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If there’s one thing that we are finding out this hockey season, it’s that the only thing predictable is the unpredictable. Last night was no exception. The Penguins finally broke out and had the type of game that we have been expecting all year. They dominated the Devils by a 5-1 count, and the big guns got in on the act. Sydney Crosby had 1G and 2A as did Chris Kunitz. Evgeni Malkin chipped in with 2A and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 15 of the 16 shots that he faced. Is this the start of a hot streak for the Penguins? We will find out today as they take on Washington in a 12:30PM ET start.
One thing we did expect last night was Boston to beat Toronto. What was surprising was that the score was only 1-0. Boston won all six games against the Leafs last year and averaged six goals per game in those wins. Last night Tuuku Rask stopped all 21 shots he faced for the shutout. James Reimer was solid in net for Toronto and looks to be regaining the form he showed in his rookie season.
The Flyers bounced back following a brutal showing the night before to post a solid 5-3 win over Carolina. We predicted that the Daniel Briere-Claude Giroux combination would work; unfortunately we were a night early on it. They each posted 1G and 1A, and Matt Read added a pair of assists for the Flyers. Ilya Bryzgalov provided solid goaltending, stopping 39 of 42 shots. The Canes were led by Eric Staal, who posted 1G and 1A.
Buffalo laid an egg after posting seven goals against Boston the last time out. This time they were manhandled by Montreal, 6-1. Montreal got a pair of goals from Rene Borque and a pair of assists from Alex Galchenyuk, the latter being a player to definitely keep an eye on.
Anaheim put up an impressive 7-4 win over the Kings. The slow start of the defending Stanley Cup champs is surprising a lot of people, but let’s not forget that they barely sneaked into the playoffs last year before getting hot at just the right time. Anaheim got a hat trick from Nick Bonino (who?) who also chipped in an assist.
The Sharks finally lost a game. The have been coming back to earth over the last few games as their offense seems to have run dry for the time being, and at their prices it might be a good idea to avoid them for a while.
All of today’s games are early due to the Super Bowl. My favorite matchup of the day is Florida at Buffalo. Florida seems to have started scoring some goals and Ryan Miller is struggling in net for Buffalo. I also expect the Sabres to bounce back and have a solid game offensively, with their big line leading the way.
Montreal and Ottawa is a grudge match for Montreal as Ottawa handled them easily the last time they met. Both goalies are playing really well in this one. I don’t think it will be very high scoring, but it might be the most entertaining game of the day.
Can Pittsburgh keep it going against Washington? I think so. They have really tightened up defensively in the past couple of games, which has led to a good transition game that has gotten their offense going. Crosby and Malkin get it done today.
Finally we have New Jersey and New York Islanders. The Islanders are looking for their 3rd straight win and are scoring lots of goals. Last time they met, the Isles took a 5-4 overtime win. The Devils were throttled by the Penguins yesterday and are looking to bounce back. I looking at a 4-3 game that can go either way.
Picks of the Day:
G- Craig Anderson- He has been playing great all year- expect that to continue in a low-scoring game.
F- Thomas Vanek- Expecting Buffalo to come out angry after yesterday’s game in a good matchup against Florida.
D- Kris Letang- The Penguins keep the roll going against Washington.
Cody Hodgson of Buffalo is still well-priced at most sites and gets a great matchup at home in a bounce back game for the Sabres. I am now going to do something I never thought I would and say that Alex Kovalev is a good value today. Florida should score some goals against Buffalo and he is a great talent available at a good price.
On defense, Simon Despres of Pittsburgh and Adam Larrson of New Jersey are a couple of players to give a look.
Good luck, and tune in next time for your NHL fix here at Daily Fantasy Radio!