Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:56 AM
In the Crease - Week 3
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West Coast Fair
The Carolina Hurricanes opened the season with a 5-0-0 record in their first five games for the first time in franchise history. They won their fifth game by a 5-2 score against the New York Islanders this past Friday, but fell 3-2 at home in the second end of a back-to-back against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Now, they'll head out on the road for an early-season west-coast swing.
If you ever wondered why it seems the Hurricanes are always on a lengthy road trip to begin the season, it's due to the North Carolina State Fair. PNC Arena and Carter-Finley Stadium, where N.C. State football plays, are right next to the state fairgrounds. The parking for the state fair uses the lots for Carter-Finley and PNC Arena, so the Hurricanes are on the road in the middle of October every season. They head to Los Angeles on Tuesday, San Jose on Wednesday and Anaheim on Friday before traveling to Columbus on Oct. 24 after six days off. Their next home game isn't until Oct. 26, a matinee battle against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Tuesday, Oct. 15
Tampa Bay at Montreal: The Lightning head to Bell Centre as slight road favories. They are ice-cold, going 0-5 over the past five as a road favorite, including a stunning loss at Ottawa over the weekend. The home team has come away with victories in four of the past five meetings in this series, with the 'under' cashing in four of the past five. That's a stark contrast to what's been happening for Montreal overall, as the 'over' is 4-0-1 in their five games overall, including 1-0-1 in two home outings. In fact, the Canadiens are averaging 4.3 goals per game while yielding 4.3 goals per outing.
Arizona at Winnipeg: The Coyotes and Jets meet in Winnipeg. The 'under' has connected in all four games for Arizona so far, as they have scratched out seven goals while allowing a total of seven. Four of the goals scored came in their win against Vegas on Oct. 10, so it's been mostly a power outage for the Coyotes on offense. In their two road games the Coyotes are 0-1-1, losing at Anaheim on Oct. 3 and Colorado on Oct. 12. The Jets started out on the road, splitting four games in the New York City area, and one game at Pittsburgh. They are coming off a 7-2 beatdown at the hands of the Penguins, as G Laurent Brossoit took one for the team. G Connor Hellebuyck will be in between the pipes against the 'Yotes.
Philadelphia at Calgary: The Flyers are on the second of a their three-game western Canada swing after falling 3-2 in Vancouver in a shootout on Saturday. The Flames have yet to hit their stride offensively, scoring three or fewer goals in all six games so far, while coughing up three or more goals in four of their six affairs. They're back home for the first time since Oct. 8, as they look to treat the home fans to a better result than the 4-3 overtime loss they saw against Los Angeles in the Saddledome last time out. The 'over' has connected in five of the past seven meetings in this series.
Wednesday, Oct. 16
Toronto at Washington: The road team has connected in five of the past seven meetings in this series, so Toronto has that going for them. However, they have won just six of the past 20 in this series. Alex Ovechkin and the Caps just seem to have their number, and the favorite has connected in 20 of the past 28 in this series. They might be catching the Capitals in a good spot, however, as they have dropped four of the past five, including two in regulation and two in overtime. The last time out Washington was doubled up by Colorado on Monday by a 6-3 score. The 'over' is 3-1 in the past four for the Caps.
Buffalo at Anaheim: The Sabres head out to 'The Pond' to battle the Ducks. Buffalo will be looking to snap a four-game skid against Pacific Division foes. Anaheim has been solid when favored, winning four in a row. However, facing the Eastern Conference hasn't been kind to them lately, going 6-15 in the past 21. The road team has won five of the past six meetings in this series, too, while the 'dog has barked in four of the past five meetings. That might mean it's a good idea to fade Anaheim, with Buffalo a solid value on the road.
Thursday, Oct. 17
N.Y. Rangers at New Jersey: The Devils are looking to avenge a 6-4 loss in Newark against the Panthers, 6-4. They'll face a familiar foe in the Rangers. The Blueshirts won three of the four regular-season meetings in this series last year, although New Jersey won 4-2 in the last meeting on April 1, no foolin'. The home team has won six of the past seven in this series between NYC Metro rivals. The Rangers have been so-so in their three games to date. However, the power play has been clicking, hitting at a 33.3 percent clip to rank fourth during the early going. The penalty kill ranks 13th at 83.3 percent.
Nashville at Arizona: The Predators skate into the desert to face the Coyotes, and Arizona actually won this season series 2-1 in 2018-19. The Preds avoided the season sweep with a 5-2 win in the Music City last Feb. 5, but Arizona won 3-0 in Nashville on Nov. 29 and 2-1 at home on Nov. 15 in the only meeting in the Valley of the Sun. The Coyotes have actually won five of the past six against the Predators in Glendale dating back to the 2014-15 when the Predators swept the three-game season series. Nashville has struggled early on, ranking 25th on the power play at 16.2 percent while going 18th on the penalty kill at 80.8 percent.