We got right back into the win column last night as the Ottawa Senators were able to take down the Philadelphia Flyers via the shootout on Monday night. It was a back and forth affair as the Sens and Flyers traded chances and goals on a regular basis all night, but in the end Craig Anderson stood tall stopping all 3 Flyers shots in the shootout and Jason Spezza scored the shootout winner to lift the Sens to a 5-4 victory. The NHL action picks up tonight as there are 12 games on the slate so let’s stay on the winning track and keep on rolling.
Detroit Red Wings @ Florida Panthers
My Pick – RED WINGS (-115) 5 Dimes
The Detroit Red Wings travel to South Florida tonight to do battle with the Florida Panthers in what is the back end of a home-and-home series for these two teams. The Panthers were able to squeak out a 2-1 win on Saturday night at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, a night where the absence of leading scorers Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk were extremely apparent. It looks as if the Wings will get Datsyuk back for tonight’s game, and combined with their success on the road this season things are looking up for Detroit. The Wings have won three of their last five games, and all three of those victories have come on the road. Detroit is 4-1 in their last 5 games on the road and have a record of 10-3-1 away from Joe Louis Arena this season, tops in the league. The Panthers on the other hand have struggled just about everywhere they have been so far this season. After Saturday’s victory in Detroit, the Panthers were whipped in Chicago by a count of 6-2 mostly due to their horrendous performance on special teams. The Panthers went 0 for 5 with the man advantage and gave up 3 powerplay goals on 4 chances against the Blackhawks. That performance dropped the Panther’s penalty kill to 74.2% on the season and their powerplay to 11.3% this year, both which rank in the bottom 3 in the NHL. The Red Wings’ powerplay has clicked at almost 22% over their last 10 games against Florida with a penalty kill sitting at almost 90%. Also, the Red Wings average around 38 shots per game over that same 10 game span compared to around 28 per game for the Panthers. Florida has won just 3 of their last 11 games on home ice while the Wings are 5-1 in their last 6 games at Florida. Take the favourite tonight to keep rolling away from home.
Phoenix Coyotes @ Colorado Avalanche
My Pick – COYOTES (+115) 5 Dimes
The Phoenix Coyotes complete a four-game road trip tonight after back-to-back losses against a Colorado team that has dropped two of their last three games. Although Phoenix Captain Shane Doan will miss his second consecutive game tonight with the flu, the Coyotes could be getting a mainstay back on their blueline in the form of Zybnek Michalek. The veteran defender has been sidelined since November 14th with a lower body injury and is hoping to make his return tonight to bolster a Phoenix lineup that is also without Derek Morris on the back end due to a personal issue. The Avalanche will be without Jan Hejda tonight as he suffered a knee strain in Edmonton last Thursday night, a huge loss for the Avalanche back end due to Hejda’s +17 on the season which is near the top of the NHL. These two teams have had the exact same schedule over their last 3 games with both squads visiting Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver. These two teams swapped victories in Calgary and Edmonton, while both were taken down by the Canucks, thus both losing 2 of their last 3 games overall. The Coyotes have a pretty good record of 7-6-3 on the road this season, but they are scoring goals at a much higher rate this season than in the past. The Yotes’ score an average of 3.10 goals per game and have a powerplay that exceeds 20% on the season. Over their last 10 games against the Avalanche, the Coyotes average 3.5 goals per game compared to Colorado’s 2.2, and are 6-1-3 over that stretch. Digging a little further back, Phoenix is 10-4 in their last 14 games against Colorado and 4-1 in their last 5 visits to Colorado. Take the underdog Coyotes tonight to end their road trip on a good note from the Pepsi Center in Denver.