After a couple of days off recovering from our Super Bowl hangover, we return to our featured NHL selections here at The Sports Geek. We’re now 8-4 on the season after an easy winner with the Bruins over the Leafs Saturday night, and tonight we’ll focus on another divisional affair between the Penguins and Islanders.
Pittsburgh Penguins (-140) @ New York Islanders (+120)
Though backing the Pens tonight is a tad chalky, I still see some value in the line, especially since this is a key revenge spot for the red-hot Penguins. Pittsburgh easily succumbed to New York last week, and looked dismal in the process, losing by a 4-1 scoreline on home ice. The Pens were embarrassed by their performance and have looked better of late, and will certainly look to show the Isles who the class of the Atlantic Division is on Tuesday evening.
Since that outing, the Pens have reeled off three straight victories and should be able to extend their streak to four. The Pens are fully healthy, and have about as complete a team as there is in the NHL. Sidney Crosby has been lights out amazing after a bit of a slow start to his season, forming a great 1-2 punch down the middle with fellow great, Evgeni Malkin. It’s that type of depth that will overwhelm a young and inexperienced group like the Islanders.
Though New York has been one of the early season surprises in 2013, their bubble is about to burst. Teams are no longer taking them for granted, and their lack of depth and solid blue-liners will catch up to them. New York’s offense looked inept on Sunday, dropping a 3-0 scoreline to the New Jersey Devils, and expect that to continue Tuesday night. The Isles have won three straight against Pittsburgh, a fact that Pens are all too aware of. Expect them to end that streak in dominant fashion Tuesday evening. Lay the chalk, and bet the Pens.
PICK = Pittsburgh (-140)
With nine other NHL contests occurring on Tuesday night, here are some free bonus selections for your consideration this evening. We’ve been doing well on these additional picks and hope to continue our hot streak tonight.
Bonus Pick #1: Buffalo (+125) The Sabres had a poor weekend, but will give starting goalie Ryan Miller a break tonight and turn to back-up netminder, Jhonas Enroth. Enroth is a solid young goaltender, and a future starter in this league. He’s had a slow start to the season, but will bounce back tonight against an inept Ottawa attack. The Sens have lost Jason Spezza to injury for much of the year and he was the key facilitator for Ottawa. Look for Ottawa to struggle on offense, and the Sabres to turn in a very motivated performance after this past weekend’s embarrassments. Buffalo is great road value tonight.
Bonus Pick #2: Winnipeg (-130) The Jets are essentially two teams. They’re amazing and look playoff-worthy at home, while on the road they seem to be of an AHL-calibre. Well tonight they’re in the friendly confines of the rowdy MTS Centre, playing before their loyal fans. Winnipeg seems an improved team this season, but after two dismal outings in Florida, they’ll look for a big response tonight. This is a good spot for the Jets and they should be able to exact revenge on an inferior Florida squad that beat them last week. The Panthers are still battling injuries and it’s believed back-up goalie Scott Clemmensen will be between the pipes tonight.