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Blues visit Red Wings as road favorites at the sportsbooks on Wednesday

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The St. Louis Blues typically fare well in the front end of back-to-back games, but will be short-staffed when they face the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday. The Blues are listed as the -130 betting favorite against the +100 Red Wings with a 5.5-goal total in their Wednesday matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

St. Louis should be refreshed by a three-day break, but will be without top-line center Paul Stastny, whose responsibilities include taking many faceoffs in special teams situations. The Blues are 7-3 in their last 10 games that were the front end of back-to-back contests, according to the OddsShark.com NHL Database. They are also 7-2 in their last nine road games.

The Red Wings have sank to the bottom of the Eastern Conference with 22-24-10 record that includes being 2-5 since the all-star break, and an 1-4 mark in their last five outings on home ice at Joe Louis Arena. Their hopes of a 26th consecutive playoff appearance appear to be slim and none.

Forward Henrik Zetterberg has done everything he can to try to make a young team better. The Red Wings have maintained a reliable penalty kill and depending on which version of goalie Petr Mrazek they get, can surprise teams on a given night.

The Blues are 29-22-5 overall, including a 5-1 mark since Mike Yeo took over as head coach. The shake-up behind the bench began roughly around the same time that goaltender Jake Allen found his form. The Blues have won in four of Allen’s last five starts, during which the goaltender has a 1.40 goals-against average and .953 save percentage.

Stastny, who is on injured reserve, will be missed. He normally flanks RW Vladimir Tarasenko, who is St. Louis’ leader in goals and points. Jaden Schwartz will likely draw in as the Blues’ top center between Tarasenko and Alexander Steen.

Since January 2016, the Blues are 8-2 in road games against Atlantic Division teams.

The total has gone under six of the last seven times the Blues were playing on the road in the first of back-to-back games. The total has also gone under in seven of the Red Wings’ last nine regular-season home games against St. Louis, dating back to the 2011-12 season.

However, the total has gone over in five of St. Louis’ last six road games against the Atlantic Division.

Capitals betting favorites, hosting Blackhawks on Wednesday night

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With their star forwards skating together again, the Washington Capitals and Alex Ovechkin are back to winning ways.

The Capitals are a -135 moneyline favorite with the Chicago Blackhawks coming back at -122 and a 5.5-goal total for Wednesday’s game at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Washington is 5-1 in its last six games, and the total was 6.0 or more in four of those six contests. The Blackhawks have lost four in a row coming into this inter-conference matchup.

Chicago is 12-10-5 on the season, which includes a decent 4-3-3 record as an underdog and 6-5-3 on the road. Goalie Corey Crawford is on injured reserve, which means backup Anton Forsberg is expected to start, which is a dicey proposition for a team that is allowing 33.7 shots per game, third-highest in the NHL.

One reason to believe that the Blackhawks might have some spark is that coach Joel Quenneville is shaking up his lines, as most recently RW Patrick Kane and LW Artem Anisimov are flanking Brandon Saad, while captain Jonathan Toews has new linemates. Chicago’s hot hand is rookie Alex DeBrincat, who has 10 goals in 15 games in a role that shields him from facing opponents’ top defense pairing.

Washington is 16-11-1 on the season including an 11-8 record as a favorite and a 10-5 home record at Verizon Center. Ovechkin has six goals over his last five games since being reunited with C Nicklas Backstrom. Washington will not have RW T.J. Oshie (upper body injury) in the lineup, C Evgeny Kuznetsov also has a hot stick with three goals in four games.

A red flag in this matchup comes on special teams. Washington’s power play is a lethal 37.5 percent over its last 10 games, and the Chicago penalty kill is a below-standard 62.5%. Everything evens out in hockey, but that sample would seem to favor the Capitals.

It is too early in the long haul of the 82-game NHL regular season to read too much into statistics, but defensively the Capitals and G Braden Holtby have one of the biggest home/road splits in their goals-against average – a tidy 2.27 at home when coach Barry Trotz has the last player change, and an unsightly 3.85 on the road.

The total has gone under in seven of Chicago’s last nine games as an underdog on the road, according to the OddsShark NHL Database. The total has gone under in six of Washington’s last 10 games as a favorite at home.

 

Streaking Rangers Road Underdogs Against Blackhawks for Wednesday

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Patrick Kane and Chicago Blackhawks have some trends which bode well for them cooling off the New York Rangers when the teams meet on Wednesday night.

The Blackhawks are a -130 home-ice favorite with the Rangers coming back at +118 in their matchup on Wednesday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The total is at 6.0 goals. The Rangers are 6-0 in their last six games while the Blackhawks are 1-4 in their last five home outings. However, Chicago is a dominant 8-2 in their 10 most recent games against Metropolitan Division opponents.

The Rangers, who are 9-7-2 this season, have been scoring goals on the regular thanks in large part to a fast-paced style of play. Games with a total of 6.0 have gone over the majority of the time so far this season in the NHL. New York is averaging 4.25 goals over its last eight games, and its power play, quarterbacked by defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, is on a hot streak at 8-for-19 in the last six games.

Having skilled forwards such as Mika Zibanejad, J.T. Miller and Pavel Buchnevich means the Rangers should not be starved for quality scoring chances. Goalie Henrik Lundqvist typically plays well against Chicago, with a 6-2-2 record, 2.19 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage.

The Rangers are 2-5 in their last seven road games as the underdog.

The Blackhawks, 8-8-2 on the season, had an ugly 7-5 loss against the New Jersey Devils in their most recent game. But Kane broke a goal drought in that game and rookie Alex DeBrincat is also on a hot streak with three in the past two contests. Chicago is also a strong bounce-back team that is 12-4 in its last 16 games after a game where it scored five goals.

The upshot of that aforementioned loss is that Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville will likely shake up his lines, and those adjustments often create a short-term gain for teams.

Chicago goalie Corey Crawford did not complete the game against New Jersey, but he has a good track record against the Rangers with a .921 save percentage in six career games.

The total has gone under in six of the Rangers’ last 10 games, with one push, according to the OddsShark NHL Database. The total has also gone under in six of the Blackhawks’ last 10 games, with one push. The total has gone under in five of the Blackhawks’ last seven home games as the favorite.