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NHL expert Chris Wassel's picks for today's hockey action

The NHL takes a bit of a break this Thursday with just two games. Will there be tricks or treats mixed in? Let’s find out!

Here are Today’s NHL Picks:

Calgary Flames @ Nashville Predators

  • Nashville has won all seven of their previous home games against the Pacific Division (Statschecker).

This is a matchup of contrasts, or is it? Nashville has been mostly strong at home this season. Their 6-1-1 record is one of the best in the league. Calgary showed considerable resolve taking two of the three games last season – including the first one in Nashville. However, that was during the opening week of the season.

The problem is Calgary’s form – which is not very good. They are currently a .500 team at 6-6-2 and the Flames are 2-5-1 on the road. Furthermore, Calgary has dropped two straight decisions and have a goal differential of -4 on the season. Defensively, the team is better than last season – allowing less than three goals a game. However, the team is scoring less than three goals a contest too. That is an ominous sign when going up against a Nashville team that can light up a scoreboard.

Nashville hits the four-goal mark routinely. At home, that has happened in five of its eight games. Pekka Rinne expects to start in net against David Rittich. While Rittich has languished around .500, Rinne has not lost a regulation game in eight decisions (7-0-1, 1.74 GAA, .937 save percentage). Nashville is on some roll with him in net and it makes the Predators our moneyline pick for tonight.

1u – Nashville Predators ML @ -150

Montreal Canadiens @ Vegas Golden Knights

  • The Montreal Canadiens stole a game in Arizona last night. Now, they face the Vegas Golden Knights. Montreal has lost its last seven road games on Thursdays.

Montreal got the help of a goal due to a broken skate blade of all things on Wednesday night. Now, that is some next-level luck right there. Playing back-to-back nights against two of the better teams in the Western Conference. Vegas is a harder team to play against than Arizona however.

Will Montreal start Carey Price in back to back games? It is an excellent question because Price faced 34 shots against the Arizona Coyotes. At least ten of those shots were high-danger chances as well. The problem for the Canadiens is the alternative that they may have to stomach anyway. Keith Kinkaid has not been the backup they expected so far. Kinkaid is 0-1-1 with a 4.53 goals-against average and .875 save percentage in two starts.

Vegas rebounded at home after a brutal home loss to Colorado last week, by soundly defeating the Anaheim Ducks 5-2. It was more like the team most were used to seeing late last season. The top two lines were generating chances regularly and had over 30 shots on goal in the first 35 minutes alone! Anaheim was dominated from start to finish. That is the way Vegas must play by taking advantage of its speed and ability to keep the puck when they want it. Montreal is normally a fast team, but they are not rested. Vegas has the matchup advantage and a projected goalie matchup heavily in their favour with Marc-Andre Fleury expected to start. I like taking Vegas on the puck line here tonight.

1u – Vegas Golden Knights -1.5 goals @ +140

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By Chris Wassel


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