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I am very pleased with how my picks turned out on Tuesday night. I went with two teams to win by at least two goals at very attractive prices and managed to hit one for a profit despite a 1-1 record on the night. The Stars and Hurricanes met in Dallas and a team won by two goals; however it was the wrong team as the Hurricanes won for just the second time this season on the road and scored six goals on Dallas, continuing a season-long trend for Dallas in terms of their porous defence. Our winner came later in the evening as the Kings and Panthers met at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. LA was able to come out on top with a 5-2 score enabled by a four-goal second period that staked the defending champs to a 4-0 lead that they never relinquished. Last night saw just a couple of games on the NHL schedule but I am back tonight to make a couple of picks with 11 games on the board.
Minnesota Wild @ Philadelphia Flyers
My Pick – FLYERS (+120)
The Flyers and Wild collide for the first of two games this season after the two clubs split their two matchups last year, each team winning on their home ice. It will be interesting to see how the Flyers will bounce back tonight after dropping a 2-0 affair on Broadway last night to the New York Rangers, a game in which many of the Flyers forgot to show up. The good news for Philadelphia coming out of that game was that their Captain Claude Giroux was able to play, and actually played north of 25 minutes in the game, proving he is clearly healthy after sustaining a lower-body injury in Monday’s practice. The Wild come in to tonight’s tilt looking for their first victory in Philadelphia since 2010 as they have dropped seven of their last nine games at the Wells Fargo Center. Minnesota has been a little banged up this season as a bacterial virus has caused many Wild players to miss games this season and Zach Parise has missed a handful of games with a concussion. Minnesota is looking for some consistent scoring that just hasn’t been there all season. Thomas Vanek has just a single tally on the season so far in 17 games played, while Nino Niederreiter is currently the only player on the team with more than five goals on the season. While Philly may not be the best defensive squad in the league, they are tough to beat on home ice and can score with the best of them. Philadelphia will be looking to take advantage of some questionable Minnesota goaltending over the past couple weeks as both Darcy Kuemper and Nicklas Backstrom have been pulled from the goal mid-game and neither has played well recently after very hot starts to the season. Just like Philly, the majority of the Wild’s success comes on home ice as they are 7-1 at home and 3-6 on the road. The Flyers are just 2-6 on the road, but they are 5-2-2 at home. I was a little bit surprised to see the Flyers as such large home underdogs in this one, so I see plenty of value here taking a good home team to beat a poor road team at a fantastic price. Take the Flyers to roll over Minny tonight.
Carolina Hurricanes @ Los Angeles Kings
My Pick – KINGS -1.5 (+150)
As mentioned above, the Hurricanes stuck it to me the other night when they tucked six goals on the Stars despite averaging around 2.2 goals per game going in to that game. However, the odds of them repeating that six-goal output against this stingy Kings team are just about nil. Los Angeles gives up just 2.1 goals per game this year and they actually have been scoring plenty of goals recently despite averaging just 2.58 goals per game on the season. LA has found the back of the net five times in three of their last five contests and average 3 goals per game in the month of November. I do not know who will get the start in net for either team at the time of this writing; however what I can tell you is both of Carolina’s goalies have save percentages hovering around .900, while both of LA’s goaltenders have save percentages of around .930 and goals against averages of around 2. The Kings are just such a hard team to keep up with at the Staples Center as their home record of 9-2-1 might indicate. Carolina deserves some props as they are 6-3-1 since opening up the season with a 0-6-2 record, and that could very well be attributed to getting healthier lately; however they are just too in over their heads this evening in Los Angeles. Take the Kings to keep playing defence with the best of em’ while finding the back of the net against some mediocre goaltending.