December 19th 2013 Expert NHL Picks

December 19th 2013 Expert NHL Picks

We are back with two free picks tonight after a member’s only pick last night.

Vancouver Canucks @ Dallas Stars: CANUCKS 1.95

Note: The odds have dropped a bit since writing this but the Canucks are still good value at 1.90 (-110).

The Vancouver Canucks suffered a 3-2 shootout loss to the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday, but before that loss the Canucks had won seven straight games, and eight of their last ten. The Canucks have been playing exceptional hockey over their last 10 games, scoring 3.30 goals per game over that span, while allowing only 1.70 goals against per game. Overall, the Canucks offense scores 2.75 goals per game and the Stars offense is scoring 2.79 goals per game. The last 10 games for the Stars have not been as successful as the Canucks, losing six of their last ten games, allowing 3.10 goals against per game over that span, while scoring only 2.80 goals per game. The Stars defense allows 2.97 goals against per game overall. These two teams are similarly disciplined, as the Canucks take 11.7 penalty minutes per game while the Stars are taking 11.9 PIM/G. The Vancouver Canucks have the best penalty kill in the NHL right now with an exceptional 89.5 PK%. Tuesday was the first time the Vancouver penalty kill allowed a goal so far this month. The Stars have a 22nd place penalty kill that stops only 80.9% of their opponents power plays successfully. The Canucks have been outstanding on the power play over their last 10 games, maintaining a 28.6 PP%, while their penalty kill remained solid at 89.3%. The Dallas Stars power play is nothing spectacular with their 11.8 PP%, and they must face the best penalty kill unit in the NHL right now. Roberto Luongo has been hot over his last 10 games, maintaining a .946 SV%, and has gone 5-0-1 in his last six starts, and is 16-8-6 on the season and has a 2.18 GAA and a .922 SV%. The two options for Dallas are Dan Ellis (3.04 GAA, .904 SV%) or Kari Lehtonen (2.63 GAA, .916 SV%). The Canucks have been playing great hockey lately and if they continue their recent form tonight against the Stars they should have no problem emerging victorious in Dallas.

Florida Panthers @ Ottawa Senators: PANTHERS 2.24

The Florida Panthers have won four straight games in a row, and look for their fifth win tonight against a struggling Senators club. The Senators were handed a 5-2 loss via the New Jersey Devils last night, and must travel back to Ottawa to face the surging Florida Panthers. The Panthers four game win streak includes a 3-1 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs, a 2-1 win against the Montreal Canadiens, and 3-2 win against the Washington Capitals, and a 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings. The Ottawa Senators have gone 0-4-2 on no days rest, and 0-2-0 on no days rest after a loss. Scott Clemmensen (probable starter for Florida) has been playing impressive hockey between the pipes, winning 3 games in a row while maintaining a 1.30 GAA and a .944 SV% over that span. The Senators will likely turn to Craig Anderson tonight as Lehner played last night allowing 5 goals on 33 shots. Anderson is far from an NHL elite, as he currently has a 3.36 GAA (43rd) and a 41st place .898 SV%. The Florida defense allows 3.03 goals against per game overall, but have allowed only 6 goals in their four game win streak, an average of only 1.50 GA/G. The Panthers scored 11 goals in that span, an average of 2.75 goals per game. The Senators have had 5 goals scored against them on two separate occasions over their last 4 games, which includes a 5-2 loss against LA, and the 5-2 loss against New Jersey last night. The Senators defense is the 3rd worst in the NHL, allowing 3.14 goals against per game overall, and when the Sens play at Home, they allow a whopping 3.21 goals against per game. The Ottawa offense is 10th overall with 2.78 goals per game, but over their last 10 games the Sens have managed to score a mere 2.40 goals per game while allowing 3.00 goals against in the same span. The Panthers expect forward Jonathan Huberdeau back in the line up tonight, he has 15 points for the Panthers, behind Upshall and Fleischmann whom are tied at 18 points each. The Panthers have won 4 in a row and provide excellent value at this price tonight against a tired Ottawa team.