The Philadelphia Flyers are playing terrific hockey of late, but they are going to be without top winger James van Riemsdyk for 4-6 weeks due to a broken hand suffered last Wednesday. He took a shot to the hand from Washington Capitals defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler. Van Riemsdyk has 19 goals and 21 assists for 40 points in 65 games this season. Here’s a look at two early-week games around the NHL. Check back for Mybookie NHL odds.
Top NHL Betting Picks of the Week / March 9th Edition
Boomer’s #NHL Power Rankings from ‘The Point’: 1. #STLBlues 2. #ALLCAPS 3. #NHLBruins 4. #GoBolts 5. #VegasBorn 6. #LetsGoPens 7. #GoStars 8. #GoAvsGo 9. #NowOrNever 10. #Isles 11. #LetsGoCanes 12. #Canucks 13. #LeafsForever 14. #LetsGoOilers 15. #FlaPanthers 16. #Flames— SiriusXM NHL Network Radio (@SiriusXMNHL) February 26, 2020
Tampa Bay at Toronto
- When: Tuesday, 7 PM ET (TVA)
This most likely will be a first-round playoff preview – arguably the best first-round series possible – with Tampa Bay currently second in the Atlantic Division and Toronto third. The Lightning aren’t catching Boston for first and the Leafs probably aren’t falling to fourth.
Tampa Bay had a two-game winning streak in a huge upset Sunday, 5-4 in a shootout at terrible Detroit. The Red Wings had lost 16 regular-season games in a row in the series. Brayden Point scored two goals, and Carter Verhaeghe and Pat Maroon had one apiece for the Lightning. They beat the team with the NHL’s best record (Boston) on Saturday night and then lost a day later to a Detroit team with by far the league’s worst mark.
Toronto lost its third in a row Friday, 2-1 at Anaheim. Cody Ceci played 14:38 in his return to the lineup on Friday. The defender missed 14 games with a sprained ankle. Ceci has eight points in 55 games this season.
These teams have split two meetings thus far. They most recently played on Feb. 25 in Tampa, and the Leafs pulled off the 4-3 upset. Toronto scored a pair of power play goals while killing off all three Lightning chances, holding Tampa Bay to one shot. John Tavares scored twice, and William Nylander and Jake Muzzin also scored.
However, Muzzin took a puck off his right hand during the third period. That hand proved to be broken and Muzzin hasn’t played since and won’t return for a few more weeks. Muzzin has 23 points in 53 games this year and he has averaged 21:36 of ice time per game. Fredrik Andersen stopped 26 shots in the win. Tampa Bay had an 11-game winning streak at home snapped. Star Steven Stamkos left the game after the second period and did not return. He hasn’t played since and is done for the rest of the regular season following core muscle surgery.
NY Rangers at Colorado
- When: Wednesday, 10 PM ET (ESPN+)
Colorado is fighting for the Central Division title and top seed in the Western Conference. The Rangers are battling for a Wild-Card spot in the East.
New York’s playoff chances aren’t being helped right now by star Artemi Panarin as he has not scored in his last six games. Panarin has a career-high 32 goals as well as a career-high in points with 93 but has been unable to light the lamp of late. In addition, he has only 11 shots on goal in the six contests.
Colorado star Nathan MacKinnon is rolling, though. MacKinnon posted a goal with two assists in Sunday’s 4-3 road victory against the San Jose Sharks. He has racked up two goals and six assists with a plus-4 rating in a four-game point streak since the start of March, and he has been even or plus in rating in 11 consecutive outings.
The Avs remain without winger Andre Burakovsky due to a lower body injury. Burakovsky didn’t accompany the team on the road. He hasn’t played since Feb. 28 but has 20 goals and 45 points in 58 games this season. Rookie defenseman Cale Makar, a top Calder Trophy candidate, has been out since Feb. 29 due to an upper-body injury. Makar has 12 goals and 47 points in 56 games this season.
The Rangers go for the season sweep as they beat the visiting Avalanche 5-3 on Jan. 7. In his NHL debut, Rangers netminder Igor Shesterkin gave up two goals on Colorado’s first three shots before settling down to finish with 29 saves. Panarin had a goal and two assists, Mika Zibanejad and Ryan Strome each had a goal and an assist, and Chris Kreider and Brady Skjei also scored for New York. Jesper Fast had three assists and Tony DeAngelo added two. J.T. Compher scored twice and Nathan MacKinnon had a goal in his 500th game for Colorado. Andrei Burakovsky had two assists and Philipp Grubauer finished with 24 saves.
NHL Week 24 Expert Picks
Bet Lightning and Avalanche.