Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:00 AM
In the Crease - Week 19
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Fly Guys Flying High
The Philadelphia Flyers head into Thursday's road game against the Boston Bruins with a season-high five-game winning streak. They have ticked off four straight victories against teams with a winning record record, but this will be their biggest test yet. The Flyers are still just 3-10 over their past 13 games on the road, and they're 2-6 in the past eight in the third game of a 3-in-4 (three games in four days) situation. They'll catch the Bruins at a good time, as they're 1-4 in the past five games overall while going 0-6 in the past six against teams from the Metropolitan Division. The Flyers are a dismal 2-12 in their past 14 treks to Beantown, and they're 8-22 in the past 30 against the B's. The home team has cashed in four straight, too.
The Calgary Flames have fired to the top of the Pacific Division with an 8-1-2 mark across the past 11 outings, although they certainly haven't done it with a lot of attention. The Flames have posted a 15-4-5 mark at home this season, but they're a respectable 15-9-0 in 24 outings away from home to lead the Western Conference in road victories. Their plus-39 goal differential is also good for second in the NHL behind only the Tampa Bay Lightning (plus-58). The Flames face the Detroit Red Wings at home on Friday, and have a quick turnaround in Edmonton on Saturday night. Head coach Bill Peters will also face his former employer, the Carolina Hurricanes, in a pair of games on Tuesday, Jan. 22 in Calgary, and Sunday, Feb. 3 in Raleigh.
Thursday, Jan. 31
N.Y. Rangers-New Jersey: The Rangers hit the tunnel for Newark to battle the Devils. The only thing in their favor is a 4-0 record over the past four playing on a day of rest. They're just 16-37 in their past 53 games dating back to last season and they're 2-5 in the past seven against teams with a losing record. The Devils have not exactly lit the world on fire. They're 6-1 in the past seven against losing teams, but just 3-7 in the past 10 against Metropolitan Division games and 5-12 in the past 17 tries against Eastern Conference foes. The Rangers are just 1-5 in the past six trips to New Jersey, and 1-4 in the past five against the Devils overall. The 'over' is also 6-0-2 in the past eight meetings in Newark, and 5-1-3 in the past nine overall.
Columbus-Winnipeg: Both the Blue Jackets and Jets have some decent trends in their favor. Columbus is 5-1 in the past six against the Central Division, and they're 5-0 in the past five working on a day of rest. However, they are also 3-7 in the past 10 against a team with a winning record. Winnipeg has picked up a victory in five of the past seven, and they're 7-3 in their past 10 tries against Metropolitan Division foes. They're also 4-0 in the past four against winning teams. More importantly, the Jets are not exhausted, and, in fact, they get stronger as the games are bunched together. Winnipeg is 16-5 in the past 21 in the third game of a 3-in-4 situation.
Friday, Feb. 1
Tampa Bay-N.Y. Islanders: When the Islanders lost John Tavares in the offseason free agency sweepstakes to the Toronto Maple Leafs, many figured the Isles would be a lower-division team failing to find much in the way of success. However, that hasn't been the case, as they're sitting atop the difficult Metropolitan Division, although they are just four points from fourth place in the division, too. In any event, this is a battle between the two first-place teams in the Eastern Conference.
The last time the Islanders host the Lightning, they pounded them by a 5-1 score on Jan. 13, a rare lopsided loss for Tampa this season. In the first meeting, the Lightning won at home by a 5-2 score back on Nov. 8 behind All-Star Andrei Vasilevskiy. The first meeting was a push on the total, while the second had a number of 6 1/2 goals, so it cashed 'under'.
Calgary-Washington: The defending champion Capitals are on a seven-game slide (0-5-2), and they'll look to get back on track against the Calgary Flames. The Caps are suffering through their longest skid since the 2013-14, which is the last time they missed the playoffs. Goaltending, defense and a lack of timely goals has been the problem with the Caps, as they have been doubled up 36-18 during the slide. Facing the first-place Flames isn't likely a cure for their ills. Calgary is 8-0-1 across the past 10, as David Rittich and Mike Smith have each protected the cage well. The Flames have also scored three or more goals in 12 consecutive outings dating back to Dec. 29.
Minnesota-Dallas: The Stars are having difficulty on the offensive end, averaging just 1.56 goals across the past nine outings. They were just above that average last time they met the Wild, winning 2-1 in overtime back on Dec. 22 in St. Paul. The Stars dropped the first meeting at home back on Oct. 19 by a 3-1 score. The 'under' has connected in each of the first two meetings, and is 7-0-2 over the past nine, and 11-2-2 across the past 15 games for the Stars.
Saturday, Feb. 2
Montreal-New Jersey: The Canadiens and Devils will meet in matinee action on Sunday. The first meeting didn't end well for the Habs in New Jersey, as the Devils came away with a 5-2 victory behind Keith Kinkaid. Montreal hasn't won in New Jersey since Feb. 27, 2017, and the Habs haven't beaten the Canadiens in regulation since Jan. 20, 2017. The 'under' is 7-3 over the past 10 games heading into their game on Thursday against the Rangers, so remember that angle on Saturday afternoon, too.
Pittsburgh-Toronto: The Penguins will have revenge on their minds when they roll into ScotiaBank Arena in Toronto looking to repay the Leafs. Toronto throttled Pittsburgh 5-0 in the Steel City in the most recent meeting on Nov. 3, as Frederik Andersen shut down the high-powered Pens offense. In fact, both meetings this season have resulted in shutouts, as Matt Murray blanked the Leafs in Toronto in the first meeting on Oct. 18.
Arizona-San Jose: The Coyotes and Sharks will do battle, and San Jose knows that Arizona isn't a pushover anymore. San Jose went down to Arizona and got doubled up by a 6-3 score on Jan. 16 behind backup goalie Aaron Dell. The Sharks also feel flat in the most recent home meeting with the Coyotes back on Dec. 23, a 4-3 win in a shootout by the Dogs. The Sharks managed a 5-3 win in the first mertings on Dec. 8. All three battles this season have resulted in an 'over' result.
Sunday, Feb. 3
Boston-Washington: The Bruins and Capitals will take place in the undercard for New England sports fans on Super Bowl Sunday. Fans of the black and gold hope this nationally-televised game goes better than the last meeting in Beantown, when the Caps came away with a 4-2 win on Jan. 10 behind Braden Holtby. Washington also won 7-0 in the opener back on Oct. 3, as the 'over' was 1-0-1 in the first two meetings.
For the Capitals, they're facing a team they have pushed around for years. The Caps have won a whopping 14 straight meetings against the Bruins dating back to March 29, 2014 with the 'over' going 3-0-1 in the past four meetings, and 5-2-1 in the past eight.