The Sabres and the Panthers meet on BB&T Center ice tonight in Sunrise Florida. The first drop of the puck is slated for 7:30 p.m. ET. NHL Free Pick: Buffalo at Florida.
Florida is in line to be perfect on their current homestand. 4-0-0 on its string at BB&T. They come off a victory over the New Jersey Devils behind two goals by the team-leading Aleksander Barkov scored twice to increase his team-leading total to a career-high 61 points.
The Sabres are in the middle of a long and winding rebuild. The franchise rests at the bottom of the standings in the East. Buffalo doesn’t have a go-to skater to rely on, per se. Veteran Jason Pominville scored his first goal in nearly two months, ending his 20-game drought, in the team’s 2-1 overtime win over Tampa Bay on Wednesday.
The Panthers four game winning streak includes victories over Washington, Pittsburgh, Toronto and most recently Jersey.
The Sabres will be without right-winger Kyle Okposo who missed Wednesday’s game due to his wife giving birth.
The Panthers are playing their best hockey of the season. The Florida skaters have won six of their last seven at home and 11 of 14 overall and record their fifth straight tonight against an outmanned Buffalo troupe.
NHL Free Pick is a goal-line play on the Florida Panthers
Nothing beats the thrill of winning and the WagerTalk Podcast prepares you to make the most educated bets possible. Listen to WagerTalk with Scott Spreitzer @scottwins, Marco D’Angelo @MarcoInVegas and Dave Cokin @davecokin every Thursday night as they break down sports from a Las Vegas betting perspective. WagerTalk Podcast: UFC 222, College Basketball, NBA and even some NHL!
This week on WagerTalk:
-College Basketball handicapping previews on Kentucky vs Florida, North Carolina vs Duke and TCU vs Texas Tech
-Quick look at the Friday NBA showdown between the Raptors and Wizards
– GambLou @GambLou joins the panel to give out his UFC 222: Cyborg vs. Kunitskaya predictions and free picks.
-Lawrence Prezman @PrezWagerTalk calls in from Canada to talk hockey handicapping and give out some free NHL picks for the weekend
-The WagerTalk crew closes out the show with their weekly free best bets
The Golden Knights and Kings take the ice tonight for a contest between two of the top franchises in the Pacific Division. The first drop of the puck is scheduled for 10:30 p.m. ET in downtown Los Angeles at the Staples Center. NHL Free Preview and Pick: Vegas at Los Angeles.
The Vegas Golden Knights own the top spot in the Pacific while the Los Angeles Kings (-110, 6) sit in the middle of the division. The Kings are two points shy of the final postseason slot in the Western Conference behind both the Calgary Flames and the St Louis Blues.
William Karlsson scored two of the Knights’ six goals in the club’s 6-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Friday night. The Kings fell by a 4-3 score to the recently resurgent Edmonton Oilers on Saturday. First place Vegas, in both the Pacific and Western Conference overall, is feeling the pressure of the Nashville Predators. Both the Knights and the Preds have accumulated 85 points so far this season and are tied atop the West. Vegas will introduce newbie Ryan Reaves tonight. Reaves was acquired from Pittsburgh in a three-team trade over the weekend. The physical style of the former Pen has accrued 84 penalty minutes in 58 games this season.
The Knights have some player personnel issues for tonight’s affair. Both James Neal and defenseman Shea Theodore have missed three and four contests, respectively, due to illness and injury. Netminder Marc-Andre Fleury is expected to start in goal tonight.
The host Kings have returned their leading scorer from last season, Jeff Carter, who returned to the ice after missing 55 games because of a torn tendon in his left ankle. Carter was productive in Saturday’s loss to the Oilers. He registered a plus-1 rating in 17:36 of ice time. The Kings are as healthy as they have been all season. Only C Trevor Lewis (Upper Body) is a question mark tonight. The Kings announced they will push starting goaltender Jonathan Quick in net for this Monday contest.
And while the Vegas front office and coaching staff have upgraded the playing status of Neal to probable tonight at the Staples Center reports are he will be limited after missing a trio of events to the flu.
In conclusion the LA Kings take home ice and remain focused at earning a postseason slot in the upcoming Sir Stanley tournament with a decisive win over Vegas tonight.
NHL Picks and Predictions for Friday, February 16th, Saturday, February 17th and Sunday, February 18th and Hockey Betting Tips: Lawrence Prezman @PrezWagerTalk from WagerTalk.com gives his NHL picks and predictions for games played Friday, February 16th thru Sunday, February 18th and also shares his sports betting tips on how to handicap and win when wagering on hockey. NHL Picks & Predictions (Feb 16th – 18th) & Hockey Betting Tips from Prez.
Colorado visits Tampa Bay tonight with a 7:30 p.m. ET drop of the puck on Amalie Arena ice. The Lightning (19-6-2) own the largest point total (40) so far this 2017-18 NHL regular season while the Avalanche (12-12-2) come into the contest with one of the lowest point totals (26) in the league. NHL Free Pick to Click: Lightning -240 over Avalanche.
Colorado‘s Nathan MacKinnon has earned six points (three goals) in the past five games to increase his team-leading total to 31 while linemate Mikko Rantanen is next with 22. The Aves return captain Gabriel Landeskog (17) back after serving a four-game suspension. The Avalanche have been at their best this season with a man-advantage. The squad has scored six of their 10 goals in the last five games on the power plays.
Tampa Bay has proved to be the best of the league so far this season. Behind the play of Nikita Kucherov (team-high 19 goals), who leads the NHL with 40 points, the Lightning have been the most consistent skaters in either conference. Defenseman Jake Dotchin (undisclosed) could return to the ice while Braydon Coburn (lower-body) is questionable after missing the last two games.
Colorado is just 12-40 in their last 52 overall games as a visitor.
The Avalanche are 11-40 in their last 51 games when playing with one day of rest.
Avalanche are 0-4 in their last 4 road games when playing a team with a winning percentage of .601 or better.
Tampa Bay is 7-0 in their last 7 events against the Central Division.
The Lightning are 13-3 in their last 16 games on home ice.
Lightning are 10-3 in their last 13 games when playing with one day of rest.
**Lay the wood on the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight in what will be a rout of the Colorado Avalanche.