Wednesday's Best NHL Bets
New York Rangers at Ottawa Senators (+100, 5)
When Rangers rookie Carl Hagelin knocked Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson out of Game 2, he might have taken Ottawa out of the series entirely.
Hagelin was slapped with a three-game suspension for the hit, but with Chris Kreider adequately filling his spot on the top line in his first game as a pro, and Ottawa now struggling to find the back of the net, it could turn out to be a good trade-off for Rangers supporters.
Although Ottawa put the Rangers under pressure in Game 3’s 1-0 loss at times, New York consistently drops into the middle in the defensive zone, then capitalizes on the counterattack.
“We could just as easily be talking about us winning 1-0 as them winning 1-0,” Ottawa coach Paul MacLean told reporters after the game. “We just didn’t get a bounce at the end.”
Maybe, but this is how the Rangers challenged for the Presidents’ Trophy – winning those 1-0 or 2-1 games.
With Ottawa likely without its captain again and the Rangers looking more like themselves in Game 3, we’re siding with the visitors.
Vancouver Canucks at Los Angeles Kings (-125, 5)
Everybody knew there were going to be major changes, when Darryl Sutter took over behind the bench for the Los Angeles Kings. Sutter isn’t the kind of guy to take anything lightly and the team is now playing a much more responsible brand of hockey.
“He's got a great system in place and he gets what he wants out of all his players,” defenseman Drew Doughty told reporters of his head coach. “And if not, you're not going to play. I know, for me and a lot of the other guys, it's almost scary playing for him because if you make that mistake, he's going to be all over you. It's not fun when he's all over you, so we're all playing our best for him and for each other."
As a result, the Kings have won 12 of their last 17 overall and eight of their last 10 home games.
The Canucks are desperate and the only way L.A. is going to pull off a sweep is to stay out of penalty trouble and watch Jonathan Quick stand on his head again.
At this point, that seems more than likely.