The Boston Bruins will have the services of defenseman and future Hall of Famer Zdeno Chara for at least one more season. The 42-year-old recently agreed to a one-year extension with the club. Currently playing in his 21st season, Chara ranks sixth in franchise history in games played. He’s a six-time All-Star. Here’s a look at two intriguing matchups early this week around the NHL. Check back for NHL odds.
Top NHL Betting Picks of the Week – March 25th Edition
“Fun to stand behind all those guys tonight, they really played hard.”Coach Colliton after tonight’s overtime win. #CHIvsCOL pic.twitter.com/JfeegqyzJ5 — Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) 25 de marzo de 2019
Chicago Blackhawks at Arizona Coyotes
- When: Tuesday, 10 PM ET (ESPN+)
Very important game for both teams as they chase one of the West’s two wild-card spots. As of now, both would miss the playoffs. The Arizona Coyotes have a much better chance than making it than Chicago does, although both are struggling. Probably be more Blackhawks fans in attendance than Coyotes fans for this one because the Phoenix area is full of Chicago natives this time of year.
The Chicago Blackhawks likely won’t have Drake Caggiula for this one as he didn’t even travel with the team over the weekend to Colorado. He’s dealing with a concussion. He has 11 goals and 18 points in 50 contests this season. Caggiula was acquired this season in a trade from Edmonton.
It’s the last meeting between these teams. Arizona won the first on Oct. 18 in Chicago, 4-1. Arizona’s Vinnie Hinostroza scored twice against his former team, Antti Raanta made 33 saves. Clayton Keller had a goal and an assist and Lawson Crouse also scored for the Coyotes. Corey Crawford took the loss. Erik Gustafsson scored Chicago’s only goal.
The clubs last played March 11 also in Chicago and the Hawks rolled 7-1. Brendan Perlini scored three goals against his former team for the 22-year-old’s first career hat trick. Perlini has been playing really well on a line with Dylan Strome, who joined him in a trade from Arizona on Nov. 25, 2018, for center Nick Schmaltz (now out for the season injured). Strome also has been great since the trade. Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Brandon Saad, and Chris Kunitz also scored for Chicago, and Crawford made 24 saves. Darcy Kuemper started for Arizona but was replaced by Calvin Pickard after giving up four goals on 16 shots. Pickard blocked 15 of 18 shots.
Vegas Golden Knights at Colorado Avalanche
- When: Wednesday, 10 PM ET (NBC Sports Network)
The Vegas Golden Knights should safely make the playoffs, while the Avalanche is fighting for a wild-card spot so it’s more important for them. Avs star Nathan MacKinnon has broken Joe Sakic’s franchise record for shots in a season, which was 339. Alexander Kerfoot is having his best year. He has 10th multi-point games and a career-high 25 assists this season, surpassing his previous high of 24 from his rookie campaign in 2017-18.
The Colorado Avalance have scored 98 times in the final frame this season, a new single-season Avalanche record (since 1995-96) for third-period scoring (1996-97, 96 goals). Colorado is 7-2-1 in its last 10 contests at Pepsi Center. Colorado remains without All-Star forward Gabriel Landeskog. He was originally ruled out 4-6 weeks on March 8 with an upper-body injury. Landeskog, 26, has recorded career highs this season with 33 goals, including nine game-winners, and 69 points.
Landeskog may be able to return earlier than expected, per coach Jared Bednar. He said that was a possibility following Saturday’s 4-2 win over Chicago. Landeskog looked fairly healthy after the contest when he was spotted walking around without a visible arm/shoulder support for his injury. He resumed skating last week.
Vegas has been playing as well as any team in the West since late February but does enter the week off a 3-2 OT loss to Detroit, snapping the Knights’ four-game winning streak. Top netminder Marc-Andre Fleury missed that with a lower-body injury. He might be back for this one, though. He’s 35-19-5 with a 2.46 GAA and .914 save percentage. Winger William Carrier returned Saturday after missing five weeks with an upper-body injury. Carrier is fourth in the NHL in hits with 258, and only 27 hits behind the leader Ryan Reaves despite playing at least 25 games less than the top three.
Last meeting between these teams, with them having split the first two. The one in Denver was a 3-0 Avalanche win on Feb. 18. Andrew Agozzino scored his first NHL goal and added an assist, Semyon Varlamov stopped 40 shots. Agozzino pushed a shot past Malcolm Subban off a pass from Landeskog. It gave Colorado a 2-0 advantage in the second period. The assist marked the 400th career point for Landeskog. Tyson Jost and Matt Calvert also scored for the Avs. Varlamov was brilliant all night, with little traffic screening his vision. He had 15 saves in the third period.
Expert NHL Betting Picks
Take Avalanche and Blackhawks.