The four division-leading teams will square off as the San Jose Sharks take on the Detroit Red Wings, and the Colorado Avalanche challenge the Pittsburgh Penguins. NBC Sports Network will carry the Avs-Pens game but overall, it should be an entertaining night.
The Sharks rebounded from their first loss this season by stomping the Calgary Flames 6-3 on Saturday. The Sharks continue to score goals by the boatload as they now have 39 this season (in eight games), which leads the NHL.
The Red Wings are coming off a strange week. People making their sports picks expected them to slump a bit as lead goaltender Jimmy Howard got hurt. Instead, backup Jonas Gustavsson came in and shined, leading the team to three straight wins. When Howard came back on Saturday, he was blitzed for four goals in a 5-2 loss to Phoenix.
These are two quality teams but I’m tempted to ride with San Jose. They are hot, have the edge in net and are scoring plenty of goals right now.
NHL Pick: Sharks at 5Dimes
The Avalanche bounced back from their first loss of the season by handling the Buffalo Sabres with ease (4-2) on Saturday night. After facing the team that’s arguably the worst in the NHL, the Avs will now measure themselves up against the current Stanley Cup favorites on the NHL odds: the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Avs goaltending has been phenomenal so far but it will be tough for them to contain the Penguins. The Avs allowed just four goals in their first five games but have since allowed eight in their last three. Pittsburgh has scored at least three goals in every game this season.
I’ll take the over in this game as I expect to see Pittsburgh set the tone. They’ll score and Colorado will have to keep up.
NHL Pick: Over at Bet365
Calgary Flames vs. Los Angeles Kings
The Flames west coast trip continues and so far, it’s been a real struggle for them. They’ve lost their opening two contests in Anaheim and San Jose, and some of that early-season optimism has dissipated. Their goaltending continues to be a bit of an issue as Joey MacDonald, who has been better-than-expected and will likely be in net on Monday, has a save percentage of .891. As for their other option, Karri Ramo, he’s 0-1-1 with a 4.37 GAA and a .878 save percentage.
People who make their NHL picks should note that the Kings are in a groove. They’ve won five of six and have allowed just four goals in their last four wins. They are the better choice in this one.
NHL Pick: Kings at Bovada