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Colorado Avalanche vs. Vegas Golden Knights
Meeting along the south shore of Lake Tahoe, Colorado and Vegas are featured in the first of two NHL Outdoor games this season. Puck drop is slated for 3:00 p.m. ET at the Edgewood Tahoe Resort in Stateline, Nev. These teams are meeting for the third time over a six-day span. The previous two games were played at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The Golden Knights posted a 1–0 win on Feb. 14 prior to the Avalanche winning 3–2 on Feb. 16. Colorado owns a 6-4-1 overall record in this series versus Vegas.
Vegas (10-3-1) sits second overall in the West Division standings with 21 points. They have played two fewer games than St. Louis who rank first with 22 points. The Golden Knights enter this contest with a 5–2 record over their last seven games. Vegas has played a lot of close contests recently as one goal has decided seven of their last nine games. The Golden Knights are averaging 3.07 goals per game on offense and allowing 2.14 goals per game on defense. Vegas is 2-1-0 during road games this season.
Colorado (8-4-1) ranks third in the West Division standings, with 17 points, and trail second place Vegas by four points. Prior to this series with the Golden Knights, the Avalanche opened their season with a 7–3–1 record. That was followed by four games being cancelled due to COVID-19 issues. Following three wins, by a 15–4 combined count, Colorado is 2-1-1 over their last four games that were all decided by one goal. The Avalanche are averaging 3.15 goals on offense and allowing 2.08 goals on defense.
These teams met twice in Las Vegas during the regular season last year. Colorado posted 6–1 and 7–3 wins. That was followed by a 4–3 OT win by Vegas during the Stanley Cup qualifying round. Marc-Andre Fleury (7-2-0, 1.56 GAA) will be in goal for Vegas while Philipp Grubauer (8-3-0, 1.64 GAA) is projected to start for Colorado. After losing 5–3 to Detroit in 2016, and 3–1 to Los Angeles last year, the Avalanche are 0–2 in outdoor games. The Golden Knights are playing in their first outdoor game.
Dating back to 2003, there have been 30 NHL regular season games played at outdoor venues. Five or fewer goals were scored during 16 of those contests. Scoring has increased recently, as six or more goals have been scored in four of the last six games. Seven contests have gone into overtime, including two of the last four, while 18 of 30 games have been decided by at least two goals. There isn’t much separating these two teams and I expect this will be a close contest. Bet the moneyline and back Colorado.
Best Bet: Colorado Avalanche (-115) moneyline at DraftKings
Bet on NHL Games All Season at DraftKings
Toronto Maple Leafs at Montreal Canadiens
Meeting for the fourth time this season, NHL Original Six squads square off when Toronto visits Montreal tonight. Puck drop for the Maple Leafs vs. Canadiens contest is slated for 7:00 p.m. ET at the Bell Center in Montreal, Que. Toronto is playing their fifth game over eight days. Montreal has not played since they defeated the Maple Leafs 2–1 back on Feb. 13 in Toronto. In the previous two meetings, the Toronto posted a 5–4 OT win at home on Jan. 13 and a 4–2 victory on Feb. 10 on the road in Montreal.
Toronto (13-3-2) heads to Montreal after playing four home games. Following the loss to Montreal, the Maple Leafs let a 5–1 lead slip away and lost 6–5 in overtime to Ottawa. That was just the fourth win by the Senators, and two of those victories are against the Maple Leafs. Toronto rebounded with a pair of wins against Ottawa as they posted a 2–1 win on Feb. 14 and a 7–3 victory during their last game on Thursday. The Maple Leafs are 5-1-1 on the road and five of those games were decided by one goal.
Montreal (9-4-2) enters this contest ranked second behind Toronto in the North Division. The Maple Leafs have an eight-point lead on the Canadiens, but Toronto has played 18 games while Montreal has played 15 contests. Prior to the Feb. 13 win against Toronto, Montreal lost 3–0 to Edmonton and 4–2 to Toronto during two home games. That was preceded by a home-and-home series split with the Senators. The Canadiens won 2–1 in Ottawa and lost 3–2 at home. Montreal is 3-4-0 at home this season.
These teams have similar goals for and goals against numbers. The Maple Leafs have an edge on offense as they are averaging 3.72 goals per game while the Canadiens are scoring 3.47 goals per game. Montreal has slim edge on defense as they are allowing 2.53 goals per game and Toronto is giving up 2.67 goals per game. Toronto has an advantage on the power play as they have scored 18 goals on 52 chances. Montreal has just 10 goals on 48 chances. Bet the moneyline and back Toronto to win on the road.
Best Bet: Toronto Maple Leafs (-112) moneyline at DraftKings
NHL Saturday Night Betting Leans
- Florida at Detroit 5:00 p.m. ET: Panthers (-177) moneyline
- San Jose at St. Louis 7:00 p.m. ET: Blues (-180) moneyline
- Nashville at Columbus 7:00 p.m. ET: Blue Jackets (-132) moneyline
2021 NHL Best Bets Record: 2–4
2021 NHL Leans Record: 5–4
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