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Last night was the first set of matchups back from the 2024 NHL All-Star Break. In a surprising set of events, it was the underdogs that came out on top. Tonight will feature more games that will possess great value to casual NHL fans and sports bettors. Some games will feature championship-caliber teams as the slight favorites, making games even more enticing for the sports betting aspect. Tonight’s games should be a great opportunity for casual NHL fans and sports bettors to potentially earn winnings through sportsbooks on outcomes and the over/under of the score.
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Time: 7:00 PM E.T. - Tuesday
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Kicking off another wild night in the NHL is a cross-conference matchup with great betting value for a championship-caliber team. The Dallas Stars (30-13-6) go on the road to take on the Buffalo Sabres (22-23-4) in a game that could give the Western Conference elite a set of problems.
The Sabres have been up-and-down for most of the season as their offense and defense failed to find a balance. Buffalo did establish some rhythm right before the NHL All-Star Break and into the new year, especially on the defensive end of the ice. While the offense has seen a slight improvement 11 games into the new year, the defense is allowing an average of 2.1 goals per game. They’re still having moments where they give up four goals to teams like the Anaheim Ducks and five to the Seattle Kraken, so consistency is in question.
Before the start of the season, the defense of Dallas was supposed to be the reason why the team would be Stanley Cup Finals contenders. Over halfway through the season, however, it has been their explosive offense that has taken over.
The Stars are the third-ranked scoring offense in the league, averaging 3.69 goals per game. This is due to a system that finds ways to get multiple players into the system instead of multiple superstars. Nine players for the Stars have accounted for double-digit goals this season.
Instead of relying on one star player to get the offense rolling, the Stars utilize several key scorers, a system that the Ducks and the Kraken have utilized. Dallas should be an easy threat to Buffalo on both sides of the ice.
Time: 7:00 PM E.T. - Tuesday
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Another early game that possesses great value for another Western Conference Stanley Cup Finals contender is the Winnipeg Jets (30-12-5) going on the road to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins (22-17-7). This is the first matchup between Winnipeg and Pittsburgh this season as they will meet meet twice this week.
Unlike the Dallas Stars, who were playing great before the NHL All-Star Break, the Jets are a team that needed the break to restore their momentum. After an eight-game win streak, the Jets would go on to lose four of the six games to get into the All-Star Break. Their offense suffered inconsistent performances as the Jets only scored three goals in the last four losses.
The Jets are among the biggest surprises in the NHL this season as their offense and defense rank among the top units in the league. Offensively, Winnipeg is ranked seventh in the league in goals per game (3.15) behind the play of a stacked roster. Winnipeg’s biggest area of success is their play on the defensive side of the ice as they only allow an average of 2.3 goals per game (first in the league).
Pittsburgh has been one of the most disappointing teams in the league as their loaded roster hasn’t been able to play at an elite level offensively. The Penguins are ranked 21st in the league in goals per game (2.96). In the 11 games played in the new year, the Penguins have averaged 2.8 goals per game.
The Penguins have the home-court advantage, but the Jets are more trusting to account for wins.
Time: 10:00 PM E.T. - Tuesday
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The final game of the night might be the biggest offensive between a Western Conference team that is rebounding its way into the elite tier while another continues its fall from the same tier. The Edmonton Oilers (29-15-1) continue their impressive in-season rebuild as they go on the road to take on the struggling, but still dangerous Vegas Golden Knights (29-15-6).
Tonight’s game will be the second time this season that the two Western Conference heavyweights meet on the ice. The Oilers previously defeated the Golden Knights on November 28 in a 5-4 shootout win. Edmonton star center Connor McDavid was the top player of the night as he accounted for a goal and two assists.
This game has the potential to be the highest-scoring game as two highly efficient offenses take on two defenses that are among the bottom of the league. The Oilers are ranked fourth in the league in goals per game (3.51), while their defense is allowing an average of 2.76 (25th most in the league). Their defense hasn’t been up to par with the offense since the start of the season.
The Golden Knights are 14th in the league in goals per game (3.18), taking a slight dip after a stellar start to the season. One aspect of Vegas that has been disappointing is the poor play on the defensive side of the ice after being among the top units for the first month and a half into the season. The Golden Knights are allowing an average of 2.74 goals per game (26th in the league).
This game has the offensive stars and the long break to prepare for a highly anticipated game such as tonight. Look for a huge offensive production from both teams tonight.
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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