It has been a heated start to the week in the NHL with Monday’s game between the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers resulting in controversy and bulletin board material.
Hockey fans didn’t have to wait very long for the rematch – less than 48 hours, in fact. Tensions could be high and there may be frequent trips to the penalty box at Madison Square Garden after Tom Wilson avoided a suspension despite starting a melee where he roughed Pavel Buchnevich and injured Artemi Panarin.
Connor McDavid’s quest for a 100-point season is on pause for one night with the Oilers off, but there are nine games on the Wednesday schedule, including two North Division matchups and an important West Division showdown between Vegas and Minnesota.
The Montreal Canadiens visit the Ottawa Senators on Scotiabank Wednesday Night Hockey and the Winnipeg Jets wrap up their final road trip of the season with a chance to clinch a playoff spot with a regulation win over the Calgary Flames.
With that in mind, here are some player prop bets to keep an eye on during Wednesday’s slate of games.
Can Buchnevich get retribution on the score sheet?
The Rangers won’t have leading scorer Panarin in the lineup as a result of Wilson throwing him to the ice Monday, however Buchnevich will be in the lineup and should have retribution on the mind. Buchnevich, Wilson’s other victim from Monday, has just one goal in his past nine game yet his odds to score Wednesday are at +175 – only Alex Ovechkin (+100) and Mika Zibanejad (+150) have shorter goal odds than Buchnevich.
During that same nine-game stretch, Buchnevich has recorded three or more shots on goal just once yet Wednesday night Buchnevich to record at least three shots on goal is a -130 favourite. This suggests oddsmakers are preparing for Buchnevich to be slightly more productive than average in this grudge match.
Wilson has chance to be ultimate heel
What could Wilson do that would rile up the Rangers faithful even further? Being disciplined instead of truculent and racking up points instead of PIMs would certainly be one way.
After serving a 10-minute misconduct Monday, Wilson returned to the game and scored an empty-netter to rub salt in the wound. The power forward now has two goals in his past three games and stretching that to three in four would pay out +225. Wilson to register at least one point (goal or assist) pays plus money at +104, which is solid value considering he has five points in six games versus the Rangers this season. Don’t be surprised if the Caps also come out with a chip on their shoulder.
Can Suzuki extend point streak to seven?
There have been five or fewer total goals scored in seven of nine Canadiens-Senators games this season, so we probably shouldn’t expect a 7-6 shootout type of game. The Sens did announce Thomas Chabot is done for the year, though, which could open some additional space for Montreal’s forwards.
Nick Suzuki has points in six straight outings, including two three-point efforts in the past week alone. Suzuki has six points in nine games against the Senators this season but only two of them have been at Canadian Tire Centre. The 21-year-old opened the season with points in seven straight so he can match his career high Wednesday by extending the streak. Suzuki over 0.5 points against the Sens is favoured at -147, while betting Suzuki under 0.5 points has +114 value.
Who can help Jets end lengthy skid?
The Jets have been outscored 28-10 on their current seven-game losing streak and Connor Hellebuyck hasn’t registered a win in six straight appearances. The reigning Vezina Trophy winner is expected to get the nod in net. Hellebuyck is 4-1-1 against the Flames this season with a .921 save percentage and 2.14 GAA and his saves total for Wednesday against Calgary was set at 29.5.
If you’re looking for Hellebuyck to get back on track against Calgary with 30 or more saves the line is -123 but take this into consideration: Hellebuyck hasn’t faced more than 30 shots from the Flames in five games this season and in the past month Calgary averages 29.7 shots and Winnipeg gives up 28.5 shots against per game.
Blues forward depth paying off heading into playoffs
The St. Louis Blues are fending off late a push from the Coyotes as the regular season winds down. Playing a basement-dwelling Ducks team provides a strong opportunity to get two points closer to clinching. Blues coach Craig Berube said following Monday’s win over the Ducks he likes how the trio of Robert Thomas, Jordan Kyrou and Mike Hoffman have been playing lately because “they feed off each other well.”
Thomas and Kyrou assisted on the game-winning goal Monday but Hoffman has been held off the scoresheet and only has one shot in each of his last three outings. Hoffman to break out of his minor slump and register a point in chalk at -128 and Hoffman to score his 17th goal of the season is listed at +200.
Betting odds via Bodog