NHL weekend betting preview: Where to expect fireworks on Saturday night
Chase Agnello-Dean / National Hockey League / Getty

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After raking it in on Wednesday, we gave a bit back last night - our first losing night in over a week.

We nailed our best bet and trend bet but lost the other four. Let's not make a habit of it.

There's a massive slate to dissect this weekend, but first, let's take a look at what went wrong - and right - on Thursday.

GOATs and scapegoats

How about that game from Jacob Markstrom? The Vancouver Canucks fell into an early 1-0 hole against the Arizona Coyotes, but Markstrom slammed the door from that point on. He finished the night with 34 saves - including some big ones in the third period - to lift the Canucks to a 3-1 win and line our pockets with some spending money.

It was the least we deserved after New York Islanders forward Derick Brassard took a cross-checking penalty with less than a minute left in regulation, setting up a Chris Kreider power-play goal with 25 seconds to play. The result was a 3-2 New York Rangers win. We had their team total under 2.5. Ouch.

Weekend bets

Saturday: Washington Capitals/New York Islanders under 6 (-120)

When we think of the Capitals, we naturally think goals, and that makes sense: Washington has been the second-most profitable team to the over this year (30-18). But the Islanders have a way of frustrating elite offenses. A lot of that has to do with head coach Barry Trotz, who should have something up his sleeve when his former team visits on Saturday. The under has hit in seven of the Islanders' last eight home matinees (puck drop before 4 p.m. ET), and in five of Washington's last six road games against the Isles.

Saturday: Vegas Golden Knights (-130)

How many times have we seen Quebec-born goalies go into Montreal and give the performance of a lifetime? Canadiens fans have probably lost count. Marc-Andre Fleury often saves his best for the Habs, posting a 22-13-5 career record against them. With the Golden Knights sure to be feeling some real urgency after their surprising midweek coaching change, this feels like a good spot to back a superior Vegas team at such a short price. It's also worth noting the Canadiens have been a lot better on the road (12-9-3) than at home (9-12-4) this season.

Sunday: Columbus Blue Jackets/New York Rangers over 6 (-120)

The total hasn't been released for this game yet, but it's a full go if it's at 6 - make it a slightly smaller play at 6.5. The Rangers have scored an outrageous 27 goals over their last five home games, finding quite the groove on offense. Nine of their last 11 games against the Blue Jackets at Madison Square Garden have gone over the total. This is also the second leg of a back-to-back for Columbus, and its last four visits to MSG on no rest have all resulted in overs.

Best bet

Saturday: Chicago Blackhawks/Toronto Maple Leafs over 6.5 (-110)

After David Rittich and the Flames held them to a single goal in Thursday's shootout loss, I expect something of an offensive outburst from the Maple Leafs on Saturday night. Under Sheldon Keefe, Toronto is 3-0 to the over at Scotiabank Arena after going under in its previous home game. The Maple Leafs are also on a 5-2 run to the over on home ice, scoring goals in bunches while struggling to keep the puck out of their own net.

Averaging just over four goals per game in their last seven on the road, there's no doubt the Blackhawks have the offensive firepower to keep up. Patrick Kane has absolutely lit up the Leafs with 29 points in 18 career games against them, so we should be in for quite the show as he and Auston Matthews go toe to toe in a game that should feature very little defense.

These teams have faced each other three times since the start of last season, and those games have featured an astounding 31 combined goals (10.3 per game). We just need seven Saturday.

Trend of the weekend

The Boston Bruins last won in Pittsburgh on December 18, 2015, their longest active drought in an NHL city.

The Penguins are absolutely a play Sunday. This will be the second meeting in four days for these two teams, and I expect Pittsburgh to return the favor after losing in Boston on Thursday night. The Bruins are still just 8-13 straight up since Dec. 4, while the Penguins are 15-5 over that span.

Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.

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NHL weekend betting preview: Where to expect fireworks on Saturday night
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