The Florida Panthers put goaltender Roberto Luongo on injured reserve Sunday, one day after a right knee injury knocked the veteran out of his team’s season-opening loss at the Tampa Bay Lightning. Luongo is going to miss at least a week. James Reimer will likely start Florida’s home opener Thursday against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Here’s a look at two other interesting NHL matchups this week. Check back for MyBookie Sportsbook odds.
Top NHL Betting Picks of the Week – October 8th Edition
🎥 Gallant: If we would’ve lost last night, I would’ve been disappointed but the way we played the game, I wouldn’t be upset today. pic.twitter.com/EtF1LPgPp1— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) 8 de octubre de 2018
Vegas Golden Knights at Washington Capitals
- When: Wednesday, 8 PM ET (NBC Sports Network)
It’s one of the marquee games of the regular season as the Golden Knights and Capitals play for the first time since last season’s Stanley Cup Finals. Washington brought home the first Cup in franchise history by taking Game 5 in Las Vegas, 4-3, on Lars Eller’s tiebreaking goal with 7:37 to play. It was Washington’s fourth straight win in the series after dropping the opener. The Caps became their city’s first champion in a major pro sport since the Redskins won the Super Bowl in early 1992. Superstar Alex Ovechkin was named Conn Smythe Trophy winner as playoff MVP.
The Caps are without forward Tom Wilson as he has suspended 20 games last week for his hit on Blues forward Oskar Sundqvist. It’s the fourth suspension for Wilson since last September — a span of 105 games — including a three-game ban in the 2018 postseason. The 20-game ban is the longest for the NHL since the 41-game ban for San Jose Sharks forward Raffi Torres on Oct. 3, 2015, for a hit to the head of Ducks winger Jakob Silfverberg. Like Wilson, Torres had been a repeat offender, but his suspensions were nowhere near as frequent. The Department of Player Safety said it had no formula for a player who had been suspended this often in the modern era, including just 16 games between suspensions.
The NHLPA is appealing the suspension. Maybe Wilson gets it knocked down. It will be the seventh appeal commissioner Gary Bettman will hear since 2012. He upheld bans of 10 games for Antoine Vermette in 2017, 20 for Dennis Wideman in 2016 and 15 games for Shawn Thornton and 10 games for Patrick Kaleta in 2013. He reduced Daniel Carcillo’s 10-game suspension to six in 2014 and Torres’ 25-game suspension to 21 in 2012.
The Caps will be well-rested as they haven’t played since Thursday’s 7-6 overtime loss to Pittsburgh. Braden Holtby made 34 saves on 41 shots faced. After earning a shutout in the season opener on Wednesday night, Holtby got the nod once more and allowed seven goals throughout regulation and 1:20 of overtime. Holtby now owns a 3.45 GAA and a .894 save percentage through two games this regular season.
Vegas started a five-game road trip Saturday with a 2-1 shootout win in Minnesota but the team is a bit banged up. Winger Alex Tuch is on the mend from a lower-body injury, but his return to the lineup isn’t imminent. Coach Gerard Gallant said: “He’s getting better too … but I’m not going to say he’s going to meet us or not meet us (on the road trip).” Tuch has already missed the first two games of the season. Center Cody Eakin also missed the first two with a lower-body injury.
LA Kings at Montreal Canadiens
- When: Thursday, 7:30 PM ET (NHL Center Ice)
It’s the lone trip of the season to Montreal for the Kings, who likely won’t have star goaltender Jonathan Quick available as he has been placed on injured reserve. Quick sustained a lower-body injury during Saturday’s practice and he is undergoing further evaluation.
Quick, the 2012 Conn Smythe Trophy winner during the Kings’ first Stanley Cup-winning season and two-time Jennings Trophy winner for fewest goals allowed during the regular season, saved 30 of 33 shots in a 3-2 overtime loss to San Jose in the season opener on Friday.
Quick has won at least 33 games in six of 12 seasons in the NHL, including three of the past four seasons. Jack Campbell slides into the No. 1 role with Peter Budaj called up from the minors to serve as his backup. Budaj was acquired in an offseason trade that sent Andy Andreoff to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Montreal will be well rested as it hasn’t played since the 5-1 win in Pittsburgh on Saturday. Paul Byron scored a couple of goals and picked up an assist. Carey Price stopped 21 of 22 shots. Days after giving the Toronto Maple Leafs trouble, the Habs walked into Pittsburgh and dictated the tempo and play and came away with a much-deserved victory, limiting the Penguins to just three shots in the final period.
The win has moved Price ahead of Dan Bouchard and Jose Theodore for 39th all-time on the NHL’s wins list with 287. Price has a 1-0-1 record so far this season with a 1.98 goals-against-average and .917 save percentage.
The Canadiens look like a completely different team from last year so far.
Expert NHL Betting Picks
Take Capitals and Canadiens.