Top NHL Betting Picks & Predictions of the Week - February 26th

Top NHL Betting Picks & Predictions of the Week – February 26th

Written by on February 26, 2018

The NHL’s trade deadline was Monday, so some teams’ futures odds could change a bit depending on any big moves. For example, the Boston Bruins added star sniper Rick Nash from the New York Rangers. Here are two hockey intriguing matchups this week to bet. Check back for the latest NHL betting lines on gameday.

Top NHL Betting Picks & Predictions of the Week – February 26th

New Jersey Devils at Pittsburgh Penguins

When: Tuesday, 7 PM ET (NHL Center Ice, TSN) The Devils made a big splash as they push for a playoff spot – they have missed each of the past five seasons — in landing winger Michael Grabner from the Rangers. New Jersey shipped defenseman prospect Yegor Rykov and a second-round pick in this year’s draft to New York. Grabner, set to become an unrestricted free agent after the season, was leading the Rangers 25 goals. He also had six assists. There have been only three players in the last 40 years to have a season with 25-plus goals and single-digit assists. Grabner is renowned for his speed, and he joined a team that loves to press the tempo. He has slotted on the Devils’ second line with center Pavel Zacha and winger Jesper Bratt. Believe it or not, that was the first-ever trade between the neighboring Devils and Rangers. The last time the Rangers made a deal with this Devils franchise was in November 1979, when they acquired Barry Beck from the then-Colorado Rockies. Pittsburgh also made a big move in landing Derick Brassard from Ottawa in a three-team deal that included Vegas. The Senators shipped Brassard to the Vegas Golden Knights so that they could retain 40 percent of his salary before shipping him off to Pittsburgh.

How Well Has Derick Bassard Done This Season?

Brassard has 18 goals and 38 points in 58 games this season and he’s expected to debut Tuesday with his new club. He likely will skate on the third line between Phil Kessel and Jake Guentzel. Brassard said he’s been familiar with Kessel since they squared off in the Under-18 World Championships more than a decade ago.  Brassard is known as a clutch player because he has 22 goals and 55 points in 78 playoff games since 2013. This is the second of four meetings between these teams this regular season. On Feb. 3, the Devils upset the visiting Penguins 3-1. Travis Zajac scored two goals and set up another as the Devils limited Pittsburgh to a season-low 16 shots. Blake Coleman also scored and Stefan Noesen had two assists for the Devils.  Keith Kinkaid made 15 saves and benefited from a goaltender interference call that denied Sidney Crosby a third-period goal. Evgeni Malkin had the Pittsburgh goal. Rookie goaltender Casey DeSmith made 35 saves. He’s back in the AHL now.

Calgary Flames at Colorado Avalanche

When: Wednesday, 9:30 PM ET (NHL Center Ice) Calgary remains without No. 1 goaltender Mike Smith as it pushes for a playoff spot. He’s dealing with a groin injury. He hasn’t played since Feb. 11 and it’s not yet clear when he will return. Smith was having a fine season with a 23-16-6 record, 2.53 goals against average and .921 save percentage. You will also want to monitor the status of winger Micheal Ferland for a while as he was out this weekend with an undisclosed injury.  He has 20 goals and 34 points in 61 games this season. These two teams just played Saturday in Calgary and the Flames won 5-1. Mikael Backlund scored a goal and registered two assists. It was Backlund’s second three-point game of the campaign, with his previous one coming on Jan. 12. Jon Gillies turned aside 28 of 29 shots in the win. Gillies was challenged early with 15 shots in the first period, but he escaped that frame with just one goal allowed. This was his second start of the 2017-18 campaign and he’s won both games.

What Else Happened in Their Last Encounter?

Are the Avalanche a safe bet this week? Nathan MacKinnon scored the Avalanche’s lone goal in the loss. It was MacKinnon’s 26th marker and 66th point in 53 games this season. Semyon Varlamov stopped 24 of 29 shots. Varlamov has struggled lately, allowing at least three goals in each of his last four games. Jonathan Bernier has largely played better than Varlamov this season, but Bernier’s out currently with a concussion. These teams met in Denver on Nov. 25 and Calgary won 3-2. Rookie David Rittich stopped 24 shots for his first career NHL win, and Micheal Ferland and Backlund scored in the final minute of the second period. Dougie Hamilton also scored, and Backlund added an assist for the Flames. Nikita Zadorov and Mikko Rantanen scored for the Avalanche, and Bernier stopped 25 shots.

Expert NHL Betting Predictions of the Week 

The Avalanche have been a much better team at home this year so take them vs. Calgary. Go Penguins over New Jersey.