Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:59 PM
In the Crease - Week 26
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Cat vs. Dog
The Arizona Coyotes are trying to find their way into the Western Conference playoffs, while the Florida Panthers are likely going to have to settle for a spoiler role. Technically, the Panthers are not yet eliminated, but they're seven games out of the last wild-card spot with nine games left to play, so they're running on fumes.
The Panthers are actually pretty healthy favorites in this one, sitting in the -130 neighborhood. The Coyotes are 4-1 in their past five as an underdog between +110 and +150, and they're 10-3 in the past 13 games against teams with a losing overall record. They have won five of the past seven against Atlantic Division teams, too. The Panthers are relishing the role of spoiler while not giving up down the stretch. They're 4-1 in the past five, and 23-9 in their past 32 as a favorite between -110 and -150. However, the Cats are playing in their fourth game in six days, and they're just 3-11 in the past 14 in the fourth game of a 4-in-6 situation. Arizona is 0-4 in their past four skates in Sunrise, though, and the home team has cashed in nine of the past 10 in this series.
Total bettors might like the 'under', too. The under is 9-3-1 in the past 13 in this series, while hitting in five of the past six meetings in South Florida. The under is 7-1-1 in Arizona's past nine against the Atlantic Division, while going 4-1 in the past five road games. For the Panthers, it's been all about the 'over'. The over is 6-1-1 in their past eight home games, and 12-4-1 in the past 17 overall.
Thursday, March 21
Tampa Bay at Carolina: The Lightning present a difficult challenge for the Hurricanes, who are looking to skate into the postseason for the first time since 2009. Tampa Bay is 37-14 in the past 51 road games, although they're playing on no rest after skating in Washington on Wednesday. That's OK, as the Lightning are 5-2 in the past seven on no rest. The Hurricanes had an emotional shootout win against the Penguins on Tuesday, and they're now 4-1 in the past five at home. They're 25-10 in the past 35 overall, too. However, they have struggled with Tampa over the years, going just 4-12 in the past 16 at home while cashing in only six of the past 26 meetings overall.
Colorado at Dallas: A game with huge playoff implications in the Western Conference will be this battle in the Metroplex. The Avs have gone cold at the most inopportune time, cashing in just 12 of their past 37 games. They're also just 5-14 in the past 19 against winning teams, too. The Stars have had amazing goaltender play from Ben Bishop lately, as he keeps them in the playoff hunt. The Stars are 7-3 in the past 10 games overall, and 5-1 in the past six against the Central Division. The Avs are just 1-6 in the past seven trips to Dallas, and the home team is 8-2 in the past 10 in this series.
San Jose at Los Angeles: The Sharks enter this game on a three-game skid, but they're still 22-10 over the past 32 ouytings. The Sharks have also cashed in nine of their past 11 road games. San Jose has dominated Los Angeles over the years, at least in the regular season. They're 5-1 in the past six meetings, and 10-1 in the past 11 trips to L.A., too. The road team is 7-2 across the past nine. The under is 10-1-5 in the past 16 meetings in this series, while going 3-0-3 in the past six tangles at Staples.
Friday, March 22
San Jose at Anaheim: Not only have the Sharks dominated the Kings, but they have dominated the other Southern California hockey club in recent seasons as well. The Sharks are a blistering 8-1 over the past nine meetings in this series, while winning six consecutive skates on 'The Pond'. The road team has connected in seven of the past 10, while the favorite is 4-1 in the past five meetings overall. The over is 3-1-2 in the past six meetings, but the under is 6-2-4 in the past 12 in Anaheim.
Saturday, March 23
N.Y. Islanders at Philadelphia: The Islanders would love to put a nail in the coffin of their rivals from Philadelphia, and they're in the best position to do it. The away team has won all three previous meetings in this series this season. The Flyers have actually outscored the Islanders 10-9 in the three meetings with the underdog hitting in each of the past three battles. The 'over' has connected in two of three this season, and seven of the past eight meetings in this series, too.
N.Y. Rangers at Toronto: The Maple Leafs host a thorn in their side, the Rangers. In the previous two meetings this season the home team has won. Over the past eight meetings the underdog has won in six of the meetings, and the road team has come away victorious in five of the previous eight meetings in this series. Toronto has outscored New York just 28-23 over the past eight meeting, or an average of 6.4 goals per contest.
Anaheim at Los Angeles: This SoCal battle isn't as meaningful as past seasons, but you can expect it will still be a contentious affair. Seven of the past 10 meetings in this series have been decided by just one goal, and the 'under' is 3-0-1 across the past four in this series. The favorite is also an impressive 8-2 in the past 10 showdowns, although the 'dog cashed in the most recent meeting when the Kings won 3-2 in Anaheim on March 10 with the Ducks favored -200.
Sunday, March 24
Columbus at Vancouver: The Canucks have really been a major obstacle for the Blue Jackets in recent seasons, as Vancouver has won four in a row in the series, cashing as the underdog in each of the meetings. The Canucks haven't had a lot of success across the board, but they've outscored the Jackets 16-8 during the four-game span, with the road team winning eight of the past nine meetings in this series dating back to Nov. 22, 2013.