Record: 14-20 (-269)
Pittsburgh Penguins @ Florida Panthers
The Penguins have looked great to start the season, winning each of their first three contests. More important than that is the fact that they have only allowed three goals in three games. Because of Marc-Andre Fleury’s collapse in the last postseason, goaltending and defense were the biggest concern. People who have been making sports picks have seen Fleury be very focused to start the year. He has a 1.00 GAA and .963 save percentage so far.
The Panthers have been a train wreck so far as they’ve lost three straight and have allowed 16 goals in the process. The Pens are a huge -175 favorite on the NHL odds, which is more than I’m willing to spend, so I’ll take them on the puck line instead and aim for a two-goal win.
Free Pick: Penguins -1.5 +168 at Pinnacle
I’m going to give the Philadelphia Flyers a shot on Friday night not because I believe in them so much but because I think this is an odd place to be laying juice with the Phoenix Coyotes. The Coyotes played (and won) last night in Detroit and now they have to go to Philadelphia on a back-to-back situation on the road. I understand that Philadelphia has struggled to start the year but it’s not as if Phoenix is some powerhouse that we’ve come to trust on the road. Before winning in Detroit yesterday, the Coyotes had lost their first two road games and scored just one goal in each of them.
Philadelphia is in its second game under new head coach Craig Berube and after winning the first, they might just have some momentum. I’ll add them to my NHL picks and take a shot.
Free Pick: Flyers +105 at Bookmaker
New Jersey Devils @ Calgary Flames
The New Jersey Devils continue their west coast trip across Canada and on Friday night, they’ll stop off in Calgary. While the Devils are still winless on the season, each of their last three losses have come in overtime, so they have been competitive. As for the Flames, they are a surprising 2-0-2 and have yet to lose in regulation.
My free pick for this game is going to be the over as I’ve been all over – pun intended – the Flames overs to start the year. They failed to get an over on Wednesday night but the final score against Montreal was 3-2, so they were close. There were four goals in that game through two periods, so it came very close to going over.
I’ll look for that trend to continue on Friday. The Flames have scored at least three goals in every game this season while the Devils have scored nine in their last three games. I’ll take a flier on the over in this one.
Free Pick: Over 5.5 at WillHill