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US Olympic women’s hockey player Anne Schleper retires

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) Olympic defender Anne Schleper retired from the U.S. women’s national hockey team program Wednesday.

The 27-year-old Schleper earned a silver medal in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and helped the United States win world titles in 2011, 2013 and 2015.

“I will forever cherish the dreams I accomplished with my teammates and the amazing journey we took together. I am so very proud to have been a part of Team USA and representing something greater than ourselves at all times,” Schleper said in a statement. “I’d like to thank my family, friends, everyone at USA Hockey, and those who supported me during the past 11 years.”

From St. Cloud, Minnesota, the former University of Minnesota star had six goals and 18 assists in 68 games for Team USA.

Bruins Solid Betting Favorites at Red Wings for Wednesday Night

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The Boston Bruins have had the Detroit Red Wings’ number recently, but there is a case for jumping on Detroit as a value pick that has improving puck luck on the way.

The Bruins are a -145 road betting favorite with the Red Wings coming back at +125, while the total is 5.5 goals in this matchup that takes place on Wednesday, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Boston is 8-1-1 (with six wins in regulation time) over its last 10 games against its Atlantic Division rival Detroit, according to the OddsShark NHL Database. Detroit also comes in scuffling with a 1-5-4 record across its last 10 games.

The Bruins had a slow start, but have corrected course and are 14-9-4 overall, including an 8-2-0 record in their last 10 games as well as a respectable 5-5-2 road record. Boston coach Bruce Cassidy has a full lineup, including the Patrice Bergeron-Brad Marchand-David Pastrnak first line and a No. 2 trio of center David Krejci between wings Jake DeBrusk and Anders Bjork. Boston has been a productive lot, going 4-1 in its last five road games.

Goalie Tuukka Rask will start for Boston, and he has been dialed in lately with a 1.55 goals-against average and a .940 save percentage. The Bruins’ strong contributions from the last line of defense – and the second-last, with rookie Charlie McAvoy combining with old pro Zdeno Chara on the first pairing – have led to four of their last five road games finishing under the posted total.

On form, the Red Wings are a shaky play at 11-13-6 overall, which includes a poor 5-6-5 home record so far in their first season at Little Caesars Arena. Leading scorer Dylan Larkin is on a 10-game goal drought, while promising RW Evgeny Svechnikov has a goose egg in the goal column over the last 12.

The Red Wings under coach Jeff Blashill have been struggling to score, managing just a single goal in five of their last eight games. They have, however, had the lion’s share of scoring chances over their last three games; as hockey types often say, everything evens out in the sport eventually.

The Red Wings’ No. 1 goalie, Jimmy Howard, has received a “mercy pull” from some recent games, but had a solid 27-save performance in a 2-1 overtime loss against the Florida Panthers on Monday.

The tea leaves probably point to a Boston victory, but bettors should keep a corner of one eye on the Red Wings as long as the young team continues to offers plus money. Six of their next seven games are against either playoff-position teams or the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins, so that will likely continue for a few weeks yet.

The total has gone over in six of the last 10 games between Boston and Detroit. The total has gone over in six of the Red Wings’ last eight home games.

 

Predators favored against Penguins on betting lines for Game 4

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The Pittsburgh Penguins have an excellent track record as a bounce-back team, but they are giving off some distressing signals against the Nashville Predators going into Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.

The Predators are a -155 moneyline favorite against the +135 underdog Penguins with a 5.5-goal total for Monday’s matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The Predators are 9-1 in their last 10 home playoff games, according to the OddsShark NHL Database. Nashville is 11-4 in its last 15 home games as a favorite of -140 to -500 on the moneyline.

Pittsburgh leads the best-of-seven series 2-1. The home team has won each of the clubs’ last six meetings.

The Penguins are 13-2 in playoff games after a loss under coach Mike Sullivan and are also 6-4 in in their last 10 playoff games as an underdog on the road. However, star centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were each held without a shot on goal during Game 3, a first in their time playing together.

Pittsburgh has also counted on its power play throughout much of its playoff run, but it is only 1-for-13 with the extra skater so far against Nashville. Crosby has yet to score in the series.

Health-wise, Penguins coach Mike Sullivan might have to shuffle his forward lines if center Nick Bonino (left foot) is unable to play. Bonino is listed as doubtful, although he practiced on Sunday. Pittsburgh also needs to create more opportunities for Phil Kessel. While Jake Guentzel has a series-high four goals, those have come on only six shots on goal (hardly a sustainable shooting percentage).

Nashville, which is 13-6 in the playoffs, has been the better team in even-strength play during the course of the series. The Predators are often able to control the tempo of a game due to the defensive foursome of P.K. Subban, Mattias Ekholm, Roman Josi and Ryan Ellis, who all have at least 10 points during the playoffs.

While some puck luck played into the 5-1 score during the Predators’ first win against Pittsburgh on Saturday, other key elements included staying out of the penalty box as well as getting an injection of speed from the creation of a line of Frederick Gaudreau, Harry Zolnierczyk and P.A. Parenteau.

Goalie Pekka Rinne (27 saves on 28 shots) also regained his usual form. If that continues, Nashville should have an excellent chance of taking another win at home and reducing the series to a best-of-three.

The total has gone over in seven of Nashville’s last 10 home games against Eastern Conference teams. The total has gone over in 11 of Nashville’s last 16 home games (playoffs and regular season) when it was a favorite of -150 to -500 on the moneyline.