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The NHL had two days off to celebrate Christmas and Boxing Day, but tonight is when the action restarts. There will be plenty of games to watch and potentially win significant earnings through bets from DraftKings. Many of these games tonight will feature close odds, even for teams that are significantly better. These will be the games to keep track of for solid betting opportunities. These oddsmakers are giving great opportunities for fans of the NHL and casual bettors to potentially earn some great winnings tonight through DraftKings.
Time: 7:00 PM E.T. - Wednesday
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Kicking off a new slate of NHL games for the first time in a few days after Christmas is the all-Canadian matchup between the Ottawa Senators and the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Senators are attempting to create a successful season after firing their head coach a few weeks ago. The Maple Leafs, on the other hand, are attempting to solidify their season more as a Stanley Cup finals team.
This will be the third game of the season between the Senators and the Maple Leafs. Toronto is the more efficient team, but the Senators have been a thorn in their rival’s side this season. Ottawa took the first game of the season in an offensive shootout, winning on the road with a 6-3 score. Senators center Tim Stutzle was on fire, accounting for a goal and three assists. Forwards Dominik Kubalik scored two goals, while Claude Giroux accounted for two goals and an assist.
The Maple Leafs got their revenge one month later, on December 7, as they took down Ottawa and their home stadium with a 4-3 score. Both teams were able to find different players to account for goals and assist throughout the game, but the start of the game was Maple Leafs goalie Joseph Woll.
This game has the potential to be a high-scoring game, as both the Maple Leafs and the Senators rank in the top ten in the NHL in scoring while also ranking in the bottom half of the league in goals allowed per game. The biggest difference is that while Toronto is getting better on defense (3.36), Ottawa is still among the worst teams in the league defensively (3.55).
Time: 7:30 PM E.T. - Wednesday
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Another early matchup on this Wednesday night that will also be one of the few televised games of the night will be a matchup between Atlantic divisional rivals the Boston Bruins (19-7-6) and the Buffalo Sabres (14-17-4). This game will be the third match-up this season between the two rivals as a series of split 1-1.
The Bruins took game one on November 14 with a 5-2 road win as forward David Pastrnak had a stellar game, accounting for one goal and two assists. Goalie Linus Ullmark only allowed two goals while accounting for 32 saves.
Less than a month later, the Sabres got revenge on their rival by defeating the Bruins with a 3-1 road win, thanks to the shockingly stellar play of their defense. Goalie Devon Levi allowed only one goal while accounting for 31 saves against a high-volume Bruins offense.
Boston's offense is on a significant slump, as they were previously among the top offenses in the league and scoring but have slipped in productivity. Boston is ranked 18th in the league in goals per game (3.06), followed quickly by Buffalo, who is averaging 3.03 goals per game. The biggest factor in this game will be the defensive efficiency of both teams. Buffalo has one of the worst defenses in the league, allowing an average of 3.43 goals per game (27th in the league), while Boston possesses the fifth-ranked scoring defense (2.66 goals allowed per game).
Time: 9:00 PM E.T. - Wednesday
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Among the several top games to feature conference rivals is the matchup between the Colorado Avalanche (21-11-2) and the Arizona Coyotes (17-14-2), which is a game that the oddsmakers will believe to be close. This will be the third game this season between the Avalanche and the Coyotes, as the series this season is split 1-1.
The Coyotes took the first game of the season on November 30 in their home stadium with a 4-3 win in overtime. They made it tough for the star players of the Avalanche to establish their presence on the ice, while the Coyotes had four different players score a goal.
The Avalanche got their revenge two days before Christmas in their home stadium with a 4-1 score. Center Nathan MacKinnon accounted for his 18th consecutive game to get either a goal or an assist. It was Avalanche forward Fredrik Olofsson and goalie Alexander Georgiev who were the stars of the game.
The galleries have certainly improved as opposed to last year, as they have now made themselves a legitimate threat in the Western Conference. The Avalanche, however, are still the team to be when it comes to being one of the most complete teams in the NHL. Not only do they have their stars contributing efficiently night in and night out, but they have sufficient role players and backup goalies playing at an elite level as well.
While Colorado’s offense versus Arizona's defense is going be a stellar matchup of the night, the biggest mismatch will be the efficient defense of the Avalanche taking on a young Coyotes’ offense that ranks 19th in the league in goals per game (3.06).
Michael Hanich is a sports journalist/analyst with a wide variety of experience in the newspaper and digital field. He has a love for all sports. The leagues that he covers are College Football, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, College Basketball (men’s and women’s), the MLB, Lacrosse, Volleyball, and the WNBA.More info on Michael Hanich
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