The Boston Bruins continue to lead the NHL’s Atlantic Division with 43 points in 27 games, winners of seven in a row and eight of ten — with no regulation losses in their last ten. Montreal (eight losses in a row) and Detroit (nine losses in a row) are heading in the other direction. The favorite in the Atlantic Division is Tampa Bay — but they are still struggling, losers of three straight. In the Metropolitan Division, Washington continues to click, winners of three straight and six of ten, but watch out for the Philadelphia Flyers, who have won four in a row and are now in third place. In the Central Division, the Dallas Stars followed up a seven-game winning streak with an 0-2-1 performance in their last three, showing that their early-season struggles may have returned. In the Pacific Division, the Edmonton Oilers lead with 35 points in 28 games — but there are six teams within five points of the top of the standings. If your NHL betting picks will be included this week, check out our two top picks.
Top NHL Betting Picks of the Week – December 2nd Edition
We're getting close to the mid-point of the season, so what better time to analyze how the league stacks up than right now. Join @OvertimeScottB as he unveils the latest edition of The Athletic’s NHL Power Rankings. https://t.co/Hln1S7eQCK— The Athletic NHL (@TheAthleticNHL) December 2, 2019
Monday, December 2nd
Vegas at N.Y. Rangers (7:00 pm ET, ESPN+)
The Vegas Golden Knights ended a three-game skid by beating the Nashville Predators at the close of their road trip, 4-3, on Wednesday. Then they came back home for one game, beating Arizona, 2-1, on Friday. Now they head out to start a East Coast swing on Monday night as they face the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. In that win over the Coyotes, the Golden Knights prevailed in a shootout, as goaltender Malcolm Subban is now 5-0 for his NHL career in shootouts. Alex Tuch scored the goal in regulation and also notched the clinching goal in the shootout.
The Rangers seem to be putting a nice run together, with four wins in their last five games. They beat Montreal, Minnesota and Carolina before losing in Boston, all results coming by a single goal, before heading across the state line to rout the New Jersey Devils by a 4-0 score on Saturday. In that game, Alexandar Georgiev stopped all 33 shots he faced for his third career shutout, and New York scored a pair of short-handed goals, keeping the Devils 0 for 8 on the power play. If the Rangers can keep this defense up, they will start climbing the ladder in the Metropolitan Division. But can they keep up with a team as talented as Vegas?
NHL Betting Prediction: Vegas 4, New York 3
Tuesday, December 3rd
Tampa Bay at Nashville (8:00 pm ET, NBC Sports)
The Tampa Bay Lightning seemed to have turned a corner, winning three in a row, but then they lost on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, falling to St. Louis, Washington and Carolina, ahead of a trip to Nashville. In their loss on Saturday, Carolina prevailed 3-2. Brayden Point and Tyler Johnson found the back of the net for Tampa Bay, and Curtis McElhinney picked up 21 saves, but the team made too many mistakes on the back end to prevail. Steven Stamkos had eight shots on goal for the Lightning but missed a goal from point-blank range with Carolina’s goalie out of position.
Nashville has split their last four games, alternating wins over St. Louis and Carolina with losses to Vegas and Florida. That loss to the Panthers came on Saturday, on the second night of a back-to-back, and came in 3-0 fashion. It was the Predators’ first regulation loss in five games, and the Predators did get 24 shots from Juuse Saros. Nashville generated three power plays in the second period, but the team looked flat from the get-go, and the visiting Panthers took advantage of that lack of energy. After a few days to get fresh legs, Nashville should have the legs they need to take the game to a Tampa Bay team still looking to find that balance between offense and defense.
NHL Betting Prediction: Nashville 3, Tampa Bay 2