Don’t be surprised if the Florida Panthers make a trade for a goaltender soon. That’s because No. 1 netminder Roberto Luongo will miss an extended period of time with a lower-body injury. They never tell you specific injury details in the NHL. Backup James Reimer hasn’t been consistent this season and has failed to take the starter’s reins in Florida and run with them. Here are two interesting games on the NHL betting picks this week – both on Tuesday. Check back for for the latest odds & lines for NHL, exclusively at MyBookie.
Top NHL Betting Picks & Predictions of the Week – December 11th
The @LAKings reign supreme on this week’s power rankings.
— NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) December 9, 2017
Tampa Bay Lightning at St. Louis Blues
When: Tuesday, 8 PM ET (NBC Sports Network)
Potential Stanley Cup Finals preview? Could be. The Lightning are atop the Atlantic Division and the Blues lead the Central. However, St. Louis will not be at full strength for a while. That’s because forward Jaden Schwartz is going to miss a significant chunk of time with an ankle injury.
Schwartz won’t even be evaluated for six weeks after blocking a shot off his right ankle in a 6-1 rout of the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday. He was injured blocking a shot by Red Wings defenseman Mike Green in the first period. Schwartz immediately fell to the ground and tried to crawl off the ice, finally being helped off by teammates after play had been whistled dead. Initial X-rays were negative, but Schwartz had an MRI on his return to St. Louis which found the injury.
Through 30 games, the 25-year-old had 14 goals and 35 points, placing him second on the Blues, behind Brayden Schenn, and ninth in league-wide scoring, tied with Connor McDavid. Schwartz’s plus-23 rating is second in the league. Schwartz was named the NHL’s third star for October, after posting eight goals and nine assists. His linemate, Schenn, was named the third star for November.
The line of Schwartz, Schenn and Alexander Steen has been one of the NHL’s best this year. Ankle injuries aren’t new for Schwartz as during the 2015-16 season, he was limited to just 33 games after sustaining a broken ankle in practice. The team has recalled forward Ivan Barbashev from AHL Chicago to take Schwartz’s roster spot.
Will the Blues have defenseman Alex Pietrangelo on Tuesday?
That remains to be seen. He took a puck to the foot on Saturday as well. Pietrangelo is day to day and will try to skate on Monday. “We’ll see how that goes,” Coach Mike Yeo said.
The Bolts and Blues won’t play again this season after this game unless it’s in the Finals. Tampa beat St. Louis 2-1 on Oct. 14. Nikita Kucherov and Tyler Johnson scored for Tampa. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 28 saves. Vladimir Tarasenko had the Blues goal and Jake Allen stopped 25 shots. St. Louis had a power play over the game’s final 49.6 seconds when Kucherov received a high-sticking penalty but was stymied by Vasilevskiy, who had several saves.
Carolina Hurricanes at Vegas Golden Knights
When: Tuesday, 10 PM ET (FSS/AT&TSN)
The success of the expansion Vegas Golden Knights is made all the more remarkable as arguably the best player the team got in the expansion draft, goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, has barely played due to injury. That should change, Tuesday, however.
After nearly two months and 25 missed games, Fleury is expected to make his return to the lineup on Tuesday after being pulled off injured reserve on Sunday. Fleury hasn’t played since Oct. 13 when Detroit Red Wings forward Anthony Mantha collided with the 33-year-old as he drove to the net. Fleury was shaken up on the play but saw it through, picking up his first loss of the season after allowing six goals on 27 shots. Fleury was solid in the crease in the four games he figured into, going 3-1-0 with a .925 save percentage and a 2.48 goals-against average.
The Golden Knights went 16-8-1 during Fleury’s absence. Backup Malcolm Subban is 7-2-0 with a 2.33 GAA and .924 save percentage in 10 appearances (nine starts) despite missing four weeks with a lower-body injury. Oscar Dansk was 3-0-0 with a 1.78 GAA and .946 save percentage in four appearances (three starts) before sustaining a lower-body injury on Oct. 30; he has not played since. Maxime Lagace, who was assigned to Chicago of the American Hockey League to make room for Fleury, was 6-6-1 in 14 games (13 starts), with a 3.79 GAA and .872 save percentage after being called up on Oct. 22.
Who Will Be the Goalie for Carolina?
It should be former Blackhawks Scott Darling in net for Carolina. He lost six of his last seven starts for Carolina. Darling’s record is now 7-8-6 with a 2.70 goals-against-average and a .900 save percentage.
You may not be aware of it, but the Hurricanes are in the process of being sold. Dallas billionaire Tom Dundon has signed a purchase agreement to buy a majority stake in the team from longtime owner Peter Karmanos. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the team would not move even though it doesn’t draw well.
This is the first-ever meeting between the Hurricanes and Golden Knights.
Expert Predictions & NHL Betting Picks of the Week
The Knights will be fired up with Fleury likely back so they win on the road. Take the Lightning on the road as well.