In the National Hockey League, the Calgary Flames continue their white-hot play, winners of three in a row and eight of ten, and they lead the Pacific Division by six games over San Jose. Dallas and Vancouver currently hold the two wild card positions in the West despite having negative goal differentials on the season (-2 and -14, respectively). In the Eastern Conference, the Tampa Bay Lightning continue to skate away with the lead, winners of seven of ten and 13 points ahead of the New York Islanders atop the conference. We have three primo NHL betting picks from the ice for you to consider as the teams come out of the All-Star break.
Top NHL Betting Picks of the Week – January 28th Edition
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) January 28, 2019
Monday, January 28
Winnipeg at Philadelphia (7:00pm ET, NBC Sports)
The Philadelphia Flyers won three in a row to head into the 2019 All-Star break, knocking off Minnesota, Boston and Montreal to wrap up the first half. They won those goals by a combined score of 16-9 as the Flyers’ offense found some of the mojo that had guided it in the early going this season as well as the last part of the 2017-18 campaign. In that win over Montreal, Nolan Patrick had two third-period tallies to expand the Philadelphia lead.
The Flyers welcome the Central Division leaders on Monday when Winnipeg arrives. The Jets have won seven of ten, including a big 5-1 win at Nashville on January 17, before losing in Dallas two nights later. In that setback, Winnipeg went into the third period down 3-0 before mounting a furious comeback, ending up falling by the score of 4-2. The Jets have the offense and the goaltending to keep the Flyers at bay, but can the Flyers sustain that momentum that carried them into the break?
NHL Betting Prediction: Winnipeg 4, Philadelphia 3
Wednesday, January 30
Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh (8:00pm ET, NBC Sports)
The Lightning fell a bit off their hot pace going into the All-Star break, splitting their last four games before their extended layoff. They lost to the Islanders and the Maple Leafs but alternated those setbacks with wins over Dallas and San Jose. In that 6-3 win over the Sharks, Steven Stamkos had a pair of goals, and Nikita Kucherov, currently tops in points in the NHL, put in a pair of assists.
Tampa Bay now heads to Pittsburgh to take on a Penguins team that has been inconsistent on the back end this season. They lost three of four heading into the break, with their lone win coming at lowly Arizona. In their last game before the All-Star layoff, they lost at Vegas in a 7-3 rout. Jonathan Marchessault scored a hat trick for Vegas in the rout, as the Penguins have not solved the defensive issues that knocked them out of the playoffs last year.
NHL Betting Prediction: Tampa Bay 5, Pittsburgh 3
Buffalo at Dallas (8:30pm ET)
The Sabres started out the season as the hottest team in the East but skidded into the All-Star break, winners of just one of their last five and three of their last ten. That win, ironically, came at West-leading Calgary, but they followed it up with a 4-3 loss in Vancouver before the layoff. They start the second half in Columbus on Tuesday before heading to Dallas for a game the next night. In that loss to Vancouver, the Sabres poured 39 shots on net, but could only get three into the back of the goal. If the Sabres had made some better decisions as far as their spacing and puck management, they would likely have won.
Now they visit Dallas, who ended a four-game losing streak by beating Winnipeg, 4-2, in their last game before the break. In that game, Brett Ritchie, Radek Faksa and Blake Comeau all got their first goals of the 2018-19 campaign for the Stars. Dallas has struggled against Eastern Conference competition this year — as well as with consistency on the back end. With the Sabres’ struggles — and the fact that Buffalo will be coming in on a back-to-back while the Stars are rested, I like Dallas to win.
NHL Betting Prediction: Dallas 4, Buffalo 2