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Expert Handicapper Stephen Rodriguez gives us his picks for Sunday's NHL action

BET OF THE DAY: 2u - New York Islanders Puckline (+1.5) @ -110

New York Islanders @ Washington Capitals, 7:00 PM:

- The visiting team has won each of the last seven meetings between these two teams. (Stat courtesy of Statschecker).

The reason we’re backing New York

The Islanders (31-16-6) struggled to put anything together offensively when losing to the Tampa Bay Lighting 3-1.

Derick Brassard cut the deficit to 2-1 midway through the third period with a power play goal for his 10th score of the season. New York would only score the one, however, being outshot 30 to 18.

Washington (36-14-5) stumbled at home in ugly fashion, losing to the Philadelphia Flyers 7-2.

T.J. Oshie tied the game up at one in the first period on the power play with his 20th goal of the season. The Capitals would allow six unanswered from there on out, capped off by Evgeny Kuznetsov’s 19th goal of the season.

The Capitals have the third highest scoring offense in the NHL, averaging 3.59 GF/G.

Luckily for the Rangers, they have the defense to match that, allowing the fifth fewest goals per game at 2.69 GA/G.

Given the way this trend has been over the last seven games, and the way these teams matchup, I like the Islanders to keep things competitive and at least cover the Puckline.

1u - Montreal Canadiens Moneyline @ -130

Arizona Coyotes @ Montreal Canadiens, 7:00 PM:

· Montreal has won each of the last three meetings with Arizona. (Stat courtesy of Statschecker)__.

The reason we’re backing Montreal

The Montreal Canadiens (27-23-7) picked up a third straight win in thrilling fashion by taking down the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1 in overtime.

Montreal dominated from the opening puck drop, outshooting Toronto 30 to 23 and out-hitting them 38 to 21.

Defenseman Marco Scandella scored the game-tying goal with two-and-a-half minutes left and forced OT where left wing Ilya Kovalchuk put the goal away with his ninth goal of the season.

Arizona Coyotes (27-23-7) lost for the seventh time in the last eight games after falling on the road to the Boston Bruins 4-2.

The Coyotes shot themselves in the foot with 14 penalty minutes, resulting in the go-ahead and insurance goals in favor of the Bruins.

Right wing Phil Kessel put Arizona on the board first with his 12th goal of the season and defenseman Jakob Chychrun added his 11th goal of the year.

The Coyotes have made it work behind one of the best defenses in the NHL - Arizona ranks fourth best in league with 2.66 GA/G.

Way back in late October, Montreal rolled past Arizona 4-1 on the road and I’m anticipating a similar result.

These two teams are sitting amongst the middle of the pack in their respective divisions and makes this matchup seem like a bit of a toss-up.

Yet I’m riding the hot hand and taking the Canadiens to win outright at home.


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