivens settling into the starting job while James Reimer recovers from a strained MCL. Scrivens stopped 34 shots to earn his first career shutout when the Senators visited the Maple Leafs last Saturday. The under is 4-0 in the last four meetings.

Tampa Bay Lightning at Carolina Hurricanes (-120, 6)

Probable starting goaltenders: Mathieu Garon (TB), Dan Ellis (CAR)

The Lightning has won five times in their last six trips to Carolina, including a 4-1 triumph on Jan. 22. The Hurricanes have followed a 5-0-1 stretch with two straight losses. Backup goalie Dan Ellis is expected to start against his former team. Ellis is 3-1-0 in four starts with a 1.74 goals against average and .943 save percentage. The Lightning are 8-1 in their last nine vs. Southeast foes.

Nashville Predators at Detroit Red Wings (-140, 5)

Probable starting goaltenders: Pekka Rinne (NSH), Jimmy Howard (DET)

The Detroit Red Wings look to snap their five-game winless streak when they host the Central Division-rival Nashville Predators. Detroit has gone 0-3-2 since posting a 3-2 home victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Feb. 10. After totaling nine goals over its previous two games, Nashville went cold offensively Friday and suffered a 1-0 home loss to the Vancouver Canucks. The Predators have been involved in five shutouts over their last nine games, going 3-2-0 in those contests. The under is 6-0-1 in the last seven meetings in Detroit.

Columbus Blue Jackets at St. Louis Blues (-215, 5.5)

Probable starting goaltenders: Sergei Bobrovsky (CBJ), Jaroslav Halak (STL)

St. Louis took a hit Friday when rookie Vladimir Tarasenko was placed on injured reserve with a head injury. That will put more pressure on Alexander Steen, Chris Stewart, T.J. Oshie and company to help pull the Blues out of their offensive funk. The Blues own the league’s best power play, but have not scored with the man advantage in any of the last three games. The visiting team has taken three straight and six of the last nine in the series.

San Jose Sharks at Dallas Stars (-140, 5)

Probable starting goaltenders: Antti Niemi (SJ), Cristopher Nilstorp (DAL)

San Jose fell to 1-5-3 since opening the season with seven straight victories when it dropped a 2-1 decision to the Blackhawks in Chicago on Friday. The Sharks, who are 1-3-1 on their six-game road trip, have earned at least one point in eight straight meetings (7-0-1) with the Stars. Dallas is looking to salvage the finale of its three-game homestand after falling 4-3 to the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday. The Stars have lost three of their last four overall. The Sharks are 4-0-1 in their last five visits to Dallas.

Minnesota Wild at Calgary Flames (-105, 5)

Probable starting goaltenders: Niklas Backstrom (MIN), Joey MacDonald (CGY)

Minnesota has climbed into second place in the Northwest thanks to a 4-1-1 stretch that includes a 3-1 road victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday. Calgary is coming off its second consecutive loss, a 3-1 home setback against the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday. Minnesota posted a 2-1 shootout victory over Calgary on Feb. 11 for its first road win of the season, but will be without F Cal Clutterbuck (thigh) for this one. The Flames are 1-5 in their last six home games.

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