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It’s the second to last day before the NHL’s All-Star break, and shockingly it’s a team outside the playoff picture who has dropped the gauntlet to get this season’s trade frenzy started.

The New York Islanders, who are two points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for the final Wild Card spot in the East despite playing three more games, have acquired Bo Horvat from the Vancouver Canucks. Horvat has been one of the league’s best goal scorers for the last full year, but is it enough to make up that gap with only 30 or so games remaining? We’ll find out.

Los Angeles Kings to beat Carolina Hurricanes 

The Hurricanes are rocking again after a short cold streak a few weeks ago. They are winners of five straight and are 7-1-2 over their last 10 games. The Kings are 6-4 over their last 10 games, but are a sneaky good team, ranking 11th in the league in expected goals for percentage at 5-vs-5.

Special teams drag the Kings down to average though, and they need to constantly overcome their own goaltending. The Hurricanes are a decidedly better team, leading the NHL in expected goals for percentage at 5-vs-5 and in all situations, but they’re such heavy favourites in this matchup that I think it’s worth a bet on the Kings.

Columbus Blue Jackets (+1.5) vs Washington Capitals 

In another game with a heavy favourite in the Washington Capitals, I can’t say I believe the Blue Jackets are going to win this, but pushing the Capitals into a close game is something that this rebuilding Jackets team can definitely do.

The Capitals are a far better team than the Blue Jackets are, but they’re not an impenetrable team with no vulnerabilities, they’re simply average. There’s a good chance that the Blue Jackets can catch them coasting in the All-Star break a little bit.

Ottawa Senators to beat Montreal Canadiens 

The Montreal Canadiens played a very strong first period against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night but couldn’t manage to scrape a goal together in the game, hitting five posts and missing two empty nets. The Senators, meanwhile, took over the game in the second period and never looked back, winning 5-0.

On the one hand, a bit of good luck for the Canadiens could have dramatically changed the result of that game. On the other hand, the Senators were on the second-half of a back-to-back where they upset the contending Toronto Maple Leafs. The Canadiens are struggling to field a full line up, and the Senators are looking to get into the playoff picture.

Tim Stutzle (Ottawa Senators) to score 2+ points vs Montreal Canadiens 

He didn’t manage a point in the Sens’ 5-0 victory over the Canadiens on Saturday, but it wasn’t for lack of effort. Stutzle was all over the ice on Saturday, put four shots on goal, and had some of the Senators’ most dangerous chances in the game.

After nearly hitting 60 points last season, Stutzle is a point-per-game player this year, taking big steps in regards to his shot, while maintaining excellent playmaking numbers. The sky is the limit for the young German, who also has the potential to be one of the league’s premier powerplay weapons.