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NHL Saturday Preview

Posted by in NHL Picks on March 5th, 2010 | Comment »

This Saturday there are two games on the slate in the NHL that are no doubters on who will win. These games if parlayed can bring a keen sports-bettor a nice return on investment.

Dallas Stars (28-23-12, 68 points 11th in Eastern Conference) @ Pittsburgh Penguins (38-22-4, 80 points 2nd in Eastern Conference)

Sportsbook: NHL Odds

Spread: Penguins -1.5 (+160), Stars +1.5 (-210)

Total: 6

Money Line: Penguins -300, Stars +215

The Pittsburgh Penguins will get to play with their latest toy gained at the NHL Trade Deadline; Alexei Ponikarovsky. Without their new top-line left winger, the Penguins beat the Rangers in overtime, 5-4 on Thursday. Goalie Marc Andre-Fleury was pulled after allowing four goals on just 12 shots. Pittsburgh had a whopping 55 shots on goal in the game. Pittsburgh, after a slow start this season has really come on and looks to solidify their spot as one of the top seeds in the Eastern Conference.

Dallas is going the other way after being quiet at the trade deadline and only waiving goalie Alex Auld and extending winger Steve Ott for four more years. This team doesn’t do anything exceptionally well and have dropped both games since the Olympic break ended by a combined score of 11-2. They lost to St Louis at home 6-1 on Thursday. Loui Eriksson and Brad Richards have been bright spots for an otherwise run of the mill team that will just miss the cut for the playoffs.

Prediction: With the Stars struggling and the Penguins goaltending a little shaky, although nowhere near as shaky as Turco has been this year, expect to see a lot of goals in this one. Pittsburgh is playing at a new level and Ponikarovsky will just make this already very good team better. Look for Crosby, Malkin and company to roll.

Final: Penguins 7 – Dallas 2. Take the Pens and the Over

New York Rangers (29-27-8, 66 points t-8th in Eastern Conference) @ Washington Capitals (43-13-8, 94 points 1st in Eastern Conference)

NHL Odds

Spread: Capitals -1.5 (+190), Rangers (-225)

Total: 6

Money Line: Capitals – 290, Rangers +185

The Rangers were lucky to come away with a point in their loss to Pittsburgh Thursday. The Rangers were outshot by a total of 55-16 including only one shot in the whole third period and overtime. Henrik Lundqvist stood on his head and still gave up five goals, three on deflections including the game-winner.  The Rangers will face another vaunted offense, perhaps a better one on Saturday.

The Capitals bolstered their already solid roster at the deadline by adding D Joe Corvo, F Scott Walker and C Eric Belanger and reacquired D Milan Jurcina. Walker scored two goals in his first game with the Caps and C Eric Belanger was added for his speed, face-off skill and ability on the penalty kill .Corvo is an excellent puck moving defenseman and will make for a scary tandem with Mike green at the point, especially on the power play. This team has the best record in the east by far and doesn’t look like they can be stopped by just anyone.

Betting Tips: The Rangers decided not to do anything at the trade deadline except add some tough guys and a backup goalie. The Rangers have been without star winger Marian Gaborik since returning from the Olympic break and may be out for this one as well with a disclosed injury from Olympic play. The Rangers will have to hope Lundqvist can be exceptional again if they want to even have a remote shot at this game.

Final: Washington 5 – Rangers 2, Take the Caps and the over.

Sportsbook Review: Take the Penguins money line and the over and the Capitals money line in a three bet parlay, with the over in the game a decent choice if you want to up it to a four.

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