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The NHL makes a big return to the nationally televised scene as there will be two nationally televised games with one game having great sports betting potential. Another game being played that night has the potential to be an even better game from a playoff-caliber matchup perspective and for bets. These games present huge value in the sports betting industry with matchups that can present significant winnings to casual NHL fans and sports bettors.
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Time: 7:00 PM E.T. - Wednesday
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One of the early games of the night will potentially big one of the most thrilling Eastern Conference versus Western Conference games of the week. The Dallas Stars (31-13-6) go on the road to take on the Toronto Maple Leafs (25-18-8) in one of the biggest games of the week that possesses Stanely Cup Finals potential.
The last time these two teams met on the ice, the Maple Leafs defeated the Stars with a 4-1 score on the road to give Dallas its first regular loss of the season. The Stars’ defense did a solid job of suppressing the two biggest stars of the Maple Leafs in center Auston Matthews and forward William Nylander, but they were unable to suppress them completely. Maple Leafs defender Morgan Rielly accounted for a goal and an assist. Goalie Joseph Woll accounted for 31 saves out of 32 attempts.
The Stars are the more complete team on the offensive and defensive side of the ice. Dallas is ranked third in the league in goals per game (3.69) and 15th in goals allowed per game (3.06). They have the tools to go for a serious Stanley Cup Finals run, but they are so also coming off a 2-1 road win over the Buffalo Sabres the night before. The last time Dallas played back in a back-to-back, they lost at the New York Islanders in overtime.
The Maple Leafs are a much more efficient team than the teams they would normally trap the Stars after a back-to-back. Toronto is ranked ninth in the league in goals per game (3.42) due to the impact of their roster and star players. Their defense, while at moments, is lacking in efficiency as they give up an average of 3.17 goals per game.
This game has the potential for the Stars to lose in the second game of a back-to-back, but they are coming off an underwhelming 2-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres the night before. The Stars know they have more in the tank.
Time: 7:00 PM E.T. - Tuesday
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The first televised game of the night (and perhaps the only game worth watching) is the Eastern Conference matchup between the Tampa Bay Lightning (27-18-5) and the New York Rangers (31-16-3). This game tonight will be the second time this season that the Lightning and the Rangers will meet on the ice.
The Rangers went on the road to defeat the Lightning on December 30 with a dominating 5-1 score. The Rangers had two goals each in the first and third periods. Star forward Artemi Panarin scored three goals while center Vincent Trocheck accounted for a goal and three assists. Finally, goalie Igor Shesterkin saved 34 of the 35 shot attempts from a fast and dangerous Lightning.
The defense of the Rangers has the potential to suffocate the Lightning’s offense once again. New York is coming off a 2-1 overtime win this past Monday over the Colorado Avalanche, who possesses the second-ranked scoring offense. The Rangers are ranked ninth in the league in goals allowed per game (2.82) which could be a problem for the Lightning’s offense that averages 3.48 goals per game (seventh in the league).
The offense of the Rangers can take over a game, similar to their previous game against the Lightning. New York is ranked 12th in the league in goals per game (3.24), which will be a serious problem against an ineffective defense Lightning defense that allows an average of 3.28 goals per game (23rd in the league).
New York comes into this game with the momentum, the recent series history, the dominating defense, an efficient offense, and the home-court advantage.
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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