NHL Best Bets: Islanders Goaltending Gives Edge Against Canadiens

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There are 10 games on the NHL slate tonight and more than a few intriguing matchups. The Bruins hope to keep their unbeaten at home in regulation streak alive when they host the Hurricanes, the Maple Leafs and Flyers clash in what should be an offensive showdown and the night ends in San Jose where the Sharks host the red-hot Capitals and their sparkling 11-2-1 on the road this season.

There’s plenty to wager on, but let’s take a closer look at two games in particular. Here are my two best bets for Tuesday:

New York Islanders vs. Montreal Canadiens: Islanders (+105)

There’s some value here because the Islanders played last night in Detroit and the Canadiens had Monday off. Even with that disadvantage, this is a mismatch that favors New York.

The Islanders came back down to earth a bit after their crazy 15-0-2 six-week run, losing three straight (0-2-1) between November 23 and November 27. They’ve quickly righted the ship with wins over the Blue Jackets and Red Wings in their last two games. They’ll go for three in a row in a game that will feature their best goalie on Tuesday.

Both Islanders goaltenders have been sensational this year, so it’s a true pick your poison scenario for opponents. However, Thomas Greiss has been the better half of the tandem this season with a 10-2 record, a 2.10 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage. His counterpart in Montreal, Carey Price, is not having a season befitting his legacy.

Price’s save percentage has dropped below .900 for the season after allowing 19 goals in his last four games. He’s given up at least five goals in four of his last six and the Canadiens are currently on an eight-game losing streak (0-5-3). Rest is Montreal’s only major advantage in this matchup. The line would be closer to Islanders -120 if both teams came in on equal rest, so let’s take advantage of the extra incentive to play the Islanders tonight.

Vegas Golden Knights vs. New Jersey Devils: Golden Knights (-135)

You might have to search around a little for this line because of the uncertainty in net for the Golden Knights, but as of this writing there are at least two online sportsbooks taking money at this number. Grab it while you can because things could only break in VGK bettors’ favor as the day goes on.

Starting goalie Marc Andre-Fleury has been away from the team for about a week following the passing of his father. He’s expected to return on Thursday against the Islanders, but it’s possible he makes his return tonight. If Fleury returns tonight the line will be juiced even more to Vegas’s favor. However, I’m assuming emergency call-up Garret Sparks will be between the pipes.

This bet is all about fading the Devils. They’re a complete mess right now. They just got boat raced in Buffalo last night 7-1, they’ve lost five of their last seven games and have allowed an average of 3.62 goals per game against this season (second-worst in the NHL). The Golden Knights as a team have so much offensive firepower that is yet to hit its stride. They’ve won three games in a row and this feels like the game where the dam breaks offensively.

Both teams played last night and the Devils technically had the longer route to travel, but there’s no advantage for either team there. Even with a third-string goalie in net, the Golden Knights should roll.

Season Record: 8-7-1 (+0.75 units)