MetroBet previews a pair of games on the NHL slate for Thursday night.
New Jersey Devils at Chicago Blackhawks
Moneyline: Devils +150, Blackhawks -165
Puckline: Devils +1.5 goals (-175), Blackhawks -1.5 goals (+155)
Betting Total: 6.5 goals (Over -115, Under -105)
Time (Eastern): 8:30 p.m.
The Chicago Blackhawks (23-25-9) had a seven-game win streak halted by the Bruins on Tuesday night, but they should return to their winning ways as they host the struggling New Jersey Devils (21-27-8) this Thursday.
The Devils have lost four of their last five games and are at the end of a tough four-games-in-six-nights spot. Per Covers.com, New Jersey has dropped eight of their last nine tilts in this situation. The Devils are fresh off an 8-3 shellacking at the hands of the Blues, with netminder Keith Kinkaid surrendering all eight goals. Corey Schneider, who has been uneven since he returned to the lineup off a December injury, is expected to start against Chicago. He’s performed poorly in 11 appearances this season (4.12 goals against average, .868 save percentage).
The Blackhawks have been playing an exciting brand of hockey lately. Chicago’s forwards have made up for mediocre goaltending by Collin Delia and Cam Ward (the latter is expected to start on Thursday). Right winger Patrick Kane currently has a 15-game point streak, with left winger Alex Debrincat riding a nine-game point streak of his own. Second-tier centers Dylan Strome and Dominik Kahun have combined for 19 points in their last five games alone. As a result of these developments, the Over is 20-5-1 in Blackhawks’ last 26 overall, including nine of their last 10 contests.
Prediction: Blackhawks win, 5-3
The play: Blackhawks moneyline and Devils vs. Blackhawks Over parlay
Washington Capitals at San Jose Sharks
Moneyline: Capitals +150, Sharks -170
Puckline: Capitals +1.5 goals (-175), Sharks -1.5 goals (+155)
Betting Total: 6.5 goals (Over -120, Under EVEN)
Time (Eastern): 10:30 p.m.
When the Washington Capitals (31-19-7) and the San Jose Sharks (34-16-7) last met (Jan. 22), the Sharks prevailed at Capital One Arena in a 7-6 overtime thriller. Since then, San Jose hasn’t lost, reeling off five additional victories. The Sharks have a good chance to extend that streak, but the Over looks like a better bet on Thursday night.
San Jose has averaged five goals per game during their six-game win streak. Left winger Evander Kane has been hot (five goals, two assists in his last three games), as has center Tomas Hertl (four goals, three assists in the same span). Martin Jones has been solid but not spectacular between the pipes, allowing two goals per game over his last four appearances. The outcome is an 8-2 Over run in the Sharks’ last 10 overall.
Washington has gone Over in seven of their last 10 games, but they’re looking to rebound off a 3-0 shutout loss to the Blue Jackets on Tuesday. Teams can only keep left winger Alex Ovechkin, the NHL leader at 38 goals this year, quiet for so long.
Prediction: Sharks win, 5-4
The play: Capitals vs. Sharks Over