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

The NHL takes a bit of a break on this Sunday with just two games. Let’s get right down to the action!

Here are Today’s NHL Picks:

Calgary Flames @ Washington Capitals

  • Each of the last nine Capitals game has gone the over (statschecker).

This is a matchup that could get ugly. Calgary is on its third game in four nights, but Washington is a team that sometimes overlooks its opposition. They did not on Friday night as they routed Buffalo by a 6-1 score.

The problem is Calgary’s form – which is rather inconsistent. They managed to make a hellacious comeback against Nashville of all teams. The Flames rallied from down three goals to force extra time and then win. They tied the game and then gave up another goal. Calgary, undeterred, saw Matthew Tkachuk score the tying then game-winning goal in overtime for a 6-5 win.

Washington hits the four-goal mark routinely. At home, that has happened in five of its eight games. Braden Holtby expects to get the nod against Calgary. The question mark is does David Rittich start again after a 43-save effort in Columbus on Saturday night. The probability is high that Cam Talbot is the goaltender of record against Washington tonight. Washington allows 3.3 goals per game and Calgary may just give up four themselves tonight.

1u – Over 6.5 Total Goals @ +125

Chicago Blackhawks @ Anaheim Ducks

  • The Chicago Blackhawks have lost eight straight games as underdogs.

Anaheim gains the help of getting a Chicago team on no rest as they played in Los Angeles last night. The bonus is that Chicago was forced to play almost an entire overtime before Drew Doughty scored with a shade over 16 seconds left. Corey Crawford had to undergo concussion protocol and still made over 40 saves.

John Gibson is expected to start for Anaheim and go up against Robin Lehner for Chicago. Lehner has been much better than Crawford – posting a 2-2-2 record with a 2.26 goals-against average and .938 save percentage. Gibson won his last start at home versus Vancouver behind 39 saves in a 2-1 win on Friday night.

The question becomes what Chicago has left in the tank. They are a fast team but do have that veteran core. Anaheim’s top-six has shown the ability to get after teams with a little more offensive-minded play. When the Ducks are favored at home, the game typically heads to the under. It has in that last five contests, so this has good potential to be a lower-scoring contest.

Anaheim is 6-1 at Honda Center while Chicago is 0-3-1 on the road. Chicago has been in a few of those games but again, are they going to face a barrage of shots again. In the last two games, this is a team that has faced 100 shots! That is an extremely high number which cannot be overlooked in this case. The Anaheim moneyline carries value in this matchup much like it did on Friday night. Take the moneyline.

1u – Anaheim Ducks ML @ +137

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By Chris Wassel


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