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Kicking off the first game of the night for Wednesday's slate of NHL games is the matchup between Atlantic divisional rivals between the Ottawa Senators (4-6) and the Toronto Maple Leafs (6-4-2).
Ottawa is looking to rebound after winning only one game in the last six, with that one win being a 5-2 road victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Senators are coming off a tough 6-4 home loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Maple Leafs started the season well with an overall record of 4-2 but encountered a disappointing four-game consecutive losing streak. The Maple Leafs broke their losing streak with a stellar 6-5 win at home versus the Tampa Bay Lightning this past Monday night. Toronto was outscored 4-1 in the first period but outscored Tampa Bay 4-1 in the second and third periods before winning the game in overtime. Center Calle Jarnrok and center Auston Matthews scored two goals in the game against the Lightning.
The Senators are coming to this game with the fifth-ranked scoring offense in the league, averaging 3.8 point goals per game. They possess a great set of passers and a reliable scorer in forward Brady Tkachuk, who has accounted for a team-high eight goals and a team-high 11 points.
The Maple Leafs are not far from the senators in terms of scoring efficiency as they average 3.4 two goals per game, which is 10th in the league. Having Matthews as the team leader certainly helps. Matthews leads the team in points accounted for (18) and goals scored (13).
This game looks like a potential high-scoring affair, as both teams' defenses are not exactly highly efficient. Ottawa is allowing an average of 3.5 goals per game, which is the seventh worst in the league, followed by Toronto, which allows an average of 3.42 goals per game, which is the tenth worst in the league.
Time: 7:30 PM E.T. - Wednesday
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook
The first nationally televised game this Wednesday night Movie The Eastern Conference matchup between the Florida Panthers (6-4-1) going on the road to take on the Washington Capitals (5-4-1). Unlike the game between the Ottawa Senators and the Toronto Maple Leafs, this game looks like a potentially low-scoring affair, with both teams’ offenses being less than efficient.
The Panthers have been inconsistent on the offensive side of the ice since the start of the season. In their six wins this season, only one of those wins came where the Panthers scored less than three goals. They are coming off their best offensive performance in the 5-4 win at home versus the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The capitals have been completely unreliable on the offensive side of the ice as they were only better at scoring goals than the San Jose Sharks, who do not have a win yet this season. What keeps Washington among some of the top teams in the Eastern Conference is their play on the defensive side of the ice. The Capitals have won four of their last five games and have allowed a total of four goals in their last three wins.
The Panthers are projected to start Sergei Bobrovsky (90.5% on saves) as goalie, while the Capitols are projected to start Darcy Kuemper (89.9% on saves). Florida is more efficient on defense, but most of all, they are not among the worst offenses in the league.
Time: 10:00 PM E.T. - Wednesday
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook
My Pick: Vegas Golden Knights (VGK)
The biggest matchup of the night is set for a huge Pacific divisional rivalry game between the Los Angeles Kings and the Vegas Golden Knights. This game will be a rematch of the 4-3 shootout win for the Golden Knights on the road on October 28. The Golden Knights were down 2-0 into the second period but were able to tie it up that same period. Goalie Logan Thompson saved 40 goals while allowing only three in regular time but also saved seven attempted shots during the Kings’ power play opportunities.
The Vegas Golden Knights are coming into this game with the third-most-efficient scoring defense in the league, allowing only an average of 2.15 goals per game. This is due to the tremendous play from their two goalies Aiden Hill (93.8% on saves) and Logan Thompson (92.3% on saves). The Knights are also 6th in the league, with end points per game averaging 3.77 goals.
What makes the Kings one of the most dangerous teams in the league is their highly efficient play on the offensive side of the ice. Los Angeles is second in the league in goals per game, with an average of 4.27 goals per game. While Los Angeles is not as elite as Vegas, they still possess a reliable goalie in Cam Talbot (92.3% on saves).
This game can go either way on the offensive or defensive side of the ice due to both Vegas and Los Angeles being solid on offense and defense.
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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