PHT Oddsmaker: Let’s gamble on the NHL

PHT Oddsmaker will be a regular feature where we set pretend odds and pretend to gamble on them. If you’d like to bet real money, meet us in the alley and we’ll talk.

Total number of goalies to finish with a GAA below 2.00 (2.5)

We’ll use the “minimum 25 games” Jennings Trophy rule here. Currently six goalies are on pace – Brian Elliott (1.63 GAA), Tuukka Rask (1.66), Tim Thomas (1.84), Henrik Lundqvist (1.95), JS Giguere (1.95) and Jimmy Howard (1.95). Others in the running include Martin Biron (1.84 GAA, but only nine games played), Josh Harding (2.13), Nikolai Khabibulin (2.14), Jonathan Quick (2.15) and Cory Schneider (2.17). This is a tough one, but I’ll have to take the under. There’s just so little margin for error. One bad stretch and it’s over. Last year no goalie pulled it off  – Thomas was the best at 2.00 on the button. Rask was the last to do it, registering a 1.97 mark in 2009-10. The most intriguing guy to watch should be Elliott, if only because he’s…Brian Elliott. The fact the Blues also have Jaroslav Halak might help, as Elliott is less likely to keep playing if he’s not on top of his game. Other goalies don’t have the luxury to take a rest and work things out in practice.

Odds Jarome Iginla gets traded by the deadline (+400)

If the streaking Flames  are still in the playoff picture by the end of February, would they even consider trading their captain? That seems like a serious long shot. Besides, even if they’re completely out of it, Iginla might stay put — he’s got a no-movement clause, so ultimately it’s up to him. Calgary’s been one of the better teams in the NHL since getting off to yet another poor start. The Flames are 8-3-3 in their last 15, and if they beat the Islanders Thursday, they’ll move to .500 for the first time all season. With a little help, they could also move into the top eight in the Western Conference. The odds are tempting, but I’ll pass.

Odds Erik Karlsson finishes with the most points among defensemen (EVEN)

At the moment he’s got 33, three more than Brian Campbell, four more than Shea Weber and eight more than Alex Edler (25). With points in 24 of Ottawa’s 37 games, Karlsson’s consistency is worth noting. The longest stretch he’s gone without a point is three games. Staying healthy will be important, but at 21 years old, he shouldn’t be hampered by nagging injuries. Sure, I’ll take this bet.

The Buzzer: Pacioretty continues hot streak

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Players of the Night:

Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens: Here’s a name you haven’t seen often in these parts this season. But Pacioretty had two goals tonight, the opener for the Canadiens and the game-winner with 1:18 left in the third period to give the Canadiens a 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals. He also added an assist on Montreal’s other goal. Truth be told, Pacioretty has been sizzling lately with six goals and an assist in his past six games.

John Gibson, Anaheim Ducks: Gibson had a quiet night for the most part until the third period, but he was stellar when called upon and made 23 saves, including a second-period beauty (which you will see below) to help his team to a 2-1 win against the Los Angeles Kings.

Highlights of the Night:

James Neal had all the moves to help the Vegas Golden Knights secure a point on the road in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Florida Panthers.

John Gibson got just enough on this puck to redirect it off the post and out for quite the save:

Factoid of the Night:

MISC:

Scores:

Panthers 4, Golden Knights 3 (OT)

Canadiens 3, Capitals 2

Ducks 2, Kings 1


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

Henrique, Kesler too much for Quick, Kings in 2-1 Ducks win

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Jonathan Quick did all he could.

The posts behind him helped on a couple occasions, but Quick was everything the Los Angeles Kings needed to break out of their five-game losing streak, which they entered Friday wearing like a ball and chain.

But while Quick was solid in the crease, making 29 saves, the men in front of him couldn’t replicate their goalie’s performance in a 2-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks.

The Kings have now lost six straight and just two of their past 10 and are tied with four teams, including the Ducks, who sit on 53 points and just outside the final wildcard spot in the Western Conference.

The Ducks-Kings rivalry has become quite the grind ’em out slugfest over time, and despite their recent downward spiral, the Kings weren’t going to roll over and die when the puck dropped, even if they played 24 hours earlier.

This rivalry doesn’t allow for one team to not show up, despite whatever mitigating circumstances may be available.

And neither team was giving the other any allowances, evidenced by a 0-0 scoreline after 40 minutes.

The Ducks struck first in the third frame as Adam Henrique finally willed a puck behind Quick, who had puzzled Anaheim’s offense for 42 minutes and change.

Henrique’s individual effort on the goal began a few seconds earlier as he won a foot race to the puck to get it into the Ducks’ zone, dove to make sure it stayed there and they got up and went to the net, where he picked up a loose puck that and put it in the back of the net for a 1-0 lead at the 17:55 mark.

That lead was shortlived, however.

The Kings struck back two-and-a-half minutes later as some extended offensive zone time by the Kings resulted in Alex Iafallo flicking a puck up and over John Gibson off a rebound to ruin his shutout bid at 4:48.

The Ducks would get the final say.

Jakob Silfverberg‘s excellent forecheck kept the Kings from clearing the puck out of their zone.

The puck found its way to the point, where Francois Beauchemin unleashed a high point shot that was redirected down and under Quick by Ryan Kesler for the eventual game-winner.

Gibson’s night may have been a little quieter than his counterpart 200-feet away, but he was on point when he needed to be, making 23 of 24 saves, including getting just enough on Iafallo’s second-period shot to steer it off the post and out to keep the game 0-0 at that point.


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

WATCH LIVE: Los Angeles Kings vs Anaheim Ducks

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CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

PROJECTED LINES

Los Angeles Kings

Adrian KempeAnze KopitarDustin Brown

Tanner PearsonTrevor LewisTyler Toffoli

Alex IafalloNick ShoreMarian Gaborik

Kyle CliffordTorrey MitchellAndy Andreoff

Derek ForbortDrew Doughty

Jake MuzzinAlec Martinez

Kevin Gravel– Christian Folin

Starting Goalie: Darcy Kuemper

NHL on NBCSN: Kings look to end losing streak vs. Ducks

Anaheim Ducks

Rickard RakellRyan GetzlafCorey Perry

Andrew CoglianoRyan KeslerJakob Silfverberg

Nick RitchieAdam HenriqueOndrej Kase

Chris WagnerAntoine VermetteJ.T. Brown

Cam FowlerKevin Bieksa

Hampus LindholmJosh Manson

Francois BeaucheminBrandon Montour

Starting Goalie: John Gibson

Red Fisher, as told by those who knew him

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Red Fisher is a mythical name in sports journalism.

Fisher’s death on Friday at 91 sent shockwaves through the National Hockey League community, and stories upon stories — snippets of Fisher and his life — began circulation around the Internet, many on Twitter by those who worked alongside him and those who had the pleasure to speak with the man.

Fisher’s life will be immortalized in print in the coming days. Michael Farber wrote this beautifully done piece for the Montreal Gazette already today. A must-read.

Here’s what his contemporary’s are saying, those that revere him and the people who Fisher made an impact on in so many ways: