NHL four-fold: Profitable picks for Thursday’s ice hockey coupon
The in-form Rangers should have the edge in the Battle of New York, and they head this instalment of our weekly tips...
New York Rangers to beat New York Islanders –
The Battle of New York – one of the best rivalries in hockey.
The Rangers will head in to this game as favourites, and the stats suggest the Blueshirts will leave with the two points on Thursday night.
They are on a six-game winning streak and have a record of 8-2-0 from their last 10 games.
And the inconsistent Islanders should run into trouble against the Rangers’ dangerous attack.
The Islanders are averaging 2.95 goals against per game, ranking 25th in that category.
The Blueshirts, meanwhile, have scored 3.39 goals per game and have 12 players in their line-up who have already racked up at least 20 points this season. That is more than any other team in the league.
Pittsburgh Penguins to beat Winnipeg Jets –
The Jets have had defensive problems all season, and they now they face a team that is very impressive offensively.
The Penguins’ 3.55 goals per game is the league’s highest mark, and they also have a great power play percentage of 21.9, which ranks fifth.
The Jets have conceded 3.15 goals per game – the third-most in the league – and their average in their last five games has dropped to 4.00.
The Pens won’t have forwards Carl Hagelin, Bryan Rust and Conor Sheary in their line-up due to injuries, but that shouldn’t hold them.
Pittsburgh are 6-2-2 from their last 10 games, and have a great home record of 23-3-3.
Buffalo Sabres to beat Colorado Avalanche –
The Sabres are still far off a playoff spot, but they have been improving lately, with four wins in their last seven games.
The stats suggest Buffalo are not as poor a team as their record suggests.
They are ranked 11th in shot-plus-save percentage, and are about average defensively, conceding 2.74 goals per game.
Interestingly, the Sabres’ power-play percentage of 23.1 is the second-best in the league, so they definitely have some tools to pick up the win here.
And this is the perfect opportunity for the Sabres as the Avalanche – the worst team in the NHL, with just 32 points from 54 games and a road record of 8-18-1.
Colorado have lost 10 consecutive away games and averaged just 1.40 goals over that period.
The Sabres are bound to keep improving and the Avalanche’s slump will likely continue here.
Edmonton Oilers to beat Philadelphia Flyers –
The Flyers are slowly slipping out of a playoff position in the Eastern Conference.
Road games have been a major problem for the Broadstreet Bullies lately, with a record of 2-9-2 from their last 13 games away from Philadelphia.
The Flyers are struggling to find the net, with just 15 goals in their last 10 games.
The Oilers, meanwhile, seem to have solved their scoring problems with five goals against the Coyotes in their previous game.
And scoring goals in Edmonton isn’t the easiest thing to do.
The Oilers are ranked seventh in goals against per game with 2.53, and they have an advantage in the goaltending matchup here, as Cam Talbot’s save percentage of 92.0 clearly trumps Steve Mason’s 90.0 and Michal Neuvirth’s 89.7.
Edmonton are poised to fight for the number one spot in the Pacific Division and they should shut down Philly in this one.