Senators-Penguins / Lightning-Islanders
Senators (+200) at Penguins (-240), 7 p.m.
Pick: Penguins to win (-240)
The Penguins (27-17-6) -- trying to inch closer to the first-place Islanders in the standings with a win over the visiting Senators (19-26-5) -- are coming off a Wednesday trouncing of the Lightning, the NHL’s best team. That game even saw two league superstars -- Steven Stamkos and Evgeni Malkin -- drop the mitts, something you rarely see happen. The Penguins are on a mission and are looking to give the Islanders a run for their money and these are the types of must-win games against bottom tier opponents they can’t let slip through their fingers.
The Senators are in shambles this season. People are paying more attention to the state of their roster and who will be shipped out rather than the play on the ice. F Matt Duchene can take control of the game on a whim but we don’t think it’ll be enough to take on a Penguins team that is on Cloud 9 after beating the Stanley Cup favorite.
Lightning (-145) at Islanders (+125), 7 p.m.
This one is too close to call. At the start of the season we would’ve chosen the Lightning (37-11-2) by a mile. However, the last time these two teams met, the Islanders (29-15-5) shocked the rest of the NHL and took down the Lightning in spectacular fashion. Tampa Bay is sitting comfortably in first place in the Atlantic Division with 76 points in 50 games. They are 6-4-0 in their last 10. Meanwhile New York is fighting to maintain the top seed in the Metropolitan Division (63 points in 49 games), three points ahead of the Penguins. They are 7-2-1 in their last 10.
Both of these teams have been playing their best hockey and Tampa still has the most stacked roster in the NHL.
The O/U line of 6.5 is just too high for our liking as well. We wouldn’t touch this game with a 10-foot pole, not after what happened last time.