NHL 4-fold: Tuesday's top tips for your midweek ice hockey bets
The Ducks and Oilers have found form before the playoffs, and they lead our best bets for this week’s action…
Nashville Predators to beat Boston Bruins –
This is a big game, with both teams fighting for precious points to strengthen their position in the playoff race.
The Bruins occupy the last Wild Card position in the Eastern Conference, while the Predators are placed slightly more securely in the West.
Nashville have improved recently, with an impressive record of 7-1-0 from their last eight games – a period in which they have averaged just 1.63 goals conceded.
Boston, meanwhile, have struggled after going through a decent spell in the aftermath of head coach Claude Julien’s firing, losing four out of five.
During this slump the Bruins have allowed 21 goals, and they now face a team that has scored 2.97 per game this season.
The Predators head into this one with less pressure, better form and a tighter defence.
The two points should go to Nashville.
Montreal Canadiens to beat Dallas Stars –
After some mid-season misery, the Canadiens are performing well.
Sure, they might not look like a championship winning team, but the Habs have turned their fortunes around just at the right time.
Montreal are 10-3-1 from their last 14 games. During this time they have really improved defensively, reducing their goals allowed per game from 2.47 to 2.07.
The Habs aren’t very dangerous in attack, but they should be able to score plenty here against a Dallas team that ranks 26th in goals against per game with 3.15.
The Stars also have an awful penalty killing percentage of 73.9, making them the worst PK team in the league.
Montreal should win this one comfortably, strengthening their standing in the Atlantic Division.
Edmonton Oilers to beat Los Angeles Kings –
The Kings are about to miss the playoffs, having been unable to deal with their issues of inconsistent form and goal scoring.
And this matchup against a red-hot Oilers offense doesn’t look good for LA.
Edmonton have won six out of last seven with an average of 4.14 goals scored per game.
During that run Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl have combined for an outstanding 27 points.
LA will most certainly have a hard time stopping that duo, and scoring in Edmonton won’t be any easier for the Kings.
They have visited the Oilers twice this season and scored just once.
Anaheim Ducks to beat Vancouver Canucks –
The Ducks are heating up just prior to the playoffs, with a record of 8-1-1 from their last ten games.
During that great run they have beaten several strong teams, and captain Ryan Getzlaf has led the line with 17 points.
Anaheim’s defence has also been solid during , with goaltender Jonathan Bernier averaging a phenomenal save percentage of 94.4 and a goals against average of 1.64.
Now the Ducks face the Canucks, who are clearly out of the playoff race.
Vancouver are suffering from injuries to multiple key players, which has resulted in a record of 6-11-3 from their last 20 games.
The Canucks have had scoring problems all season long, ranking third-last in goals and last in shots per game.
To top it off, they have the league’s third-worst power play percentage.
A win for the Ducks seems inevitable.