New Jersey Devils (29-20-8) @ Tampa Bay Lightning (39-16-3)
The total is right around 6 for good reason in this one. Jersey is set to start 3rd string goalie Eddie Lack.(daily faceoff.com) In a small sample size, he has a 4.55 goals against average. Against the high-flying Lightning I could see the Lightning netting anywhere from 3 to 5 in this one. With three consecutive wins at home, taking Tampa at home is the safest play. Instead of taking the total for both at 6, try to find Tampa at 3/ as per Bovada, once closer to puck drop you’ll be able to find more options for wager placing.
Expect a lot of fight from the surprising wild card chasing Devils, they are led by the great play of forward Taylor Hall, and top draft pick Nicko Hischier. Hischier, playing well as of late,should be the cheaper option in your daily fantasy lineup. He registered 3 points last time out in a big win for the Devils Thursday against the Hurricanes.
Toronto Maple Leafs (35-19-5) @ Pittsburgh Penguins (33-22-4)
In my mind this is the game of the night. Both teams are playing extremely well. Leafs are really playing to their strength, a fast-moving fore-checking dynamo that is playing some of their best hockey to date. 5 straight wins, and 9 of the last 10 have gone over the total of 3. They are fourth in league scoring. The penguins will be no easy match for the Leafs. They have won three straight, and ten straight at home. They also have had 9 games go over the last 10. The goaltending has been outstanding for both teams even though they have been involved in games going over the total. This is why I have chosen this as a feature match. If your watching hockey tonight, watch this one. Goals are trending toward being plentiful, but both goalies are known to make key saves at crucial times.
Players to watch for:
Sidney Crosby(Pit)-10 game home point streak
Evgeni Malkin(Pit)-25 points in last 12 games
Nazem Kadri(Tor)-5pts. last time out vs.Columbus, 11pts. in last 7 games
Patrick Marleau(Tor)-6pts. in the last 3 games.
Total right now is mostly at 6. I’m leaning this way. Both teams are built as offensive minded clubs and recent play has shown this.
If you decide to go the route of stacking lineups, featuring players from either side is a smart play. As per daily faceoff.com, little known Zach Aston-Reese will be playing top line minutes along with Sidney Crosby and Connor Sheary. Aston-Reese could pop a point or two at a nice cheap price. Marleau, Marner, and Kadri have been as hot of a line as any in the NHL, plug these guys in your lineups as well.
Good luck to all, enjoy the games!!