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

The roller coaster schedule continues right into American Thanksgiving as there are just two games on the schedule Wednesday night. Let’s quickly look!

Here are Today’s NHL Picks:

Ottawa Senators @ Montreal Canadiens

  • Ottawa has lost its last nine road games following a win. (statschecker).

This is a matchup that started out with an over/under of 6.5 because of pace of play. Ottawa will push the action even though the Senators played last night. Montreal can do much the same at 5 on 5 and that was on full display when they defeated Washington over the weekend.

The problem is how does Ottawa function from a goal for and goals against standpoint after playing last night against Detroit? It is a great question. Also, Montreal is in the same position, so this is a sludge matchup.

Furthermore, it appears to be a backup of the “B” goaltenders on Wednesday night for this division clash. Craig Anderson is projected to start against Keith Kinkaid unless something changes unexpectedly between now and game time.

One common theme is the over/under. We considered Montreal at -1.5 goals but again let us focus. The over, even at 6.5, hit in all four matchups as the two teams combined for precisely seven goals. It is a little bit risky when it comes to making this pick but the over makes too much sense not to ride here.

1u – Over 6.5 Total Goals @ -105

Washington Capitals @ New York Rangers

  • The favorites have won the last 12 meetings between these two Metropolitan Division rivals.

It appears Henrik Lundqvist (confirmed) will go up against Braden Holtby on Wednesday night. Holtby has been hot of late going 10-1-1 in his last dozen games with a save percentage just above .920. The guess is no one remembers those first five games now.

Both teams are streaking in different ways. Washington is an incredible 10-1-1 in the early going away from home while the Rangers have allowed 35+ shots per 60 at home for the third year in a row. That is some feat. Also, Henrik Lundqvist has seen nearly 37 shots per 60. That takes a toll on a goaltending over the age of 35.

The question becomes how much either team has left in their tank on Wednesday. Washington was in the midst of playing five games in eight nights while New York was on a four game in six-night stretch. New York is 2-2-1 in their last five while Washington is 3-1-1.

New York is only 5-4-2 at home and they allow 3.45 goals per game. If one looks at the last five or six contests, that number jumps to nearly four goals a night. Washington is a team that excels on the power play while New York’s home penalty kill is in the bottom third. The road to success appears clear here.

Tonight’s slate has some contrarian ways to go even though it is just two games. The key may be to wait for some numbers to come into focus. Expect some later shifts in those and bet accordingly. Our pick is taking the over as it has more value than the moneyline for Washington which was hovering around -175 to -185.

**1u – Over 6.5 Total Goals @ -128**

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By Chris Wassel


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