NHL Week 6 best bets for the weekend

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STOCKHOLM SYNDROME

The Tampa Bay Lightning (2-3 SU, 2-3 O/U last five) and Buffalo Sabres (1-4 SU, 2-3 O/U last five) are currently in Sweden for the NHL’s Global Series that will take place at the Ericsson Globe in Stockholm on Friday and Saturday. Both teams left Sunday and arrived in Sweden on Monday with practices set for Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. 

The Lightning may get a big boost as their No.1 defenceman and Swedish national Victor Hedman could dress after missing the previous two games. The addition of Hedman may help realign the Tampa Bay defensive pairings who surrendered 12 goals in the two games he missed.

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The Ottawa Senators and Colorado Avalanche played in the same arena in 2017 and split a pair of 4-3 victories. In fact, seven of the last eight NHL games at the Ericsson Globe have been decided by one goal and the Over/Under is 4-4 in Stockholm.

We like the double Under 6.5 as unfamiliar ice isn’t good for offense and both teams’ backup goaltenders are 2-2 O/U in their last four starts. We also wouldn’t be afraid to take the Sabres in both games as the Lightning are still a very overrated club who have won back-to-back games just once this year.

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LEAFS LOOKING TO LEAVE TOWN

The Toronto Maple Leafs (3-2 SU, 3-2 O/U last five) will play at home tonight versus the Vegas Knights and Saturday against the Philadelphia Flyers (2-3 SU, 4-1 O/U last five). They will then hit the road for their biggest road trip of the year — playing eight of their next nine contests out of a suitcase.

It will be great for Toronto to get out of the media market as they have been getting vilified by talking heads for their poor performance, even in the team’s wins. The Saturday game against the Flyers could be a look-ahead game for the Buds as there is a chance they lay an egg against an opponent who outplayed and outshot them 40-26 last Saturday. Take the Flyers on the ML.

2018 STANLEY CUP FINALS REMATCH

The Vegas Golden Knights (3-2 SU, 4-1 O/U last five) will play their third road game in five days when they visit the Washington Capitals (4-1 SU, 4-1 O/U last five) on Saturday. This could be another tough schedule spot as Vegas plays in Toronto tonight and may have trouble adjusting to the physical play of the Caps, two nights after playing the speedy (but soft) Leafs.

The Knights are currently 5-2 on the road this year but have lost five of their last six to the Capitals. We like the Capitals to roll at home and look to take the 3-way ML (win in regulation) if there is too much juice on the 2-way ML.

DUCKS LACKING DISCIPLINE

The Anaheim Ducks (2-3 SU, 2-3 O/U last five) will wrap up the week as they will host the Edmonton Oilers (2-3 SU, 1-4 O/U last five) on Sunday night. The Mallards will have to fix things in the discipline department if they want to find success versus the league’s second-best power play.

The Oilers are scoring goals with the man advantage at 27 percent and are also creating power plays at the seventh-highest rate on the road. Anaheim is playing shorthanded for nearly 10 minutes a game as they lead the league in minor penalties. The power play may be enough for Oilers to squeeze out a win.

GOALIE PROFILE: Martin Jones, SAN JOSE SHARKS

Martin Jones might be the most surprising goalie performance through the first months of the NHL season. After putting together a 36-win season last year with a sub-3.00 goals against average, the Sharks’ netminder has stumbled hard in 2019 going 3-7-1 with a 3.38 GAA and a .894 save percentage.

The Sharks have lost four of his last five starts with teams scoring four or more goals three times over that stretch. Looking at a bigger sample size, teams are scoring four or more goals against San Jose in 10 of their 16 games this year, giving great value to the team total Over 3.5 on anyone playing Jones and the Sharks. The Sharks take on the Minnesota Wild on Thursday and the Nashville Predators on Saturday. 

INJURY UPDATE: F Mika Zibanejad, NEW YORK RANGERS

The New York Rangers’ top center is still considered day-to-day as he has been dealing with an upper-body injury and last skated on October 27. The Rangers got beaten up on Monday by the league’s worst road team, the Ottawa Senators, 6-2 and then took that frustration out on the Red Wings in a 5-1 win on Wednesday.

The Rangers’ power play has also been affected by the centers’ absence as New York is just 4 for their last 21 tries with the man advantage. Look to fade the Rangers’ team totals until Zibanejad returns.

HAT TRICK TRENDS

• The Washington Capitals are 11-3-1 O/U this year with a 5-1-1 O/U record at home. They will host the Vegas Knights on Saturday as Vegas is 9-5 O/U on the year. On the other side of this trend, the Dallas Stars will take their 4-12 O/U record on the road when they visit the Winnipeg Jets (6-8-1 O/U and 2-4 O/U at home) on Sunday. 

• The Colorado Avalanche and Columbus Blue Jackets are a combined 17-3 at hitting their first period Over in their last 10 games. Those teams will play each other Saturday night. If you’re looking for some other games to add to a first period Over parlay for Saturday, look at the Los Angeles Kings at the Montreal Canadiens (13-7 O/U) and the Philadelphia Flyers at the Toronto Maple Leafs (14-6 O/U).

• The Minnesota Wild are 2-8 on the road this year and have the league’s worst road offense at 1.8 goals per game. They will look to reverse their losing ways as they travel to San Jose on Thursday and Arizona on Saturday.

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