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Picks and analysis for the two NHL matchups on Tuesday

New York Islanders vs Philadelphia Flyers Predictions

I have a feeling we saw Philadelphia at their absolute best in the second period of Game Four.

It still wasn’t enough to get the New York Islanders too far off their game. In a period where Philadelphia had 31 of 39 shot attempts, 19 of 26 scoring chances and all 7 high danger chances, the goals scored in the period were 1-1.

It’s got to be demoralizing for the Flyers. They can’t play much better than they did and they still couldn’t even get a lead. This was the Islanders worst game of the series. Coach Barry Trotz said it was the Islanders worst game of the playoffs thus far.

Let’s put this into simpler terms. The Flyers played their best game. The Islanders played their worst game. The Islanders still won the game.

The Islanders won back-to-back games over the weekend to take a 3-1 series lead. They’ve gotten contributions from up and down the line-up. Top six guys like Anders Lee, Mat Barzal, Josh Bailey, Anthony Beauvillier and Brock Nelson are leading the charge. Bottom six options like Leo Komarov, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Matt Martin and Derrick Brassard are chipping in. The defense has been lights out. Starting goalie Semyon Varlamov has been a rock. And on Sunday, we saw backup Thomas Greiss step in there and backstop his team to a win.

Philadelphia on the other hand, needs more from everybody else. Their top guys aren’t doing much. Their bottom six players are getting outperformed by the Islanders. Their goalies have been good, but the Isles netminders have been better.

At this point, you just cannot justify betting the Flyers. The total is also not a fun bet in this series. When the Islanders are at their best, they limit their opponent to almost no offense. I hate to say this because I am a fan of this team waiting for the other shoe to drop, but in this Game Five, your betting options are simple.

It’s Islanders or nothing.

And nothing is never an option.

PICK: NY Islanders (-110)

Vegas Golden Knights vs Vancouver Canucks Predictions

Talk about a crazy line.

Vegas has a 3-1 series lead over the Vancouver Canucks and the oddsmakers are basically giving the Canucks no chance of forcing a game six.

I don’t particularly disagree with them, but I just don’t agree with a playoff team that just eliminated the defending Stanley Cup Champions being two-to-one underdogs in a game they need to win.

What we’re saying is that there is absolutely no way that we are laying the juice on the Golden Knights here. Vancouver had a 3-2 lead heading into the third period of Game Four. They won Game Two. This isn’t Alabama football against Mercer. A -250 favorite in hockey is probably around the equivalent of a 2 touchdown underdog.

Vegas has been great; no team has more of the puck and generates high quality chances at the rate of the Golden Knights. They were a top two team during the regular season and they’ve been even better in the postseason thus far.

Robin Lehner has started three games against the Canucks, and he’s shut them out twice. That’s a pretty good ratio for the Vegas goaltender.

There’s a myriad of angles to attack this game. We’ve already ruled out betting Vegas on the moneyline. I don’t love the total, this series hasn’t been as offensive as I expected.

I do think Vegas wins the game, but the value is clearly there on the Canucks at +200. If you’re trying to be smart and grind away, then Vancouver is the side you should play.

If I have a gun to my head and need to pick a winner just for Tuesday night, you have to look towards the Golden Knights on either the puck-line or in regulation. Vegas is -139 to win the game without requiring extra time. They are +120 to win the game by at least two goals.

With the added benefit of Vancouver being desperate and potentially pulling their goalie in situations they would normally be more conservative, I lean towards the plus-money on the puck-line. I don’t think you could go wrong in any way you bet this game as long as you aren’t taking the -250 moneyline.

For our purposes, let’s go with Vegas to cover the puckline.

PICK: Vegas -1.5 (+120)


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