Big 9 game slate in the NHL this Wednesday, the 7th of March. We take a look at some of the key games of the day including the Fox Sports televised Golden Knights at Blue Jackets and give our betting tips below.
Vegas Golden Knights at Columbus Blue Jackets (11.00am AEDT Fox Sports 503 HD)
The Vegas Knights head to Nationwide Arena in Columbus to take on the Jackets in a matchup that could go either way. Vegas grabbed the points in their first game of a five game road trip with a 3-2 win over the Devils in New Jersey. Vegas are 3-2 in their past five and are still staying in the win column, even though their injury list is starting to mount. After three straight losses to the Kings and Ottawa they bounced back over the Devils to gain an important victory. Vegas should be without James Neal who stayed home for the first game on the road and could also be missing defenseman Nate Schmidt as he has missed the previous two. With a chance of two of their stars being out they may try and create some mind games for Columbus and remind them of what happened last time these teams met with Vegas giving Bobrovsky a game he may want to forget as they put six goals in the back of the net and walked away with the 6-3 win.
Columbus are making a sneaky attack in the standings as they are now in the Wildcard position after claiming a surprise victory over the Sharks in San Jose. The 4-2 win made the road trip out West not totally a waste of time after they dropped the first two games to LA and Anaheim. Columbus are 4-5-1 in their past ten but are showing some good signs late into the season. They are still a successful team on home ice, can't say the same on the road but they certainly playing better. Artemi Panarin has been great for the Jackets lately producing three goals and three assists in his previous five games. With injuries to Vegas I'm going to stick with Columbus for a home victory.
Dallas Stars at Nashville Predators (12.00pm AEDT)
Dallas will play their second game in two nights as they play host to the Senators then will jet set to Smashville to face the Predators. Dallas are now in the first wildcard position ahead of LA and are 5-4-1 in their last ten. Dallas haven't enjoyed much success over Nashville in recent times but did claim their first victory in the past four games over Nashville late last year. Tyler Seguin is still the number one player in Dallas with 60 points for the season including 34 goals and 26 assists for the year. Dallas do have a very sloppy record on the road with a 14-13-3 record and haven't won in Nashville since 2016.
Nashville are on a eight game winning streak and are the hottest team in the league at this current time. Now six points clear of Winnipeg in the Central Division there is not much the Predators can do wrong at the moment. Ranked sixth in the league for goals, they now have scored more than four goals in their past six matches. Teams haven't walked out of Bridgestone Arena with much success this season, the players and fans have made this road trip one of the hardest challenges in the league and the 22-7-3 record clearly indicates that.
Florida Panthers at Tampa Bay Lightning (11.30 am AEDT)
Nothing like a bit of cross town rivalry for your Wednesday afternoon. The Panthers are red hot and have one the past six straight. Not many suspected this but the Panthers are now in striking distance of playoff hockey and are one game outside the wildcard position in the East. Players like Aleksander Barkov who was named NHL star of the week and Jonathan Huberdeau have been a revelation and now lead this highly talented team. Robert Luongo has also been solid and hasn't dropped a game since mid February, he has won the past five straight.
Last time these teams met we saw a 8-5 shoot out way back in October, in which Steven Stamkos scored a double and Nikita Kucherov scored a goal and assist. The Lightning have also been impressive, winners of their last two and are 7-2-1 in the past ten. Tampa have also added two ex Rangers to the team as of last week. Ryan McDonagh will be playing alongside Victor Hedman when he makes is debut soon and JT Miller has also now joined the team. Tampa Bay seem like the complete package and should upset the Panthers on home ice.
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