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We split our opening preview, going 2-2 and losing a slight bit of juice. We were incredibly close to cashing in on the Devils as long 'dogs, but they couldn't get it done against the Bruins in a shootout. We were also a bit lucky to cash the Wild, so it all evens out in the end.
We're already noticing a few trends to try and capitalize on, but it remains important to tread lightly in the opening weeks as teams settle in following a long layoff.
Here's what we got for the weekend:
The difference is significant and it's tough to expect a team like the Penguins to find their legs right off the bat. We saw teams in similar spots - the Rangers and Oilers among them - struggle in their first games back against teams who played deep into the 2020 playoffs.
Despite that, Pittsburgh still held a slight edge in the expected goal share in the opener, but couldn't buy a save, with Tristan Jarry posting a -2.27 GSAA - the worst single-game mark of the season thus far. It was just his second start since March 8 so some rust was to be expected. Look for a bounce-back here and a more polished performance from the Penguins, who get their first win of the year.
Pick: Penguins (-110)
Luck wasn't on the side of the Canadiens on Wednesday night, as a broken stick and an unfortunate bounce off the referee resulted in them squandering 3-1 and 4-3 leads before losing in overtime. However, both the new and young players from Montreal turned in quite the performance.
The Canadiens are well-suited in this matchup, boasting the sort of depth that will simply overwhelm and exploit a shallow Oilers team. Montreal remains one of the league's best teams at five-on-five, while Edmonton remains full of holes defensively. There's also a strong possibility we see Mike Smith start for the first time this season, which would prompt the line to swing in Montreal's favor. The Canadiens are a strong bargain at +105, and would be a legitimate steal at this price should Smith start.
Pick: Canadiens (+105)
Bettors should wait closer to puck drop before locking in anything on this game. For starters, a Leafs win on Friday night will see this line move closer to -220, and we also want to keep close watch over Toronto's goaltending situation. With Saturday's game being the second leg of a back-to-back, Jack Campbell should man the crease for Toronto - a significant downgrade from Frederik Andersen.
That's one of a couple reasons I prefer to back the Senators on Saturday. Friday's game will be Ottawa's first since March 11. This team is going to need a game to shake off the rust and get its legs going.
But I expect the Senators to be much more competitive this season than people are giving them credit for. They've improved the roster up front and boast respectable depth in that regard. Meanwhile, the difference in goal between Matt Murray and Marcus Hogberg is close to negligible, so that wouldn't sway my price on this game nearly as much as Campbell starting for the Leafs would.
Pick: Senators (+170)
Alex Moretto is theScore's supervising editor of sports betting. 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, loves a juicy puck line, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.