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

The good news is that the two games this evening feature teams that are all nice and rested. As we saw last night, that makes an immense difference especially for the road teams. Both Calgary and Buffalo did not stand much of a chance. It did not help that they were playing two teams that can play with pace (Vegas and Chicago). Let’s dive into this slate.

Here are Today’s NHL Picks:

Anaheim Ducks @ Washington Capitals

  • Anaheim has lost six straight road games following a road victory. (Statschecker).

This is a matchup that seems tailor-made for Washington. Anaheim is a team that can get hemmed in their own zone often. This is especially true with Josh Manson and Hampus Lindholm both out due to injuries. That is a significant part of their defense missing.

The problem is how does Anaheim overcome this against one of the best offenses in the NHL? That question is a big reason why Washington was a -230 favorite at press time. Washington will get their chances and plenty of them. How good will John Gibson have to be just for Anaheim to have a chance in this game?

Furthermore, the fear is that Anaheim just does not have enough discipline to deal with Washington. Tom Wilson can drive any hockey player crazy and the Capitals play a fast, downhill hockey style that infuriates most opponents.

The projected goalie matchup should be John Gibson versus Braden Holtby. One item that will be monitored is the over/under but right now, our pick is on the Washington Capitals to cover.

1u – Washington Capitals -1.5 Goals @ +120

Los Angeles Kings @ Arizona Coyotes

  • The home team has won each of the last seven Kings games.

It appears Jonathan Quick will face Antti Raanta in this game on Monday night. That is the tentative starting goaltenders anyway. Raanta oddly has faced a lot of shots for Arizona while Quick has only mildly recovered from the first few weeks of the season.

Both teams come off wins as Los Angeles held off Vegas on Saturday by a score of 4-3. Arizona defeated a feisty Calgary team with some counter moves on their own 3-0. The game featured Darcy Kuemper, who had 35 saves, a shutout, and a well-executed body slam.

The question with these rivals is what unexpected thing happens first. It is often an odd sort of game between these two division rivals. Last year featured a season split but both teams did win on the other’s home ice. One thing was the under connecting at a 3-0-1 clip. That could be something to look at.

Los Angeles is an abysmal 2-7-1 on the road while Arizona is a decent 5-4 at home (to be fair it feels like they have been on the road more). Quick starts are usually vital between these two teams so Arizona may be able to get the jump early or should.

This slate is a bit easier to stomach because of all four teams being rested. The fact that the Arizona game leads to a few different options also helps. Sunday night had risk because we parlayed the team unders and spreads into the mix. Yes, it all worked but often that does not. If the Arizona moneyline comes down, that merits consideration but the under is our pick here for tonight.

1u –Under 5.5 Total Goals @ -110

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By Chris Wassel

Article Author


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