Friday’s NHL docket wasn’t filled with huge matchups with playoff implications, but a bunch of contenders were in action and the league’s hottest team put its winning streak to the test. Unfortunately for the Columbus Blue Jackets, they ran into the Carolina Hurricanes who ended the Blue Jackets’ run at four in a row. Around the league, the Colorado Avalanche pulled off an impressive comeback win, the Chicago Blackhawks got a pair of hat tricks, and the Los Angeles Kings kept up their winning ways.
Let’s run through all six games and see how they went compared to the NHL betting lines:
Hurricanes Whip Blue Jackets
Carolina’s 4-0 win over Columbus was one of the more one-sided games of the entire season. The Hurricanes outshot the Blue Jackets 50-19, barraging Jean-Francois Berube — starting for the second time in as many nights — with high-quality chances. Berube played well but he had no chance out there with Columbus understandably looking like a tired team a night after trouncing the Florida Panthers.
Frederik Andersen was perfect for Carolina, which won its fourth-straight game. The Hurricanes were huge home favorites and easily covered the puckline. Nino Niederreiter led the way with a goal and an assist.
Kyrou Leads Blues
A pair of first-period goals from Jordan Kyrou set the tone for the St. Louis Blues in their high-scoring 5-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Buffalo scored 1:25 into the game but was playing from behind most of the way and actually tied up the Blues twice. However, Colton Parayko’s go-ahead goal with six minutes left to play broke the ice and the Blues didn’t look back.
The Blues only had 23 shots on goal but they made the most of them. Ville Husso was sharp in net as usual, saving 35 of the 38 shots he faced.
St. Louis won straight-up as a big home favorite on the BetUS sportsbook and covered the puckline as well. The over (six goals) was in doubt for a while but cashed during the flurry of goals late in the game.
Blackhawks Explode for 8 Goals
While scoring has been hard to come by for the Chicago Blackhawks that certainly wasn’t the case on Friday night against the New Jersey Devils. Chicago got a pair of hat tricks — one from Patrick Kane and the other from Brandon Hagel — to power an 8-5 win.
The Blackhawks led for most of the way but the Devils kept fighting back and drew even midway through the third period. Then, in a 41-second span, Chicago got goals from Kirby Dach and Ryan Carpenter to build an insurmountable two-goal lead. Kane and Hagel capped off their big nights with an empty net goal each to send Blackhawks’ fans’ hats onto the ice.
Jesper Bratt (two goals) and Jack Hughes (goal and two assists) were the best players for the Devils, who were let down by goalie Jon Gillies and the penalty kill unit. Chicago won as a slight home favorite, but this one moved close to being a pick’em by gametime. The under never had a chance.
Avalanche Pull Off Huge Comeback
The Colorado Avalanche are never out of a game and the Winnipeg Jets learned that firsthand yesterday, blowing a 3-0 first period lead to fall 6-3 to Colorado in Denver. Winnipeg dominated the first 20 minutes of play as it seemed like the Avalanche were headed for a rare home loss with backup goalie Pavel Francouz in net.
But, Colorado’s offense is just relentless and the Avalanche scored three unanswered goals in both the second and third periods to stun the Jets. Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog were unstoppable, combining for five goals and an absurd 21 shots on goal. The Avalanche put Winnipeg away with back-to-back MacKinnon and Landeskog scores within a minute late in the third period, clinching the win and giving Landeskog a hat trick.
As usual, the Avalanche were heavily favored at home and they lived up to the billing.
Wedgewood Stands Strong for Arizona
Continuing the trend of home teams winning big, the Arizona Coyotes pulled off a nice-sized upset of the Vegas Golden Knights with a 3-1 win. Backup goalie Scott Wedgewood, getting his third-straight start, was awesome in goal for Arizona, saving 43 of the 44 shots he faced while Nick Schmaltz (two goals) provided most of the offensive spark.
Vegas has now lost four of five and hasn’t really clicked with Jack Eichel in the lineup as a functional replacement for the injured Mark Stone. Losing to big underdogs like the Coyotes is a bad look for a Golden Knights team that thinks of itself as a top playoff contender.
Kings Keep Winning Ways Going
With their comfortable 4-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks, the Los Angeles Kings notched their fourth-straight victory (and sixth in seven games). Jonathan Quick was great in goal as he earned his 350th career NHL win and it wasn’t a particularly stressful one. The Kings got on the board early with a Carl Grundstrom goal and added three more in the second period — two from Adrian Kempe — so they could go on cruise control down the stretch.
The only Ducks goal was courtesy of Troy Terry, highlighting both Anaheim’s general offensive issues and how top-heavy Dallas Eakins’ team is.
Los Angeles, which has turned into a very reliable team to back if you’re betting online, was a slight road favorite. Thanks to Quick’s strong performance, the under (5½ goals) was threatened but still won.