Lightning, Penguins trending to the OVER on Wednesday Night Hockey

NBCSN’s coverage of the 2018-19 NHL season continues with the Wednesday Night Hockey matchup between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Pittsburgh Penguins. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

Scoring is up in the NHL this season, but the Tampa Bay Lightning and Pittsburgh Penguins have been combining for plenty of offense for years.

The Lightning, led by Nikita Kucherov, are a slim -115 away favorite against the -105 underdog Penguins with a 6.5-goal total on the NHL odds for Wednesday night at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The OddsShark NHL Database shows that not only has the total gone OVER in 19 of the last 20 games in this matchup, but the last 12 matchups have all had at least seven goals. Tampa Bay, thanks to a bye week and the NHL all-star break, is playing for the first time in 11 days and is 7-2 in its last nine away games. The Penguins are 1-4 at home this season against Atlantic Division teams that are currently in a playoff position.

Tampa Bay is 37-10-2 this season, including a 17-5-2 away record. The NHL schedule-maker has affording the Lightning, with their dynamic forward group that includes leading scorer Kucherov and centers Steven Stamkos and Brayden Point, the luxury of not having to jump right back into action upon reconvening following the all-star weekend.

On paper, a well-rested team facing an opponent that has allowed 13 goals over its last two games seems like an excellent matchup for the Lightning, who also boast the NHL’s No. 1 power play (29.5 per cent) and have the fifth-ranked penalty kill (83.6 per cent).

[WATCH LIVE – COVERAGE BEGINS AT 7 P.M. ET – NBCSN]

Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, who should get the start, is 5-3-0 with a 2.29 goals-against average and .929 save percentage in eight games in January.

One factor in favor of the Penguins, whose 26-17-6 record includes being 13-8-4 at the PPG Paints Arena, is the embarrassment factor. Any team whose leadership includes captain Sidney Crosby, fellow center Evgeni Malkin and defenseman Kris Letang can be expected to give a peak effort the next time out after a loss such as Monday’s 6-3 setback against the New Jersey Devils.

Both Pittsburgh’s power play (24.8 per cent) and penalty kill (83.1) rank sixth in the NHL, making them the only team other than the Lightning with both special teams units ranked in the top 10, but they were 0-for-5 with the extra skater against New Jersey.

Matt Murray gave up all six goals against New Jersey, but still has a 5-2-0 record with a 2.71 goals-against average and .913 save percentage so far this month. It can be reasonably expected that the Penguins would have Murray get back in net right away after a rough night.

The total has gone OVER in seven of the Lightning’s last 10 away games. The total has also gone OVER in seven of the Penguins’ last 11 home games.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

MORE: Kendall Coyne Schofield to serve as NBC Sports analyst on Wednesday Night Hockey

Coyne will join the broadcast team of John Forslund (play-by-play), U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member Eddie Olczyk (analyst) and Emmy Award-winner Pierre McGuire (‘Inside-the-Glass’ analyst) for the call from PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pa., on Wednesday night.

Golden Knights favorites hosting Predators on Wednesday Night Hockey

NBCSN’s coverage of the 2018-19 NHL season continues with the Wednesday Night Hockey matchup between the Nashville Predators and Vegas Golden Knights. Coverage begins at 10 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

Disparate divisional trends and a strong bounce-back pattern seem to be riding with the Vegas Golden Knights.

The Golden Knights are the -130 home favorite on the NHL odds with the Nashville Predators coming back at +105, while there is a 6.0-goal total for their matchup on Wednesday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The second-year Golden Knights, who are 9-4 in their last 13 regular-season home games against the Central Division, will be looking to avoid their first back-to-back home defeats to teams from the other half of the Western Conference after losing 4-2 against the Minnesota Wild on Monday. The Predators are 0-5 in their last five road games against Pacific Division teams, but prior to that had won six in row dating to January 2018.

The Predators are 29-18-4 this season, including a 13-9-4 road record, but are just 2-4 over their last six games according to the OddsShark NHL Database with one of the victories being a 4-1 win on Monday against the Colorado Avalanche, whom they have long dominated.

Only two goals have been scored in the first periods of the last four Predators-Golden Knights contests, so it is not out of the realm that Nashville’s top scoring threats such as center Ryan Johansen and right wing Viktor Arvidsson will have to be patient to wait for opportunities. Another challenge for Nashville is that its power play, converting at a 13.3 percent clip, is 29th in the 31-team NHL whereas the Golden Knights’ penalty kill is fifth (83.8 per cent).

