If you happen to get Sportsnet out of Canada, there will be a historic telecast on that network this Sunday as part of International Women’s Day. An all-female broadcast team in Canada will cover the matchup between the Calgary Flames and Vegas Golden Knights. That’s a first. Play-by-play announcer Leah Hextall, game analyst Cassie Campbell-Pascall and reporter Christine Simpson are on the call. Here’s a look at two early-week games around the league. Check back for Mybookie NHL odds.
Top NHL Betting Picks of the Week 23
Blues vs Rangers
- When: Tuesday, 7 PM ET (ESPN+)
The defending Stanley Cup champion Blues are in good position to finish with the most points in the Western Conference so they will get a chance to repeat. The Rangers, meanwhile, are battling for a Wild-Card spot in the East as they look to avoid missing the playoffs again.
The Blues enter on a seven-game winning streak. They beat visiting Dallas 4-3 in a shootout on Saturday. Ryan O’Reilly scored the only goal in the shootout. David Perron, Tyler Bozak and Brayden Schenn, who scored in his fourth straight game, had goals for the Blues. Jake Allen (10-6-3) made 28 saves for the Blues and turned aside all three shootout attempts, winning for the second time in four starts.
St. Louis has a seven-game winning streak for the second time this season. In addition, the Blues won eight straight in December. During their current streak, the Blues have outscored opponents 26-12.
New York’s playoff chances have been hurt with a two-game skid – both to the Flyers. It was 5-3 at home on Sunday. Mika Zibanejad scored two power-play goals in the loss. Zibanejad now has a career-high 32 goals on the season. However, the Rangers’ offense got off to a slow start in their first full game since forward Chris Kreider broke his foot while blocking a shot in the first period of Friday’s loss in Philadelphia
These teams met in St. Louis on Jan. 11 and the Blues rolled 5-2. David Perron, Robert Bortuzzo, Vince Dunn, Zach Sanford and Jaden Schwartz scored for the Blues – at the time, it was their eighth straight home win. Perron blasted a one-timer past Henrik Lundqvist early in the second period for a 3-1 lead. Jordan Binnington made 21 saves. Filip Chytil and Brett Howden scored for the Rangers. New York jumped in front on Chytil’s goal just 94 seconds into the game. The Rangers still have earned at least one point in eight of their last 11 against St. Louis, dating to the start of the 2014-15 season.
Flyers vs Capitals
- When: Wednesday, 7 PM ET (NBC Sports Network)
Possible this could be a first-round playoff preview. Washington leads the Metropolitan Division, while the Flyers could finish as high as second in the division, get a Wild-Card spot or out of the postseason field altogether.
Philly is red hot, winning a sixth game in a row Sunday, 5-3 over the Rangers. Carter Hart stopped 23 of 26 shots. Hart has won his last five starts, but this was his first outing during that span when he surrendered more than two goals against. The 21-year-old is 22-12-3 on the year. Sean Couturier scored a power-play goal in the win. He was a game-time decision going because of an illness. Couturier is up to 21 goals and 58 points on the year.
This wraps the season series between the teams with the Flyers leading 2-1. They won the last game in an upset 7-2 in Washington on Feb. 8. It might have been Philly’s best effort of the year. Claude Giroux recorded three points to reach 800 for his career, Sean Couturier scored twice and Brian Elliott made 25 saves. Michael Raffl, Couturier and James van Riemsdyk scored three times on four shots in 1:45 of the second to break the game open. Caps goalie Braden Holtby was largely hung out to dry in allowing seven goals on 25 shots before a mercy pull in the third. T.J. Oshie scored a first-period power-play goal, but that was the extent of the Capitals’ meaningful offensive output.
NHL Week 23 Expert Picks
Rangers 3, Blues 2/Capitals 4, Flyers 3