The easy portion of the Vegas Golden Knights’ late-season schedule is now in the rearview mirror and the Golden Knights are still three points out of a playoff spot. Vegas has a tough game on Thursday against the red-hot Calgary Flames, who are close to clinching a Pacific Division title, in one of today’s matchups with hefty playoff implications.
Let’s run through all 12 games on Thursday’s docket with an eye to the NHL betting lines for each:
Senators vs Bruins
The Boston Bruins are scuffling a bit as they head into a matchup with the Ottawa Senators, having lost three of four after winning 10 of 12. Boston has fallen behind the Tampa Bay Lightning for third place in the Atlantic Division. Taking two points from Ottawa would be huge.
Boston is a huge home favorite and, with the Bruins going through a rare rough patch, this is a great spot for a bounceback game. Take Boston on the puck line.
Blues vs Sabres
All the St. Louis Blues do is win. St. Louis is now riding a six-game winning streak and is tied with the Minnesota Wild for second place in the Central Division. The Blues have a good chance to make it seven wins in a row — and potentially edge out Minnesota — against the Buffalo Sabres, who have dropped three of four.
St. Louis is a big road favorite and with good reason. The Blues have scored four or more goals in nine straight games and likely will have top-tier goalie Ville Husso in net. Go with St. Louis on the puck line.
Capitals vs Maple Leafs
Don’t look now but the Washington Capitals — winners of four straight games — are just three points behind both the Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins as the regular season comes to a close. Washington is getting hot at the right time but has a tough matchup on Thursday with the Toronto Maple Leafs coming off a terrible loss to the Buffalo Sabres.
Before the loss to Buffalo, Toronto had won seven of eight with Auston Matthews continuing to tear up all opposing competition. So, the Maple Leafs are healthy favorites against Washington and are a safe pick to win in regulation.
Ducks vs Lightning
Both the Anaheim Ducks and Tampa Bay Lightning are stuck in funks as they face off tonight in Florida. Anaheim is 2-11-4 since the beginning of March and Tampa Bay, surprisingly, has lost five of six. With the Boston Bruins right on their heels, the Lightning must keep winning to avoid the Wild Card.
The Lightning are huge home favorites on the BetUS sportsbook and should cruise to a win. Take them on the puck line and parlay it with the over.
Islanders vs Penguins
Despite their playoff hopes being essentially at zero right now, the New York Islanders have played great hockey and they will look to sweep a home-and-home with the slumping Pittsburgh Penguins. Pittsburgh has lost five of six, including their 5-4 shootout loss to New York on Tuesday.
Pittsburgh, as the home team, is a solid favorite here. Even with the Penguins’ struggles, they should put up a good performance with Tristan Jarry likely back in goal.
Red Wings vs Hurricanes
Fresh off a huge win over the New York Rangers to maintain first place in the Metropolitan, the Carolina Hurricanes are back at home to take on the Detroit Red Wings. Carolina has won three of four as the Hurricanes look to hold off New York while Detroit has lost eight of 10.
Expectedly, Carolina is heavily favored at home against a cellar-dweller in the Red Wings. Even though the value on Carolina to cover on the puck line isn’t great, it’s still a smart bet and one you should parlay with the under, because of how good Frederik Andersen has been all year.
Oilers vs Predators
The Edmonton Oilers have cooled off a bit, losing back-to-back games after winning six in a row. They’ll have their hands full on Thursday against the Nashville Predators, who are currently the West’s top Wild Card team. It’ll be interesting to see how Edmonton’s usually explosive offense — which has mustered up just two goals in the last two Oilers games — does against star netminder Juuse Saros.
Nashville is a slight favorite but this game is essentially a tossup. If you’re betting online, you can’t go wrong with either side, however, Edmonton might be the better bet because the Oilers are too good to be held off the scoresheet for three games in a row. The over is a smart pick as well.
Wild vs Stars
The Minnesota Wild and Dallas Stars have each been better down the stretch of the season with Minnesota aiming for second place in the Central and Dallas trying to hold onto one of the two, Western Conference Wild Card spots. They’ve both won two straight, so Thursday’s meeting should be a pretty closely contested one.
The Wild are small road favorites, mostly due to how impressive Marc-Andre Fleury and Cam Talbot have played recently. Go with Minnesota straight-up or, if you’re looking for better value, take the Wild to win in regulation.
Sharks vs Blackhawks
One of these teams has to win! The San Jose Sharks (seven straight) and Chicago Blackhawks (eight straight) each enter tonight’s game on long-losing streaks. Something has to give.
San Jose is a slight favorite even on the road. If James Reimer is in net — he has been on the bench for the Sharks’ last two losses — go with San Jose on the moneyline and, if not, take the Blackhawks at plus-money.
Devils vs Avalanche
Good luck stopping the Colorado Avalanche, who now have 112 points and are on a seven-game winning streak. That tough task falls to the New Jersey Devils, winners of two straight, however, New Jersey is missing a ton of top skaters due to injury and has only four wins in the past month or so.
— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) April 14, 2022
Even though Colorado is at a rest disadvantage after crushing the Los Angeles Kings last night, the Avalanche are big home favorites and should easily dispatch the Devils. Take Colorado on the puck line and consider the over too.
Golden Knights vs Flames
The Calgary Flames are looking for their sixth straight win while coming in against the Vegas Golden Knights. Calgary is getting great goaltending from both Jacob Markstrom and Dan Vladar to go with consistent offensive production, led by 100-point man Johnny Gaudreau.
Vegas has lost two of three — both to the Vancouver Canucks — and is a sizable road underdog against Calgary. The Flames are the better team but Vegas has been solid since Robin Lehner’s return and the Golden Knights are a good enough value to take straight-up in an upset.
Coyotes vs Canucks
The Vancouver Canucks have won four games in a row – while their opponent on Thursday, the Arizona Coyotes, have lost four games in a row. At this point, Vancouver has to win every game and get a ton of help from the teams ahead of the Canucks for Bruce Boudreau’s squad to make a run at a Wild Card spot.
It makes sense why the Canucks are so heavily favored. Each loss on Arizona’s recent skid has been by four or five goals which is a sign that the Coyotes are just playing out the string. With Vancouver having so much to play for, you should take the Canucks to win by multiple goals on the puck line.