There are nine games on the NHL slate on Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019. Montreal at Tampa Bay, Detroit at Florida and Colorado at Dallas are the featured matches in our NHL game previews and best bets below.
Montreal Canadiens at Tampa Bay Lightning
Puck Line: Lightning -1.5 (+140) | Canadiens +1.5 (-160)
Moneyline: Lightning (-185) | Canadiens (+165)
Goal Total 6.5: OVER -105 | UNDER -115
Game Details: 7:00 p.m. ET - Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL
Records To Date: Tampa Bay 18-13-4 | Montreal 18-13-6
Two Atlantic Division rivals meet when Tampa Bay hosts Montreal. Halting a 0-6-2 losing streak, the Canadiens are on a roll having won seven of their last 10 games. Montreal enjoyed a four-day holiday break following a 6-2 victory in Winnipeg on Monday. In the middle of their longest road trip this season, the Canadiens are playing the fifth of seven contests as visitors.
After finishing first overall last season with a sparkling 62-16-4 record, Tampa Bay has struggled during the first half of the season. Prior to a four-day Christmas break, the Lightning rolled to a 6-1 victory at home over Florida on Monday. Tampa Bay has won six of its last seven versus Montreal, including a 3-1 road win back on October 15 in the first meeting this season.
Canadiens vs. Lightning Final Thoughts and Prediction
Montreal sits 10th on offense, scoring 3.22 goals per game, and 13th on defense allowing 3.14 GPG. Tampa Bay ranks second overall in scoring at 3.51 GPG, but the Bolts have struggled on defense giving up 3.17 GPG. The Canadiens have played well as visitors, posting a 10-5-3 record on the road, while the Lightning are 10-7-2 at home this season. Bet on the Bolts earning a close victory over the Habs.
Pick: Lightning ML
Detroit Red Wings at Florida Panthers
Puck Line: Panthers -1.5 (115) | Red Wings +1.5 (-105)
Moneyline: Panthers (-290) | Red Wings (+245)
Goal Total 6.5: OVER -110 | UNDER -110
Game Details: 7:00 p.m. ET - BB&T Center in Sunrise, FL
Records To Date: Florida 18-13-5 | Detroit 9-26-3
Detroit returns from a five-day Christmas break looking to snap a four-game losing streak. The Red Wings lost each of those four contests by at least two goals and were outscored 18-8 in total. It’s been that way for much of the season, as the Wings haven’t covered the puck line in 23 of their 29 losses. Detroit is 4-12-2 overall as visitors this season and have won just once during the last eight road games.
Florida enjoyed four days off after heading into the holiday break with a 6-1 loss on the road to Tampa Bay. That snapped a three-game winning streak after the Panthers posted impressive victories over Ottawa (6-1), Dallas (7-4) and Carolina (4-2). Florida is off to its best start since the 2015-16 NHL season. The Panthers have won two straight and are 11-7-2 overall during home games this season.
Red Wings vs. Panthers Final Thoughts and Prediction
This is the second of four meetings this season after Florida blanked Detroit 4-0 back on November 2. Sergei Bobrovsky recorded his first shutout since joining Florida in that game. Florida won three of four during the season series last year. With Detroit struggling to light the lamp, bet on this being a low-scoring contest.
Pick: Under 6.5 Goals
Colorado Avalanche at Dallas Stars
Puck Line: Stars -1.5 (+185) | Avalanche +1.5 (-215)
Moneyline: Stars (-135) | Avalanche (+115)
Goal Total 5.5: OVER -105 | UNDER -115
Details: 8:00 p.m. ET - American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX
Records To Date: Dallas 20-14-4 | Colorado 23-12-3
NHL Central division foes battle when Dallas hosts Colorado for the third of four meetings this season. Five points behind St. Louis, the Avalanche sit second overall in the Western Conference. Colorado had a three-day holiday break and is playing in the second game of a back-to-back after losing 6-4 at home to Minnesota last night. Nathan MacKinnon leads the Avs with 56 points, the fourth-highest total in the NHL.
Dallas enjoyed a five-day rest over Christmas and returns to action looking to snap a two-game losing streak. Both contests were blowouts, as the Stars lost 7-4 to the Panthers in Florida and 5-1 at home to the Flames. Those results are surprising as Dallas is one of the best defensive teams in the NHL, allowing just 2.50 GPG. The Stars are struggling on offense, sitting in the NHL’s bottom six with just 2.61 goals per game.
Avalanche vs Stars Final Thoughts and Prediction
After Colorado posted a 3-1 season series victory last year, Dallas won the first two meetings this season. The Stars posted a 2-1 win in Colorado on November 1 and a 4-1 victory at home four days later. The Stars and Avalanche have played low-scoring contests recently, as six of the last seven games totalled five or fewer goals. Dallas is 12-6-2 at home while Colorado is 13-6-1 on the road this season.
Pick: Avalanche ML