Count my three-day cold streak as complete as I rattled off three wins in four free NHL picks last night and came pretty close to a perfect 4 for 4 night.
The losing pick was a big one at -149 moneyline odds on the Islanders at home against the Rangers.
It was 2-2 game late in the third period but the Islanders took a late penalty that put them on the ropes. Sure enough, Chris Kreider scored a go-ahead power play goal with just 24.5 seconds remaining in regulation and sank our pick in tough fashion.
However, it was all gravy from there on out.
I had the Flames to go into Toronto and upset the Maple Leafs as +142 road dogs, and thanks to David Rittich, they was indeed the case.
Rittich was brilliant in turning aside 36 of 37 Maple Leafs shots – including three more stops in the shootout – and the Matthew Tkachuk’s shootout goal stood up as the winner in a 2-1 Flames shootout win. Rittich was sensational in making a handful of 10-bell saves to keep his team in that one and it’s nice to be on the right end of one of those performances.
At about the same time, I had the Capitals to rebound from a 5-1 blowout home loss to the Devils just six days prior and exact revenge with an offensive outburst of their own, and that’s what happened.
Led by Alex Ovechkin’s hat trick, the Capitals put five goals up themselves while Ilya Samsonov made 32 saves and held the Devils weak road offense to just two goals with the resulting 5-2 win giving us a puckline winner at -125 odds.
Finally, I had the Avalanche to also deliver us a puckline victory in their home matchup against the Sharks at increased +120 odds.
This one was the easies winner of the night as the Avs took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission and tacked on two more over the final 40 minutes while Philipp Grubauer was unbeatable at the other end in a 4-0 Avalanche win.
All said, we notched 2.13 units in profits on last night’s quartet of free NHL picks.
Now, lets take that profit and look to keep going on tonight’s three-game schedule!
Season Record: 80-67-1
Now let’s check out this free NHL pick featuring the Ducks vs. Hurricanes from PNC Arena in Raleigh!
Ducks vs. Hurricanes Betting Odds
- Ducks (+184)
- Hurricanes (-205)
- Ducks +1.5 (-140)
- Hurricanes -1.5 (+120)
- Over 5.5 (-102)
- Under 5.5 (-108)
Ducks vs. Hurricanes NHL Pick Breakdown
Now let’s take a look at each of these clubs before I get into my final pick!
The Ducks will play their second game in as many nights tonight after notching an upset win over the Nashville Predators last night by a 4-2 count.
Tonight will mark the fourth game of a five-game road trip that’s seen the Ducks score just seven goals over the first three games, although the low offensive output on the road is nothing new for this club.
The Ducks will enter this one tonight tied for 27th with just 2.29 goals per game on the road this season where their 29.2 shots per game checks in at 22nd.
As noted, they’ve scored just 2.33 goals per game in the first three games of this road trip, but also two or fewer in the first two games before last night’s four-goal showing against a subpar Predators defense this season.
Over their last nine games overall, the Ducks have scored two goals or fewer six times and have averaged just 2.22 goals per game during that stretch.
It hasn’t been much prettier in the defensive end either away from home.
The Ducks are tied for 24th with 3.50 goals against per game on the road this season, although allowing two goals to what’s been a good Predators offense last night is a good sign after allowing four goals in each of the first two games to start the trip.
That said it was just the first time over their last eight games that the Ducks held the opposition to fewer than three goals.
After John Gibson earned the win with a 33-save effort last night in Nashville, it’s likely that Ryan Miller gets the starting nod for the road side in this one.
It’s been a tough go for Millers this season, mostly thanks to his subpar work on the road.
He’ll enter this one sporting a 3.20 GAA and .899 Sv% on the season with just a 4-5-2 record, but has also been torched for a 3.60 GAA and .883 Sv% on the road in five starts and six appearances.
Miller also owns just an .874 Sv% over his last three starts, all of which have resulted in losses while his last win was way back on December 2nd at home against L.A.
The Hurricanes will also play their second game in as many nights tonight after being dealt a 3-2 loss in Columbus last night, although that was certainly not their biggest loss of the night.
Dougie Hamilton left that contest after his feet were tangled up with an opposing player, which resulted in an awkward fall with his left leg caught up under him.
In devastating news, it’s been reported this morning that Hamilton has suffered a broken fibula in that leg and surgery may be required. In other words, his season is over.
That’s massive blow to a Norris Trophy candidate that was a driving force for this offense from the back end in what was easily a career-year for the talented defenseman.
Now, the Hurricanes will need to rally and find a way to continue producing offense at home where they’ve been among the league’s best this season.
Carolina ranks eighth with 3.48 goals per game at home this season and seventh with a 24.3% mark on the power play. That power play is where Hamilton will be missed the most as he’s posted 12 points on the man advantage this season while quarterbacking the top unit.
Their offense has gone cold, however, as they scored just twice last night after being shutout in Washington in their previous game.
The Hurricanes have now scored just four times over their last three games.
It’s a good thing they’re one of the better defensive teams in the league, even without Hamilton.
Carolina will enter this one ranked ninth with 2.61 goals against per game at home this season were they allow just 27.3 shots per game – good for the second-fewest in the NHL.
Furthermore, they have only allowed five goals over their last four games combined and zero goals over their last two home games with shutouts over the Coyotes and Kings in that time.
One of those shutouts came from James Reimer who is likely to get the nod tonight after Peter Mrazek took last night’s loss in Columbus.
Reimer hadn’t played all that well at home this season until turning aside all 41 shots he faced in a 2-0 blanking of the Kings on Saturday.
Reimer owns a solid 2.60 GAA and .917 Sv% on the season in what’s largely been a rebound year and his work at home has improved to a 2.78 GAA and .910 Sv% in four outings as he’s made 13 of his 17 starts on the road.
He bounced back from a trio of poor outings in that shutout effort and should enter this one riding plenty of confidence tonight.
The loss of Hamilton is a big loss for this team. He’s been their MVP this year and among the very best offensive blueliners in the league.
For a struggling Hurricanes offense as it is, it’s certainly not going to help. That’s not to say there isn’t upside for them to score against a weak road defense and weak road goaltender, but their power play is hurt big-time by this loss and Hamilton is a big driver of possession.
That said, the Hurricanes should remain stout on the back end without Hamilton as they have plenty of blueline depth.
Against a Ducks team that’s struggled to score this season – especially on the road – the Hurricanes should be able to keep their offense in check and keep them to minimal shots, making things easier on Reimer than they did in his 41-save shutout.
I like the fact that Reimer is coming into this one on that high and the fact that the Hurricanes haven’t allowed a goal in more than 120 minutes on home ice.
With a cold Hurricanes offense combined with a weak Ducks road offense, I like the under here.
Add in strong Hurricanes back end and the loss of Hamilton, the numbers here are telling me this will be a low-scoring game like the last four games for this Hurricanes team with the under 4-0 in that time.
Add it all up and I will take the under 5.5 tonight from Raleigh.