[WATCH LIVE – COVERAGE BEGINS AT 10 P.M. ET – NBCSN]

The Predators are among the NHL teams moving toward a true two-goalie system. Pekka Rinne handled their most recent game but has had a below-par month, going 3-3-1 with a 3.33 goals-against average and .896 save percentage. Juuse Saros is 3-2 with a 1.58 average and .947 save percentage.

The Golden Knights are also 29-18-4, but are 16-5-3 at T-Mobile Arena. While Vegas has been in win-one, lose-one mode with a 3-3 record across its last six games, some positive signs are that they haven’t dropped two in a row, or allowed more than four goals in any of the losses.

The Golden Knights, whose leading scorers are right wing Alex Tuch and left wing Jonathan Marchessault, roll four lines with speed and often create an edge in offensive zone pressure and shot attempts. Whether that lends itself to scoring a lot of goals can depend on the quality and the form of the opposing goalie. The Golden Knights will have an 18th-ranked power play (18.5 percent) facing Nashville’s 16th-ranked penalty kill (79.9 percent).

Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is 5-3 with a 2.28 goals-against average and .913 save percentage in eight games so far in January.

The total has gone OVER in eight of Nashville’s last 10 road games at sports betting sites. The total has gone UNDER in four of Vegas’ last seven games as a home favorite.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Kenny Albert (play-by-play), Eddie Olczyk (analyst) and Pierre McGuire (‘Inside-the-Glass’ analyst) will have the call from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Nev.

Bruins road favorites at Flyers on Wednesday Night Hockey

NBCSN’s coverage of the 2018-19 NHL season continues with the Wednesday Night Hockey matchup between the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

The Boston Bruins have an excellent chance to remedy a small issue with winning when the front end of back-to-back games is on the road.

The Bruins are -140 road favorites on the NHL odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com with the Philadelphia Flyers coming back at +120 for their matchup on Wednesday night, while there is a 6.0-goals total.

Boston, which will have to jet home immediately afterward for a home game against the St. Louis Blues on Thursday, is 0-3 this season in road games when it is playing again the next day. However, the recent and head-to-head trends are more promising for the Bruins, who are 6-1-1 in their last eight games and are also 4-1 in their last five games against Philadelphia, according to the OddsShark NHL Database.

The Flyers are 3-5 in their last eight games as a home underdog. Four of the teams’ last five matchups have gone UNDER the posted total.

Boston is 26-15-5 on the season as it vies for home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs, but a concern with the Bruins is a 10-9-4 away record that stems from averaging just 2.28 goals per road contest.

[WATCH LIVE – COVERAGE BEGINS AT 6:30 P.M. ET – NBCSN]

Boston has one of the game’s superior first lines with Patrick Bergeron centering Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak, but will be tweaking the other units, with center David Krejci possibly being united with minor-league call-up Peter Cehlarik. Boston’s power play is converting at a robust 28.6 percent over the team’s last 10 games, while the penalty kill is a respectable 83.3 percent.

The Bruins are giving the goaltending start to Jaroslav Halak, who has a 13-7-2 record with a 2.39 goals-against average and .924 save percentage this season.

Philadelphia is 17-23-6, including an underwhelming 9-10-3 in home games. The Flyers, who have seen left wing James van Riemsdyk get on a modest hot streak with three goals in as many games, have had their moments, most recently in a 7-4 win against the Minnesota Wild on Monday, but they are 3-5-1 this season in games two days after a win in their most recent contest.

The Flyers have also exhibited some patterns that might play into a low-scoring contest. They have scored only nine goals in the last five games started by rookie goalie Carter Hart, and the power play has scored on 16.7 percent of its opportunities in the last 10 games. The penalty kill has been a true problem for the Flyers, surviving only 71.4 percent of its man disadvantages.

Hart has a 4-5-1 record with a 2.70 goals-against average and .913 save percentage this season.

The total has gone UNDER at online betting sites in six of Boston’s last eight road games as a moneyline favorite of -130 or greater. However, the total has gone OVER in nine of Boston’s last 10 road games against Metropolitan teams.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

John Forslund (play-by-play), U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member Eddie Olczyk, and Brian Boucher (‘Inside-the-Glass’ analyst) will have the call from Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pa.

Predators heavy road favorites at Blackhawks on Wednesday

NBCSN’s coverage of the 2018-19 NHL season continues with the Wednesday Night Hockey matchup between the Chicago Blackhawks and Nashville Predators. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

The Nashville Predators’ recent play and the law of averages should counteract their curious trend as a heavy betting favorite.

