You can’t ask for a better Saturday night matchup than the Calgary Flames taking on the Colorado Avalanche. They’re two of the best, and most exciting, teams in the NHL and are definitely the cream of the crop in the Western Conference. And, that’s only one of 10 games on the docket so it’s a great day for hockey — and for betting on hockey.
Let’s run through Saturday’s jam-packed schedule and provide some tips if you’re betting online:
St. Louis Blues vs New York Islanders
The New York Islanders are officially reeling, as they’ve lost four of their last five games and sink further and further below .500. On the other hand, the St. Louis Blues have won four of five despite having their winning streak snapped by the New York Rangers on Wednesday night.
Every game is a must-win at this point for the Islanders. Since the Blues play again Sunday, they could go with either Ville Husso — who didn’t play well against the Rangers — or Jordan Binnington, who has only given up one goal in his last two starts.
Regardless of who gets the nod in net, the Blues are solid road favorites in this game and are the team to back either on the moneyline or to win in regulation. The Islanders have been so inconsistent that it’s hard to tell what they really are. The goal total is low but the under could be a play with how few goals the Islanders both score and allow.
Chicago Blackhawks vs Philadelphia Flyers
In a matchup of teams who should be active sellers at this month’s trade deadline, the Chicago Blackhawks visit the reeling Philadelphia Flyers. Chicago is coming off an impressive 4-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers while the Flyers have lost eight of nine overall.
Both teams have very similar statistical profiles yet the Flyers, on the BetUS sportsbook, are slightly favored. This is a great spot to take Chicago straight-up at close to even money. The Blackhawks aren’t a good team, for sure, but they’re better than the Flyers and have the goalie advantage if Marc-Andre Fleury starts.
Ottawa Senators vs Arizona Coyotes
The Ottawa Senators have a good chance to snap a three-game losing streak as they visit the Arizona Coyotes, who are coming off one of their better wins and are due for a letdown. Arizona shocked the Colorado Avalanche with a 2-1 win on Thursday but the Coyotes have only won multiple games in a row twice this season, so the odds are in Ottawa’s favor.
The Senators have scored more than two goals just once in their past six games and are still without Drake Batherson and Josh Norris, two key cogs in their skater mix.
Ottawa is favored on the road and the Senators are a good pick on the moneyline.
Detroit Red Wings vs Florida Panthers
Trying to salvage one game of the brutal Sunshine State road back-to-back, the Detroit Red Wings visit the Florida Panthers a day after losing 3-1 to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Panthers did beat the Senators 3-0 in their last game to snap a three-game home losing streak, but Florida hasn’t played well as of late.
Detroit has lost three of four and will probably turn to backup Thomas Greiss for this game, which puts Florida at a significant advantage. The Panthers score over four goals a game so Greiss will really have his hands full. Florida is, understandably, a massive favorite in this one. Consider parlaying the Panthers on the puckline with the over, because Florida should put up plenty of goals.
Vancouver Canucks vs Toronto Maple Leafs
It wouldn’t be an NHL season without drama surrounding the Toronto Maple Leafs. The latest concern for Toronto is how the Maple Leafs will respond after getting blown out by the Buffalo Sabres, at home, in a 5-1 loss on Wednesday. They need to show up on Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks, who have won four of five and are wrapping up a road trip.
Toronto is a pretty big home favorite and should win. Before the loss to Buffalo, the Maple Leafs had won three in a row. But, both Petr Mrazek and Jack Campbell — who likely will start today — have been horrible lately while the Canucks’ starter, Thatcher Demko, has been incredible. Look for the Maple Leafs to take an early lead and hold on to win a low-scoring game in which the under hits and Vancouver covers the puckline in a loss.
Seattle Kraken vs Washington Capitals
The Washington Capitals look to build off a big 4-0 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday as they welcome the struggling Seattle Kraken. Seattle just beat the Nashville Predators to end their seven-game losing streak but the last few weeks have been a disaster for the Kraken, who have scored more than two goals just three times in the past month.
Things haven’t been great for Washington either, so Peter Laviolette is hoping that the victory against Carolina can spark his club. The Capitals are a mediocre 9-12-1 in 2022 and certainly haven’t been helped by a bunch of injuries and inconsistency in goal.
However, Vitek Vanecek has been incredible recently and he’ll start for the Capitals. Washington is a big favorite and Vanecek’s play is a big reason for that. Take the Capitals on the puckline in a game they should win going away.
CAPS TODAY: Vitek Vanecek has recorded a 1.55 goals-against average and a .946 save percentage and over his last nine games dating back to Jan. 15, a span that includes three shutouts. More info on the #Caps goaltender and Caps Clips at https://t.co/HecIC0ECg1 pic.twitter.com/8BhUgkTq66
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) March 5, 2022
Boston Bruins vs Columbus Blue Jackets
The red-hot Boston Bruins finally wrap up their six-game road trip against the Columbus Blue Jackets as they try to finish it with a stellar 5-1-0 record. Columbus lost a tough one last night to the Los Angeles Kings in overtime after holding a 3-1 lead in the third period before things fell apart.
Boston has been close to unstoppable since Brad Marchand came back. He has only scored two goals since his suspension ended but his return to the Bruins’ lineup has re-energized the whole lineup and has made things so much easier for everyone else on the ice.
Columbus has lost three of four after winning four straight. The Blue Jackets are big home underdogs. There’s decent value in the Bruins on the puckline and, with Jeremy Swayman in net, that’s the way to go here.
Montreal Canadiens vs Edmonton Oilers
Having won six of their last seven games, the Montreal Canadiens continue the Western Canada portion of their trip as they visit the Edmonton Oilers who have lost four of six. The Canadiens have looked like a brand-new team under interim head coach Martin St. Louis and could go with Andrew Hammond in goal again. The Hamburglar has yet to lose a game as a member of the Habs.
Edmonton lost an overtime heartbreaker to the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday and really needs to get back on track. The Oilers are huge favorites on the BetUS sportsbook and should play well coming off a loss, regardless of whether Mikko Koskinen or Mike Smith is in net. Take Edmonton on the puckline.
Nashville Predators vs San Jose Sharks
The Nashville Predators can’t afford to pass up on these two points as they battle the San Jose Sharks tonight. Nashville has lost six of eight, scoring more than three goals just one time in that span. The good news for the Predators is that the Sharks haven’t been much better over the past few weeks as San Jose has won only four games since January 11th.
This isn’t a must-win for Nashville. But, with the Predators bunched up in the race for the Western Conference’s Wild Card spot, every point matters especially when playing a bad team. Nashville is a solid road favorite here and should be able to cover the puckline with Juuse Saros in net. The goal total is low but the under is still a smart bet.
Calgary Flames vs Colorado Avalanche
This is the game of the night and one of the games of the season. The top teams in the Pacific and Central Divisions face off as the Calgary Flames take on the Colorado Avalanche in a fascinating potential playoff preview.
Interestingly, both teams are coming off disappointing losses to cellar-dwelling teams — the Flames to the Canadiens and the Avalanche to the Coyotes — but that shouldn’t temper excitement for this game as Calgary (winners of 12 of 14) and Colorado (winners of four of five) have been dominant for much of the season.
There should be plenty of goals scored in this game even with Calgary’s strong goaltending tandem of Jacob Markstrom and Dan Vladar. Colorado is a solid home favorite, yet the move for this game might be to take the Flames straight-up on the moneyline as underdogs. This game is more evenly matched than the line would suggest so taking the value is smart.