NHL picks: 4 best bets for Tuesday
Chris Peters makes four money line picks for Tuesday night's NHL action.
Maple Leafs to beat Devils
In a rare home-and-home back-to-back, the Maple Leafs and Devils will play in New Jersey just 24 hours after Toronto earned a 6-4 comeback win on home ice. Petr Mrazek had to come in for Jack Campbell, who gave up three goals on the first nine shots he faced. Per reports, Mrazek will be back in the net for the Leafs after stopping 19 of 20 shots on a night he was not supposed to play.
Meanwhile, the Devils have some goaltending issues of their own. Akira Schmid was in net Monday, so it could be Jon Gillies Tuesday as both regular goalies Jonathan Bernier and Mackenzie Blackwood are still on injured reserve. If it is indeed Gillies, he’s won just one of his six starts this season as New Jersey’s goaltending has been a revolving door amid injury and illness.
Toronto has won five of its last six games including each of the last four. They’ve scored three or more goals in each of those six games as the offense continues to look very potent. Auston Matthews scored a hat trick with an empty-net goal in Monday’s contest and Mitch Marner had three points as he continues his points surge since returning from COVID-19 protocols.
The Devils have lost eight of their last nine games as they’ve struggled to score with any amount of consistency. The mentally taxing nature of Monday’s loss, where they had the Leafs on the ropes for a bit, doesn’t help a team that’s struggling as New Jersey is right now. Look for the Leafs to complete the home-and-home sweep.
Jets to beat Flyers
Winnipeg just stopped a six-game losing skid with an emphatic 4-1 win over St. Louis. Philly, meanwhile, stopped a 13-game skid with a 4-3 OT win over Los Angeles despite coughing up a two-goal lead. Neither of these teams are playing particularly well, but the Flyers in particular have been very poor.
The Flyers are missing quite a few players due to injury, with Joel Farabee being one of the latest to be placed on injured reserve. They just haven’t had enough offense to threaten anyone lately and keep tumbling backwards. Not even a coaching change helped stop the bleeding.
Winnipeg, meanwhile, is five points out of the last wild card spot, which is just close enough to feel like you have a chance, but far enough away to know there’s a whole lot of work that needs to be done to get there. They have to start taking advantage of games like this one where they’ve got a wounded opponent who just can’t seem to get off the mat.
The Jets have gotten major contributions from Kyle Connor all season, while rookie Cole Perfetti is providing a breath of fresh air to a team that desperately needed it. The Jets are a bit healthier, a bit deeper and have more to play for in this one.
Islanders to beat Senators
Ottawa is coming off of a dramatic, thrilling 3-2 OT win over Edmonton Monday night. Tim Stützle scored the OT winner and that sends the Sens on the road on a high. The schedule doesn’t do them many favors here, though, as they’ll have to go back-to-back and play on the road on Long Island.
The Islanders have lost three of their last four games, but all of them have been close contests including a 4-3 loss to Minnesota on Sunday. The Isles have struggled more than expected this season and the playoffs look more like a pipe dream than a feasible possibility in the top-heavy Eastern Conference.
The Sens are down multiple key players with Drake Batherson, Connor Brown and Josh Norris all sidelined. Brown appears to be nearing a return, but to not have the other two puts Ottawa at the disadvantage. That didn’t matter as much against Edmonton Monday night, but it should matter here on short rest.
The Islanders also are fairly healthy as a group right now, with very few regulars sidelined. That, plus the quality performance of goaltender Ilya Sorokin all season, against a team in the second of back-to-back games is a good recipe for finding two points.
Predators to beat Canucks
This looks as much like a schedule loss for the Canucks as anything else. Nashville had four days between games and will be playing on home ice. Vancouver, meanwhile just beat Chicago on Monday night and had to get down to Nashville, having played two games in the same span that Nashville was able to rest up.
The Canucks have won two of their last three on the road, and were largely dominant against Chicago in Monday night’s 3-1 victory. Nashville, meanwhile has points in four straight, though had a shootout loss to Edmonton last week.
Nashville sits second in the Central Division presently, though both Minnesota and St. Louis are hot on their heels. Tuesday’s game against a road weary opponent is the kind of game you need to win to keep pace in a very tight playoff race. As good as the Canucks have been over the last month or so, all advantages point to the Predators in this particular game.
BETWAY BOOST: Maple Leafs, Jets, Islanders and Predators all to win