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

The NHL continued its theme of untimely injuries on Sunday night as Torey Krug went down to injury and then Hampus Lindholm of the Anaheim Ducks was placed on the injured reserve. There are two games today due to the holiday so let’s get working!

Here are Today’s NHL Picks:

Arizona Coyotes at Washington Capitals

  • The Capitals have won six straight games and have seen 11 of their previous 12 contests connect on the over. (statschecker).

This is a matchup that screams too high of a projection. It was a bit of a surprise as to why Vegas went 6 here with the Over/Under. Yes, Arizona is on a bit of a skid right now, but they play better on the road than they do at home. This could be a tougher spot for Washington than most anticipate.

  1. problem is Arizona played arguably its worst game of the season on Saturday against the Minnesota Wild. It was not just that they blew a 3-1 lead but goaltender, Darcy Kuemper, looked flat out rattled by his former team. He did not look like himself.

Furthermore, the fear is that at some point Washington has one of those clunker games that is inevitable. Over the course of an 82-game season, the stinkers happen. Sometimes one can see it coming but most times not so much. Braden Holtby has a save percentage under .900 but Washington keeps winning because they are piling up four plus goals on a nightly basis.

The projected goalie matchup is indeed Holtby versus Kuemper on Monday night. Arizona takes very few penalties, plays good defense, and can score a few goals. There is a fishy feeling about this one.

1u –Under 6.5 total goals @ -137

Ottawa Senators at Carolina Hurricanes

  • Seven of the last eight Carolina games on Mondays have hit the under.

It appears likely that Petr Mrazek will start on Monday for Carolina and he has been on some run at home for the Hurricanes. They need to stop the bleeding against an Ottawa team that has taken two of the last three matchups including a very recent 4-1 win in Ottawa on Saturday night.

Anders Nilsson expects to get the start for Ottawa and the goaltender has been quite good for the Senators this season. He is 4-3-1 with a 2.66 goals-against-average and .930 save percentage. It will not be so easy for Carolina to score goals. However, they should have plenty of chances as Nilsson faces nearly 36 shots per 60 minutes played.

The question becomes how Carolina responds after this recent run of poor form. Some teams just do not respond much like Anaheim folded under the pressure of Connor McDavid on Sunday night. Carolina has lost four straight games and seven of their last ten.

Ottawa is 1-5-1 away from home while Carolina is 6-3 at home. Keep in mind that Carolina has a lopsided moneyline much like Washington on a night where both teams could play sloppy.

Between yesterday and tonight, this is probably one of the worst two-night stretches of the season (other than around the All-Star Break. Tread very carefully betting wise here. The idea is to take the under but one could sneak down to 5.5 goals for more money or stay at 6.5 to be a bit more conservative.

**1u –Under 6.5 Total Goals @ -117**

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By Chris Wassel


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