Identifying weak points in teams is crucial when placing bets but looking at a team’s schedule is equally as important. Three of these teams will be playing in back-to-back situations, which is important to note considering the travel involved can sometimes affect a team’s performance.
Moneyline: Carolina Hurricanes (-155) vs Washington Capitals (+125)
The Carolina Hurricanes will be making the trip back to Raleigh after a 3-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. They opted to go with starting goaltender Frederik Andersen against his former team, which means backup Antti Raanta will likely be between the pipes against the Capitals.
Through 18 games played this season, Raanta owns a winning record of 10-4-2 with a 2.29 goals-against average and .917 save percentage. The Washington Capitals are also playing on the second night of a back-to-back set after an easy 7-2 victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets on the road. The Caps are a strong road team with a 19-7-5 record but will need a strong effort from Ilya Samsonov who is the expected starter to shut down the ninth highest-scoring offense in the league.
The Hurricanes got Brendan Smith back in the lineup and await the return of Tony Deangelo who could return in this game. Inserting some fresh legs onto the back end will surely help slot players in more suitable and familiar roles. Both teams find themselves in a similar situation with back-to-back games and having to travel to Carolina for this game. Considering Carolina will get the luxury of being in their own homes and get a more comfortable rest and own a stellar 23-4-2 record on home ice, it’s a good decision to pick the home team in what should be a pretty tight affair.
Moneyline: Ottawa Senators (+100) vs Philadelphia Flyers (-120)
This will be the Senators’ final game of a five-game homestand and they will be looking to snap a three-game losing streak. They have lost to the Chicago Blackhawks, Arizona Coyotes, and Columbus Blue Jackets in that span and will look to avoid suffering the same fate against another non-playoff team in the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Senators will be without travel and waiting for the Flyers who won 5-4 against the Nashville Predators on home ice in captain Claude Giroux’s 1,000th game. Both teams have losing records overall and have not been able to get consistent goaltending of late.
It is confirmed that Claude Giroux will not travel with the team to Ottawa and will remain in Philadelphia as a trade is imminent. It appears the Florida Panthers are the likely suitor, which means the Flyers will be without their top-line center. The absence of Giroux leaves Kevin Hayes and Derrick Brassard as the top two centers on the team’s depth chart heading into this game and leaves the Flyers without their second-highest point producer on the season.
With both teams likely to be sellers at the deadline, expect some of each of the team’s bigger trade assets to be healthy scratched in order to avoid injury, so be sure to check the lineups prior to placing your bet. With Giroux’s absence, the Flyers’ emotions riding high from the night before, and the Senators being well-rested while the Flyers travel to Ottawa, backing the Senators is the best option, despite losing their top defenseman in Thomas Chabot for the rest of the season.
Odds via Yahoo and BetMGM.