Big 9 game slate in the NHL this Wednesday, the 21st of February. We take a look at some of the key games of the day including the Fox Sports televised Capitals at Lightning and give our betting tips below.
Game of the day takes us to Tampa in the Sunshine State, where the two powerhouses of the Eastern Conference will meet in their third meeting of the season.
The Washington Capitals will prepare for back to back games when they meet Tampa and will play their fifth road game in a week. Things haven't gone as planned in the past week for the Washington Capitals, they gave up a two goal lead to Winnipeg to lose in OT. Then were thoroughly beaten 7-1 by a struggling Blackhawks team who had lost the previous seven games straight. It's nervous times for Capital fans as they have now surrendered first position to Pittsburgh in the Metropolitan Division and have teams like Philadelphia and New Jersey on their tail.
The Veterans always seem to come to play when Washington haven't been at their best, Nick Backstrom has three goals in the past four games which pushes his point total to 45 for the year. Expect Backstrom and Ovechkin to have a strong performance in this one. Philipp Grubauer is expected to start because of back to back games, he is 5-7-3 for the year.
Tampa Bay have made sure they walk away with victories on home ice this year, they are 20-6-1 on home ice. The Lightning had 51 shots against the Devils on Sunday, but it still wasn't enough to overcome the 4-3 loss on home ice. Tampa Bay haven't been overly impressive of late, maybe it's the injury to Peter Budaj which has made Andrei Vasilevskiy play the majority of games or maybe it just a lack of consistency. Tampa Bay are 5-5-0 in their previous ten games and with the loss to the Devil's, there has been a lot of noise surrounding their defence. Ranked 24th in Penalty kill and 21st with shots on goal allowed. Steven Stamkos has been the best of Lightning as of late, he has three goals in the past two games and 24 goals for the year.
This should be a close one with both teams coming off losses in their previous games.
TIP: Washington Capitals H2H - No price available yet
The San Jose Sharks start their four game road trip in St Louis on Wednesday at noon. The Sharks have won their last two over Vancouver and Dallas on home ice and they have produced the goods. Offence has been raining goals, nine goals in the last two games and have allowed three goals thanks to solid performances from Martin Jones. Sharks have had a lot of success on the power play ranked fourth and their penalty kill has reached top of the standing ranked first in the league. San Jose haven't had much success in St Louis and they haven't won there since the 2014 season. Can they break the drought?
The Blues have dropped their past three games straight in tough matchups. Pittsburgh took care of them on home ice then the Blues dropped the next two on the road to Nashville and Dallas. Last two games have been decided by one goal but they did give up a three goal lead against Nashville. This is the first matchup of the season for these two teams and the Blues have taken care of the business the last four games and have won six of the past ten games over the Sharks. Carter Hutton will take the net in this one he is 15-5-2 for the year but has dropped two of the last three.
TIP: St Louis Blues H2H - No price available yet
The Kings have had a tough week on the road after giving up 11 goals in two games they found a way to stop the leaking against the Sabres, starting strong and finishing with the 4-2 win. Anze Kopitar showed why he is one of the best, as he put the game out of reach for the Sabres scoring goals in the first and second periods. Kopitar has 16 points in 19 games and has been unstoppable. Not just is he a great forward he is one of the better forward defenders in the league. Jonathan Quick is expected to start he is 22-21-2 for the year, the veteran goaltender has won two of the last five games.
Winnipeg are enjoying a nice run at this current time. The comeback victory over the Capitals was the start of a three game win streak. The Jets have 17 goals in their three victories on home ice and are two points clear of Nashville in the Central Division. Blake Wheeler, Patrick Laine, Nikolaj Ehlers are all part of that ridiculous forward structure and all have been at the top of their game. The Jets may have a harder time putting on multiple goals against one of the better defensive teams like the Kings but they will make sure Jonathan Quick is on his toes the whole game.
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