Tuesday NHL betting preview: 2 road 'dogs worth backing
A 2-0 sweep on Monday got the week started right for us as we move to 120-110 (+7.51 units) on the season.
Here's what's on tap for Tuesday.
I always recommend waiting for goaltending confirmations before betting a game, and that holds especially true when a team has as big of a discrepancy between starter and backup as the Lightning do. Curtis McElhinney looks to get the start in this contest after Andrei Vasilevskiy manned the net last night in a 3-2 overtime win for Tampa. The Lightning are 15-4 in Vasilevskiy starts since the beginning of March and 1-4-1 with McElhinney in the crease.
The gulf between the two is massive, and while the Lightning may opt to go back to Vasilevskiy tonight given the magnitude of this game in the Central Division race, it's also unlikely considering how strict Tampa has been when it comes to managing his load. Vasilevskiy hasn't started more than three straight since McElhinney was on the COVID list during the first week of February. The Lightning have had five back-to-backs this season, with Vasilevskiy never starting both games.
The Hurricanes have also been the better team this season, holding an edge in just about every important underlying metric - a gap that's grown even bigger over the past few weeks. Carolina's posted a 57.87 xGF% and 57.49 FF% at five-on-five since March 30, with the Lightning sitting at marks of 51.64% and 51.46%. If McElhinney starts, the Hurricanes are a steal at plus money.
Pick: Hurricanes (+105)
The Islanders find themselves in a bit of a slump as they try to push for first place in the East Division, losing three of their last five and winning just twice in regulation over their last 13 games while also managing just a 44.9 CF% over those 13 contests. The club has been especially bad over the last six games and hasn't managed a single regulation win, posting a 43.1 xGF% and a 43.73 CF% at five-on-five - both are bottom-five marks in the league (excluding the Canucks, who played just one game over that span).
The Rangers, meanwhile, continue to take care of business as they desperately chase a playoff spot that may be impossible to catch with the way the teams ahead of them keep winning. After a four-game sweep of the Devils, the Rangers have now won eight of their last 11 and have taken points from 10 of those games.
Based on how these New York rivals have been playing over the past month, the Rangers are actually deserving of being slight favorites with Igor Shesterkin in net - he's been confirmed as tonight's starter - so getting them at +110 is quite the bargain.
Pick: Rangers (+110)
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, despises how the NHL handles starting goalie announcements, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.