The Predators are the -185 road favorite on the NHL odds with the Chicago Blackhawks coming back as a +155 home underdog, while there is a 6-goal total for their Wednesday night matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Thanks in part to a tailspin earlier in the season, the Predators are 0-5 in their last five road games as a favorite of -150 to -500 on the NHL moneyline, but they are 4-1 in their last five games. Nashville, which will play the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday, is also 12-8 in its last 20 games when it also has a game the following day. The Blackhawks are 3-7 in their last 10 games as a home underdog according to the OddsShark NHL Database.

The Predators are 26-15-3 on the season, which includes an 11-8-3 away record. Nashville has scored 16 goals across its past four games without being overly reliant on one hot line, as right wings Craig Smith (four goals in four games) and Viktor Arvidsson (three) have led the way. Twelve of the Predators’ 22 away games have gone OVER this season and they would seem to have an optimal matchup against a team with the 29th-ranked defensive record.

[WATCH LIVE – COVERAGE BEGINS AT 7 P.M. ET – NBCSN]

Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne is 16-10-2 with a 2.23 goals-against average and .921 save percentage, and was not overworked during his last start, recording an 18-save shutout against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday.

The Blackhawks are 16-22-7 on the season, including 8-10-4 on home ice at the United Center. Chicago is a respectable 7-4-2 over its 13 most recent games, and is still in the middle of the pack offensively, with contributors such as center Jonathan Toews and right wing Patrick Kane leading an attack that is 17th in the league with 2.9 goals per game, not far behind Nashville in 12th with 3.0.

The total has gone OVER in 11 of the Blackhawks’ 22 home games at online betting sites, with one push. The total has gone OVER in five of Nashville’s last seven games as a road favorite of -150 to -500 on the NHL moneyline. The total has gone OVER in seven of Chicago’s last 10 home games as the underdog.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

NHL Betting Preview: Bruins vs. Blackhawks Winter Classic

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NBC’s coverage of the 2018-19 NHL season continues with the 2019 Winter Classic between the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks. Coverage begins at 1 p.m. ET from Notre Dame Stadium on Tuesday. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

The Chicago Blackhawks find themselves in unfamiliar territory well down the Stanley Cup odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com as they prepare to take on the Boston Bruins on New Year’s Day outdoors at Notre Dame Stadium.

The Blackhawks are well back as +17500 longshots on the latest odds to win the Stanley Cup with Patrick Kane and company having struggled to a 15-20-6 record through the first half of the season. That has them sitting well outside of the playoff picture in both the Central Division and the Western Conference.

However, Chicago has shown some signs of life lately, winning five of their last six games capped by a 3-2 overtime victory in Colorado against the Avalanche in their last game on Saturday night as +180 underdogs on the NHL odds. Kane had two goals and an assist for the Blackhawks in that win giving him a team-high 50 points on the season.

Chicago last played in an outdoor game in January 2017, falling 4-1 to the St. Louis Blues at Busch Stadium. The Blackhawks also fell 6-1 to the Minnesota Wild at TCF Bank Stadium in February 2016, and 3-2 to the Washington Capitals in January 2015 at Nationals Park.

The Blackhawks’ lone outdoor victory came in March 2014 when they defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1 at Soldier Field. Prior to that they also lost 6-4 to the Detroit Red Wings at Wrigley Field in January 2009.

[WATCH LIVE – COVERAGE BEGINS AT 1 P.M. ET ON NEW YEAR’S DAY – NBC]

The Bruins are coming off a 3-2 road win at the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night at -115 on the NHL moneyline, putting an end to a two-game skid and improving their record to 21-14-4 on the season. That has them in the thick of the Wild Card race in the Eastern Conference, and just back of the Sabres for third place in the Atlantic Division.

Boston last played an outdoor game in January 2016, hosting the rival Montreal Canadiens at Gillette Stadium but losing 5-1. The Bruins beat the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in overtime at Fenway Park in January 2010 in their only other outdoor appearance.

The Bruins and Blackhawks met twice last March, splitting the results with each team picking up a home victory. Boston topped Chicago 7-4 at home as -203 favorites on the NHL odds, and the Blackhawks beat the Bruins 3-1 at home as +122 underdogs.

Overall the Bruins and the Blackhawks have also split their last 10 meetings 5-5 dating back to January 2014, according to the OddsShark NHL Database. The OVER paid off on the totals for bettors in just four of those 10 contests, and in just one of their past four meetings.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Mike Tirico will host the network’s Winter Classic pre-game coverage alongside the NHL Live studio team of host Kathryn Tappen, and analysts Mike Milbury, Keith Jones and Jeremy Roenick. Six-time Emmy Award-winner and La Fontaine, Ind., native Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member Eddie Olczyk, and ‘Inside-the-Glass’ analyst Pierre McGuire will have the call from Notre Dame Stadium.