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NHL Best Bets (Feb 22): Who Has Advantage As Bruins-Canucks Reignite Rivalry?

There's plenty of NHL action for bettors on Saturday. Check out our three best bets, including who has the advantage when the Bruins face off against the Canucks.

Starting at 1:00 p.m. ET with the Capitals vs. Devils contest, and continuing until the Avalanche and Kings clash at 10:30 p.m. ET, NHL betting boards are loaded with an 11-game slate on Saturday. After scouring the action-packed schedule, Tampa Bay at Arizona, Boston at Vancouver, and Florida at Vegas are featured in today’s NHL game previews and best bets.

Tampa Bay Lightning at Arizona Coyotes

Puck Line: Lightning -1.5 (+165) | Coyotes +1.5 (-185)
Moneyline: Lightning (-170) | Coyotes (+150)
Goal Total - 5.5: OVER -105 | UNDER -115
Game Details: 8:00 p.m. ET – Gila River Arena, in Glendale, AZ
Records To Date: Tampa Bay 40-16-5 | Arizona 30-26-8

Tampa Bay looks to get back on track following a 5-3 loss in Vegas on Thursday night. That halted a 13-game winning streak that helped the Lightning move to within a few points of Atlantic Division-leading Boston. The Bolts are closing out a three-game road trip that began with a 4-3 OT win against the Avalanche in Colorado on Monday. Showing tons of grit as visitors, Tampa Bay is 5-1 during the last match of road trips of at least two games so far this season.

Arizona returns home following a 3-2 loss in Dallas on Wednesday and 1-0 loss in St. Louis on Thursday. Struggling to light the lamp, and post wins, the Coyotes have scored two or fewer goals 12 times over the last 19 contests. That power outage has led to dismal 5-10-4 losing skid and Arizona is now a tiebreaker behind the Flames in the Western Conference wild card race. Five or fewer total goals have been scored during the Coyotes’ last seven games.

Lightning vs. Coyotes Final Thoughts and Prediction

This is the second and final match between these teams this season. Backed by Andrei Vasilevskiy, who leads all NHL goaltenders with 32 wins, Tampa Bay defeated Arizona 4-0 at home on January 9. Nikita Kucherov potted a pair of goals and Steven Stamkos had two assists in the victory. Over the past six seasons, the Lightning own a 7-4 series edge and six of the Bolts’ victories were by two or more goals. One goal has decided just one of the previous 11 meetings.

Road warriors all season with a 20-9-3 overall record, Tampa Bay is 12-3-1 during its last 16 games as visitors. The Bolts’ last three road wins were decided in overtime. Arizona is 15-11-4 as hosts and the Coyotes are 4-1-3 during the last eight home games. Tampa Bay leads the NHL with 3.69 goals per game on offense and are top six in defense, allowing 2.69 GPG. Arizona ranks in the bottom nine in scoring at 2.72 GPG and they mirror the Lightning allowing 2.67 GPG.

Pick: Tampa Bay Lightning -1.5 (+165)

Boston Bruins at Vancouver Canucks

Puck Line: Bruins -1.5 (+180) | Canucks +1.5 (-210)
Moneyline: Bruins (-140) | Canucks (+120)
Goal Total - 5.5: OVER -115 | UNDER -105
Game Details: 10:00 p.m. ET – Rogers Arena in Vancouver, BC, CA
Records To Date: Boston 39-11-12 | Vancouver 32-22-6

Closing out a four-game road trip, Boston is playing on back-to-back nights with travel after the Bruins posted a 4-3 win in Calgary last night. The Flames scored 20 seconds into the game and had a 3-1 lead just 3:23 into the contest. Looking like a barnburner, Boston took a 4-3 lead 52 seconds into the second period and the scoring dried up after that. Running hot, the Bruins have outscored their opponents by a 39-17 margin while posting an 11-1-0 recent record.

Looking to snap a two-game losing streak, Vancouver is playing the final match of a six-game homestand. The Canucks have played just twice over the past seven days, losing 5-1 to Anaheim last Sunday and 4-3 in overtime to Minnesota during their most recent game on Wednesday. Trailing the Golden Knights by two points, and just one point behind the Oilers, Vancouver currently sits third in the Pacific and have games in hand on Vegas (2) and Edmonton (1).

Bruins vs. Canucks Final Thoughts and Prediction

Although eight seasons have passed since Vancouver was set ablaze after the Canucks lost 4-3 to the Bruins in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, this is still a simmering rivalry. Since that fateful series, Vancouver owns a 6-4-0 edge over Boston. This is the second of two meetings this year after the Bruins shut out the Canucks 4-0 in Boston back on February 4. Vancouver swept the series last season, winning 2-1 at home and 8-6 on the road at TD Garden.

Following a 7-1 run where the Canucks owned a 29-16 scoring advantage, Vancouver has been outscored by a 29-20 count during a 2-5-1 recent slide. Overall, Vancouver is averaging 3.23 goals per game on offense while allowing 3.07 GPG on Boston. Playing well at both ends of the ice, Boston ranks sixth in scoring with 3.69 GPG and lead the NHL with just 2.78 GPG allowed defensively. Clearly the hotter squad, bet on Boston winning straight up here.

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Pick: Boston Bruins -140

Florida Panthers at Vegas Golden Knights

Puck Line: Golden Knights -1.5 (+125) | Panthers +1.5 (-145)
Moneyline: Golden Knights (-190) | Panthers (+170)
Goal Total - 6.5: OVER -115 | UNDER -105
Game Details: 10:00 p.m. ET – T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV
Records To Date: Florida 32-23-6 | Vegas 30-22-8

Florida is playing the fourth of five road games when they visit Sin City on Saturday night. The west coast road trip started with wins over San Jose (5-3) and Anaheim (4-1) prior to a 5-4 loss in Los Angeles on Thursday. Fighting for third place, Florida trails Toronto by two points in the Atlantic Division playoff race and they are three points out of a wild card spot. The Panthers are 7-5-2 against Pacific Division teams.

Closing out a five-game homestand, the Golden Knights have won four straight after stumbling through a 4-6-2 rough patch. Up against high-caliber opponents who have a 146-70-27 combined record, Vegas defeated the Blues (6-5 OT), Islanders (1-0), Capitals (3-2) and Lightning (5-3) during their winning streak. While the standings change on a near daily basis, Vegas has a one-point lead on Edmonton and are two up on Vancouver in the Pacific Division playoff race.

Panthers vs. Golden Knights Final Thoughts and Prediction

Playing 12 of their last 16 contests on the road, the Panthers are looking forward to a five-game homestand after this contest. Florida is another team that closes strong during the last game of a road trip, as the Panthers are 5-1-1 in that scenario this season. Vegas is on a four-game winning streak for the third time this season. The Golden Knights lost 3-2 in OT on the road to the Islanders and 4-3 at home to Pittsburgh in two previous attempts to win five games in a row.

This is the sixth all-time meeting between these teams and the Golden Knights own a 3-2 series edge. Playing the second of two games this season, the Panthers are looking for a measure of revenge after Vegas crushed them 7-2 in Florida on February 6. Vegas posted 5-2 and 6-5 (OT) victories during the Panthers’ only other visits to T-Mobile Arena. Vegas is 18-10-4 at home while Florida is 16-11-4 on the road. Bet on Vegas over road-weary Florida.

Pick: Vegas Golden Knights -190

Season Record: 15-17 (-5.52 units)

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