No team has been more active in the trade market this season than the disappointing Chicago Blackhawks, and they were at it again over the weekend in sending defenseman Jan Rutta to Tampa Bay. The Bolts also got a 2019 seventh-round draft pick from Chicago in exchange for defenseman Slater Koekkoek and a fifth-round selection in this year’s draft. Here’s a look at two intriguing NHL matchups this week. Check back for NHL odds.
Top NHL Betting Picks of the Week – January 14th Edition
LA Kings at Minnesota Wild
- When: Tuesday, 8 PM ET (NBC Sports Network)
The Kings sit last in the Pacific Division but at least enter the week on a good note following a 5-2 home win over Pittsburgh on Saturday. Anze Kopitar notched a shorthanded goal and an empty-net goal. Hard to believe, but it was Kopitar’s first multi-goal game of the season, and his first with two or more goals since he lit the lamp four times in Denver against the Avalanche on March 22, 2018. He also posted a game-winning goal for the first time since Nov. 25 against the Edmonton Oilers.
Jeff Carter posted a goal with two assists and a plus-2 rating. Carter’s three-point game tied a season-best since Oct. 11 in Montreal when he also had a goal and two assists. It was his best production in front of the home fans since he had a hat trick against the Arizona Coyotes on March 29, 2018. It has been a trying season for Carter, who has nine goals and 22 points but a dismal minus-13 rating.
Jonathan Quick allowed two goals on 40 shots for his 301st NHL victory. Quick tied former New York Rangers backstop Mike Richter for fourth place on the all-time NHL list among United States-born goaltenders.
Minnesota lost 5-2 at home to Detroit on Saturday. Devan Dubnyk allowed all five goals on 37 shots. He was given a 2-1 lead. Dubynk was tormented by both Tyler Bertuzzi and Thomas Vanek, with the first getting a hat trick and the latter a two-goal night. Dubnyk’s four-game winning streak has snapped. His record fell to 17-15-3 with a 2.62 goals-against-average and a .914 save percentage.
Coach Bruce Boudreau was not happy after as he called out top players such as Eric Staal and Mikael Granlund. After being remarkable since signing with the Wild (including a surprising 42[!] goals and 76 points last season), Staal’s been limited to 27 points in 43 games.
“If your best players aren’t your best players, you’re not going to win a game,” Boudreau said. “It’s as simple as that.” The Wild are 2-0 vs. the Kings this season, winning 4-1 on Oct. 25 at home and 3-1 on Nov. 8 in LA. Zach Parise had a goal and an assist to reach 700 career points in that one. Dubnyk made 27 saves.
- Goals: Kings 2.28 / Wild 2.82
- Shots: Kings 28.26 / Wild 31.05
- PP/PK Percentage: Kings 14.29 / Wild 22.05
- Goals: Kings 2.96 / Wild 2.84
- Shots: Kings 31.41 / Wild 29.64
- PP/PK Percentage: Kings 26.47 / Wild 15.27
Boston Bruins at Philadelphia Flyers
- When: Wednesday, 7:30 PM ET (NBC Sports Network)
Boston enters the week having won six of seven following an impressive 3-2 win in Toronto on Saturday. Tuukka Rask allowed two goals on 29 shots.
Rask didn’t have much of a chance on Andreas Johnsson’s goal after the puck bounced around right in front of him before sneaking through. However, Rask might have been able to do better on Marner’s power-play goal had he not gone down so early. Rask did show up in the final period, making several big stops to come away with the victory. The Finnish goaltender’s record is 13-8-2 with a 2.41 goals-against-average and a .921 save percentage.
Sean Kuraly registered one goal and two assists in the win. Kuraly had the primary assists on goals by David Krejci and David Pastrnak, which held as the game-winner. He also scored his fifth goal of the season during the second period, which tied the game at 2-2. Kuraly has chipped in 13 points in 44 matches this season.
The Flyers have lost 10 of 12 following Saturday’s 3-2 defeat in New Jersey. James Van Riemsdyk and Sean Couturier scored for Philadelphia. Carter Hart gave the Flyers a chance, making 23 saves. The Flyers are the fourth team in NHL history to use seven goaltenders in one season. Couturier has 34 points in 43 games this season and after a poor start in which he picked up only three points in his first 11 games.
Boston leads the season series 1-0, winning 3-0 at home on Oct. 25. Zdeno Chara scored twice, and Jaroslav Halak stopped 26 shots. Chara gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead 13 minutes into the second period and added an empty-netter with 23 seconds left. Jake DeBrusk also scored for the Bruins, who improved to 6-0-2 in their last eight against Philadelphia and 9-0-1 in the last 10 meetings in Boston.
Brian Elliott kept Philadelphia close with 22 saves, but the punchless Flyers couldn’t capitalize on the few chances they had to beat Halak. Philadelphia’s frustration boiled over in the third period when the Flyers hurt their own chances to rally with six penalties.
- Goals: Bruins 2.91 / Flyers 2.73
- Shots: Bruins 32.96 / Flyers 31.60
- PP/PK Percentage: Bruins 27.78 / Flyers 12.78
- Goals: Bruins 2.58 / Flyers 3.56
- Shots: Bruins 31.18 / Flyers 30.09
- PP/PK Percentage: Bruins 19.08 / Flyers 23.61
Expert NHL Betting Predictions
Go Wild and Bruins.