It’s a busy night for the NHL, as 30 of the league’s 31 teams are in action.
Last night’s action:
The Columbus Blue Jackets absolutely steamrolled the New York Islanders, 5-0. The Florida Panthers put in a good shift against the Tampa Bay Lightning and were probably the better of the two teams, but they fell, 5-3. And finally, the Vegas Golden Knights got terrific goaltending from Marc-Andre Fleury and two third period goals from James Neal to notch their first-ever win, 2-1, over the Dallas Stars.
There are 15 games tonight, so rather than going through them one at a time, it’s more logical to just highlight the matchups that provide value.
Colorado (+109) @ New Jersey (-120)
Two teams expected to be in the draft lottery meet for a Saturday matinee. The Avalanche finished off the Rangers on Thursday night, and this game is a coin flip, meaning there’s good reason to back the Avalanche at plus-money.
Buffalo (+110) @ New York Islanders (-121)
After a pitiful display in Columbus last night, the Islanders are a bit under-priced against the Sabres. Islanders head coach Doug Weight went with a slower, more experienced lineup in Ohio last night, and tonight’s team should feature Josh Ho-Sang and at least one of Ryan Pulock or Scott Mayfield, which instantly makes the Isles a stronger side. Despite being on the second night of a back-to-back, the Isles are the pick.
Minnesota (+124) @ Carolina (-137)
The Hurricanes make their 2017-18 debut against the Wild, who fell to Detroit on Thursday night. Minnesota will be playing their backup goalie, Alex Stalock, tonight in a tough spot. Carolina plays an up-tempo style and the Canes generate a lot of shot attempts, so it could be a long night for the Wild No. 2. The Hurricanes are still in range at this number.
(Season to date: 4-4, +1.97u)
[Photo: Adam Hunger, USA Today Sports]