We’re in the portion of the NHL schedule where the words “dogfight” and “jockeying” are bandied about ad nauseum, which is to say we’ve hit the home stretch and the trade deadline is on the horizon.
Thursday’s slate features a slew of tasty matchups, including a tilt in Pittsburgh between teams heading in opposite directions, a four-pointer in New Jersey and a Vegas Flu scenario in the Sin City.
We dive into the stats, trends, matchups and personnel to break down each of the 11 games on the ice on Thursday, which is our way of telling you that we aren’t judging anyone for putting hard-earned money on the Sabres-Senators game, because we will be right there with you. — Michael Leboff
All info as of Thursday morning. Check back during the day and keep an eye on our Twitter handle for any updates.
LOS ANGELES KINGS (+160) @ PITTSBURGH PENGUINS (-185)
7 p.m. ET
Betting Market: Despite Pittsburgh receiving 67% of bets, the line has steadily been moving towards Los Angeles. This can be attributed to sharps hitting the Kings at 5Dimes, causing the market to adjust the line from +160 to +145. — Mike Marsh
Key metric: Even though they are firmly in a playoff spot with 68 points and 32 wins, the Penguins hold a minus-26 goal differential when playing at even strength this season and have allowed the third-most (129) goals on equal footing. On the flip side, the Kings are plus-13 at even strength, which ranks ninth in the league. — Evan Abrams