The current heavy odds favorites to win the Stanley Cup this June are the Tampa Bay Lightning, who are dominating the league. Be aware that the NHL trade deadline is Monday afternoon, so some futures odds could change depending on what happens. Tampa Bay, though, will remain the clear-cut leader. Here are two interesting matchups this week. Check back for the latest NHL Odds.
Top NHL Betting Picks of the Week – February 25th Edition
Marchand: “Great [bleep] play.” Bergeron: “I love you, bud.” Marchand: “I love you.”Watch Bergy go mic’d up vs. L.A. on the day he was honored for his 1,000th NHL game on the latest #BehindTheB, pres. by @Ticketmaster. 📺 Full Episode: https://t.co/Y7cTete1QF pic.twitter.com/jOltcKC3SB — Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) 24 de febrero de 2019
San Jose Sharks at Boston Bruins
- When: Tuesday, 7 PM ET (NHL Center Ice)
Stanley Cup Finals preview? Not impossible, as Boston could be the East’s second-best team after Tampa Bay, while the West is fairly wide open and the Sharks could come out of there.
These teams just played Feb. 18 in San Jose and the Bruins won a great game, 6-5 in overtime. After blowing an early three-goal lead, the Bruins trailed 5-4 with 1:49 left in the game when Chris Wagner tied it. The Sharks said Wagner should have been called for high sticking in front of the net just before he slipped the puck past Sharks goalie Martin Jones. Charlie McAvoy won it with 1:01 left in OT. The Sharks lost despite Joe Thornton’s fifth career hat trick. Thornton’s hat trick was his first since Oct. 27, 2010, against the New Jersey Devils. Thornton’s first two hat tricks came when he was playing for Boston, the team with which he spent his first eight seasons.
The Bruins might be a bit perturbed for this rematch because their seven-game winning streak was snapped on Saturday in St. Louis, 2-1 in a shootout. Sammy Blais scored in the sixth round of the shootout. Wagner scored for the Bruins, who did at least earn a point for the 13th consecutive game. Tuukka Rask made 28 saves. His record now stands at 20-8-5 in 2018-19.
Boston RW David Pastrnak missed his sixth consecutive game with a thumb injury and won’t play here. Pastrnak fell and injured his thumb following a sponsorship dinner, which resulted in a procedure on Feb. 12. Will Torey Krug? Not looking great as he suffered a lower-body injury in the loss to the Blues. He suffered the injury late in regulation and was kept out of the overtime period as a precaution. However, head coach Bruce Cassidy does not believe the injury to be serious. The 27-year-old blueliner has six goals and 43 points in 51 games.
Will the Sharks have star defenseman Erik Karlsson? He missed Sunday’s game against Detroit with a groin injury suffered Saturday. He’s being called day-to-day. Probably will be Martin Jones in net. He’s 29-12-5 with a 2.92 goals-against-average and a .897 save percentage.
Tampa Bay Lightning at New York Rangers
- When: Wednesday, 7:30 PM ET (NBC Sports Network)
New York is in full rebuild mode and, frankly, trying to tank. The team traded one of its best players, winger Mats Zuccarello, to the Dallas Stars on Saturday.
In exchange, New York got two conditional draft picks: a second-rounder in 2019 and a third-round pick in 2020. The second-rounder becomes a first-round pick if the Stars make the third round of the playoffs and Zuccarello plays in at least 50 percent of the team’s cumulative games over the first two rounds. Zuccarello, 31, had 11 goals and 26 assists in 46 games this season, warming up after a slow start. He was a huge fan-favorite.
The Rangers enter off a 6-5 OT loss at Washington on Sunday. Henrik Lundqvist allowed all six goals on 35 shots. It was another rough outing for Lundqvist, who has one victory in his last seven outings. The Rangers battled back from 3-1 and 5-3 deficits to force overtime, but the Capitals scored late in OT.
Brady Skjei scored a pair of goals in the loss. Skjei scored late in the second period and he tied the game in the final minute of the third period to force overtime. He has tallied six goals and 17 points in 58 games this season. The Rangers sat both defenseman Adam McQuaid and center Kevin Hayes because both might be traded before Monday afternoon’s trade deadline.
The Lightning, meanwhile, has been so dominant it would now be upset if they don’t win the Cup. They enter the week (hosted Kings Monday) on a seven-game winning streak and are going to lead the league in points by a mile. Nikita Kucherov is running away with the scoring title as well. He has 30 goals and a league-leading 100 points. It’s the fourth straight season that the Russian winger has scored at least 30 goals and he is the first player in franchise history to record multiple 100+ point seasons.
This is the last meeting of the season between these teams, with Tampa leading 2-0.
Expert NHL Betting Predictions
Back Bruins and the Lightning – Tampa on the goal line for more value.