Top NHL Betting Picks & Predictions of the Week - February 12th Edition

Top NHL Betting Picks & Predictions of the Week – February 12th Edition

Written by on February 12, 2018

There was some history made in the NHL on Sunday as Sidney Crosby, obviously a first-ballot Hall of Famer, scored his 400th career goal in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ game against the St. Louis Blues. Crosby muscled a shot past Blues goaltender Jake Allen from the left side of the net, ending a 10-game goal-less streak. Crosby is just the third Penguins player to reach the 400-goal mark, joining Jaromir Jagr (439) and Mario Lemieux (690). Here are two interesting NHL matchups this week. Check back for the latest NHL betting lines at our online sportsbook.

Top NHL Betting Picks & Predictions of the Week – February 12th Edition

Tampa Bay at Buffalo

When: Tuesday, 7 PM ET (NHL Center Ice, Sun, MSGB) You probably shouldn’t be backing the Buffalo Sabres as it is as they have been huge disappointments with the second-fewest points in the NHL – only tanking Arizona has fewer. Now you really should fade the Sabres as they have lost their best player, Jack Eichel, for 4-6 weeks due to a high-ankle sprain. Eichel was hurt in Saturday’s 4-2 upset win in Boston. The injury occurred while Eichel was attempting to play the puck behind the Bruins net. He was checked from behind by Boston’s Matt Grzelcyk and fell awkwardly into the boards. Eichel leads Buffalo with 22 goals and 53 points in 55 games in his third season since being selected with the No. 2 pick in the 2015 draft. He particularly found an offensive groove as of late. In 29 games since the beginning of December, Eichel had totaled 34 points (15 goals, 19 assists), ranking in the top 10 in the NHL during that stretch. Eichel became the franchise’s highest-paid player after signing an eight-year, $80 million contract extension in October. That kicks in next season.  Eichel missed seven weeks with a left ankle sprain last year. This is to his right ankle.

What Does the Team Say About the Injury?

“It’s an injury where you don’t want to force it,” teammate and roommate Sam Reinhart said. “He knows that. He’s fully aware of that, so I think he’s going to have a better sense this year of what he needs to do to get himself back and ready to play.” The Lightning are battling for the Presidents’ Trophy, which goes to the team with the most regular-season points in the NHL. The Bolts will be in the second of a back-to-back here as they were to visit Toronto on Monday. So perhaps No. 1 goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy could sit this one out if he plays Monday. The Vezina Trophy candidate is 33-10-2 with a 2.29 GAA and a .929 save percentage. This is the second meeting between the teams. Tampa won in Buffalo on Nov. 28, 2-0. Vasilevskiy made 34 saves and the Lightning got goals from defensemen Mikhail Sergachev and Dan Girardi. Robin Lehner stopped 24 shots for the Sabres.

New York Rangers at NY Islanders

When: Thursday, 7 PM ET (NHL Center Ice, MSG) It’s the battle of New York as both these clubs battle for a playoff spot – it’s quite possible that all three New York City area teams, including the New Jersey Devils, miss out on the postseason. The Rangers are a very good team at home but a disaster on the road. Many are surprised the Rangers haven’t fired Coach Alain Vigneault yet. With the team struggling, it’s likely that Rick Nash and Michael Grabner, both with expiring contracts, will be dealt before the trade deadline, which is the end of this month. Recently, GM Jeff Gorton and president Glen Sather wrote a letter to season-ticket holders basically waiving the white flag on this season. It read in part: “As we approach the trade deadline later this month and into the summer, we will be focused on adding young, competitive players that combine speed, skill and character. This may mean we lose some familiar faces, guys we all care about and respect. While this is part of the game, it’s never easy.”

How Are the Islanders Looking Like These Days?

Are the Islanders a safe bet on Thursday night? The Islanders are a good offensive team but haven’t gotten great goaltending. The Islanders lead the season series 2-0. They won 4-3 in a shootout at Madison Square Garden on Oct.19. Star John Tavares got the deciding goal in the shootout, beating the Rangers for the eighth time in the last nine games. Anders Lee, Brock Nelson and Mathew Barzal scored in regulation, and Jaroslav Halak stopped 38 shots. David Desharnais, Mats Zuccarello and Kevin Hayes scored, and Henrik Lundqvist finished with 35 saves for the Rangers. On Jan. 13, the Islanders won 7-2 also on the road. Mathew Barzal had two goals and three assists, Anthony Beauvillier added two goals and an assist. Shane Prince, Thomas Hickey and Cal Clutterbuck also scored. Jordan Eberle had four assists in the Isles’ highest scoring game of the season, and Halak stopped 37 shots. Kevin Hayes and Mika Zibanejad scored for the Rangers.  Ondrej Pavelec was pulled in the second period after giving up five goals on 19 shots, and Lundqvist finished with 16 saves.

Expert NHL Betting Predictions of the Week

The Lightning handle the Sabres even if Tampa uses its backup goalie, while the Islanders continue their mastery of the Rangers.