Might want to bet against the Buffalo Sabres for a while as they will be without two key players indefinitely. Defenseman and former No. 1 overall pick Rasmus Dahlin is dealing with a concussion suffered last week and forward Vladimir Sobotka had surgery on an injured right knee. He was actually hurt a few weeks ago and was hoping to avoid surgery. Here’s a look at two intriguing early-week matchups around the NHL Betting action. Check back for Mybookie NHL odds.
Top NHL Betting Picks of the Week – December 2nd Edition
Tampa Bay Lightning vs Nashville Predators
- When: Tuesday, 8 PM ET
- TV: NBC Sports Network
- Live Stream: NHL.tv
Potential Stanley Cup Finals preview? Well, maybe if this was either of the past two seasons. In 2017-18, the Predators won the Presidents Trophy for the most points in the league but were eliminated in the second round of the Western Conference Finals. Tampa Bay had the most points in the East but lost in the conference finals.
Last year, the Lightning won the Presidents Trophy and tied the NHL record for regular-season wins but were shocked in the first round of the playoffs. Nashville repeated as Central Division champion but was upset in the first round of the playoffs by Dallas. Both the Lightning and Predators are underachieving so far this year.
These teams met on Oct. 26 in Tampa and the Predators were 3-2 overtime winners. Ryan Ellis scored 3:15 into overtime; Ellis scored from the left circle shortly after Nashville failed to score on power play that resulted from Tampa Bay having too many men on the ice. Calle Jarnkrok and Roman Josi also scored, and Juuse Saros stopped 28 shots for the Predators, who are 13-1-2 against Tampa Bay in the last 16 meetings. Nashville’s lone regulation loss to the Lightning this decade came Dec. 19, 2013.
Tampa enters on a three-game skid after losing 3-2 at home to Carolina on Saturday. Tyler Johnson ended an 11-game goalless drought in the loss. Alex Killorn didn’t play due to a lower-body injury. The 30-year-old forward has six goals and 17 points in 23 games this season. He’s day-to-day.
Nashville is off a 3-0 loss at Florida on Saturday. Backup netminder Juuse Saros took the loss. Should be Pekka Rinne in this one. Last Friday he beat Carolina for his 350th career win, becoming the 22nd goaltender in NHL history to pass that milestone. He also logged his 58th career shutout, moving him into a tie for 19th-place on the league’s all-time list in that category.
Colorado Avalanche vs Toronto Maple Leafs
- When: Wednesday, 7 PM ET
- TV: RSN
- Live Stream: NHL.tv
Two teams with a ton of offensive talent; the Leafs got off to an inconsistent start this year but have taken off since firing Coach Mike Babcock and replacing him with AHL Toronto Marlies coach Sheldon Keefe.
The Leafs remain without winger Mitch Marner. He was hurt early this month against Philadelphia and won’t return until mid-December at the earliest. He had 18 points in 18 games this season and 94 points last year, which got him a huge new contract. The Avalanche are without one of its best offensive players in Gabriel Landeskog. Coach Jared Bednar hopes to have Gabriel Landeskog (lower body) back at practice this week, but Bednar said there is still no timetable for Landeskog’s return.
On Nov. 23, Colorado lost 5-3 at home to Toronto. Leafs defenseman Tyson Barrie, a former Avalanche player, had a goal and an assist during a four-goal burst in the first period. The defenseman spent seven-plus seasons with the Avalanche and left as the franchise leader in goals (75), assists (232) and points (307) at his position. Auston Matthews also had a goal and an assist. Nicholas Shore, Zach Hyman and Kasperi Kapanen also scored for Toronto, and Frederik Andersen had 34 saves. The Maple Leafs recovered after Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon scored 31 seconds into the game.
Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon was named the NHL’s second star for the month of November. MacKinnon registered 10 goals and 15 assists in 14 games. He was held off the scoresheet just four times and produced seven multi-point performances. Cale Makar was named NHL Rookie of the Month for November. Makar topped all first-year players in goals (7), points (16), game-winning goals (3), plus/minus (+10) and average time on ice (21:25) in 14 games during November. He became the fifth rookie defenseman in NHL history to produce seven or more goals within a single calendar month.
Expert NHL Betting Picks
Back Predators and Maple Leafs.