It’s the first Saturday night in the NHL and it’s going to be a busy one. There are a total of 11 games on the board, which means all but eight of the teams will be in action. We’ve got three sports picks for you here below but make sure you also check out individual game previews of the Ottawa Senators-Toronto Maple Leafs and the Philadelphia Flyers-Montreal Canadiens.
Record: 3-7 (-195)
Tampa Bay Lightning @ Chicago Blackhawks
The Lightning are known as a high-scoring, offensive-minded team. They are also known as a team that has shoddy goaltending, which was reiterated in their season-opener against the Boston Bruins. Anders Lindback got the start and he allowed three goals on 25 shots. Although one of the goals he gave up was on a penalty shot, the other two were shots he could have saved. The bottom line is that the Lightning still haven’t solved their goaltending woes.
That figures to be a problem on Saturday night when they visit Chicago. Only two teams gave up more goals per game on the road last season than the 3.33 the Lightning allowed. The Blackhawks have a multi-dimensional offense of their own and they should be able to score at least three or four goals. Take the over with your NHL picks.
NHL Pick: Over 5.5 at SportsInteraction
Washington Capitals @ Dallas Stars
At this point, it looks like over is going to be a good bet with the Washington Capitals. They’ve played two games this season and goaltender Braden Holtby has been an absolute wreck. He was pulled on Thursday after giving up three goals on 11 shots and that came after he gave up five goals on 34 shots in the season-opener. Cumulatively, he now has a 6.35 GAA and a .822 save percentage.
On the flip side, I was surprised to see the Dallas Stars give up four goals to the Florida Panthers in their first game. That could be a problem considering the Capitals have shown their offense can be quite prolific. They’ve scored nine goals in two games and figure to do their share of scoring on a regular basis.
When looking at all of the angles for this game, the over seems to be the best choice for your sports picks.
NHL Pick: Over 5.5 at Will Hill
Phoenix Coyotes @ San Jose Sharks
I have to say that I’m a little bit surprised to see a total of 5.5 in this game. Both teams tend to be low scoring, both teams have good goaltenders and the series history shows the games are usually around the five-goal mark. Four of the last five meetings have seen five goals or less.
Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi has a very good track record against Phoenix as he’s 9-4-2 with a 2.10 GAA and a .930 save percentage. He’s been tough to beat in the Shark Tank as he posted a 1.83 GAA at home last season.
Since we are getting a bit of value on the NHL odds, I’ll take the under.
NHL Pick: Under 5.5 at Bookmaker[gameodds]7/244917/?r-1=19-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]