If you find yourself down after losing out on some of the matinee matchups on Saturday, there is a good opportunity to break even on the league’s late-night games. Looking at two games on the later slate, the earlier one starting at 8:00 pm ET features two inter-division matchups with a lot of playoff implications and precious points available in the standings.
Dallas Stars (-130) vs New York Rangers (+105)
This game will feature the Rangers visiting the American Airlines Center to take on the Dallas Stars, with both teams fighting for a playoff berth and needing to bank the points to maintain their spots in the standings.
The Rangers are heading into another tough matchup in the final game of a four-game road trip. They dropped two of their last three games without scoring more than two goals in any game. After Alexandar Georgiev got lit up 5-2 against the Minnesota Wild, Igor Shesterkin returned to the crease to take on the St. Louis Blues, but didn’t fare any better. He allowed four goals on 17 shots leading to the Vezina frontrunner to be replaced by Georgiev to finish out the game.
The poor goaltending for the Rangers is the story from the last two games, and despite Shesterkin’s strong play this season, he needs to be better than his last outing. The team isn’t getting much offense from anyone other than their superstars and will need contributions from their depth against a stingy Stars defense.
The Stars on the other hand are playing great hockey as of late on the back of budding superstar Jason Robertson, who scored back-to-back hat tricks a week ago. This will also be the Stars’ first game back home after three road games before heading back on the road.
Goaltender Jake Oettinger, who started eight of the team’s last ten games, is playing lights out with a 6-2-1 record in that span. He also hasn’t given up more than fours goals in a game dating back to Feb. 1, 2022, against the Calgary Flames. The Stars are getting goal support, solid defensive play and good goaltending, and their 20-7-1 record on home ice so far this season should be reason enough to warrant taking them to win this one.
Edmonton Oilers (+120) vs Tampa Bay Lightning (-145)
The Oilers are the poster boys of inconsistency and are desperately trying to claw their way into a playoff spot. Tampa is a true contender, but have dropped their last two games in a row. Andrei Vasilevskiy gave up three or more goals in each of his last three starts, which is very uncharacteristic considering his capabilities.
The fact is that the Lightning are in the thick of a six-game road trip and could be running out of gas. The team has relied heavily on getting offense from their blueliners and depth forwards in recent games and could suffer from struggling to score if they aren’t able to continue to contribute at this unsustainable rate.
The Oilers are riding with Mikko Koskinen in goal as of late, and despite his inconsistencies this season, he is playing much better. Both teams have gotten mediocre goaltending over their last ten games, with the Lightning owning a .895 save percentage and the Oilers owning a .893.
Edmonton ground out a tough win in overtime against the Washington Capitals thanks to heroics for Connor McDavid, who broke out of his two-game pointless streak. The Oilers could also get reinforcements back if Jesse Puljujarvi makes his return. If he is activated from injured reserve expect him to slot back onto McDavid’s wing and help give the Oilers a boost offensively.
In the last meeting, Edmonton played a solid game but ultimately lost 5-3, so they’ll be looking for redemption. It’s not often that the home team can be had at such a good value like this and it’s worth the chance considering Vasilevsky’s recent cold streak.
Odds via Yahoo and BetMGM