Home | News | Top NHL Betting Picks of the Week – February 19th, 2024

Top NHL Betting Picks of the Week – February 19th, 2024

By Hank Blaine

Now it seems like Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews is going to reach the history 70-goal mark this season barring injury, as he had back-to-back hat tricks for the second time this season in the team’s final two games last week. The former No. 1 overall pick now has six hat tricks on the season, a new franchise record. Here are two intriguing early-week matchups around the league.

Top NHL Betting Picks of the Week (February 19th, 2024)

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Carolina Hurricanes

  • When: Monday, February 19th, 2024, 7:00 PM ET
  • Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
  • Radio: WGN Radio 720 (Blackhawks) // WRFX 99.7 The FOX (Hurricanes)
  • Live Stream: ESPN+
  • NHL Betting Odds: Blackhawks (+2.5) // Hurricanes (-2.5)

The Chicago Blackhawks weren’t originally expected to get back rookie star Connor Bedard from a fractured jaw that had sidelined him for weeks until this week, but he returned a bit early last Thursday and the Blackhawks have looked more competitive with their best player in the lineup.

The 18-year-old center has one goal and two assists in the two games back and leads NHL rookies with 36 points (16 goals, 20 assists) and the Blackhawks with 127 shots on goal despite not playing for nearly six weeks. Bedard now shares first among all NHL rookies with seven multi-point games this season. He’s the clear-cut Calder Trophy favorite.

Should be Petr Mrazek in net for Chicago, although the team’s No. 1 isn’t getting much offensive support most nights. Mrazek made 40 saves in Saturday’s 3-2 win over the Senators as the stops tied his season high, while the 42 shots faced were the most Mrazek had seen since late October. The 32-year-old snapped a six-start losing streak with the performance, a stretch in which he’d gone 0-5-1 despite a 2.55 GAA and .921 save percentage. Mrazek played with the Hurricanes for three seasons from 2018-21, going 50-32-8 with a 2.48 goals-against average, .911 save percentage and 10 shutouts.

Nick Foligno found the back of the net vs. Ottawa, extending his point streak to five games (3G, 2A). It’s his longest point streak of the season. He has also earned points in six of his last eight games (4G, 2A).

Chicago fell to the Hurricanes 3-0 in their last meeting on Dec. 27, 2022. Seth Jones has seven points (3G, 4A) over his last eight contests against Carolina. Ryan Donato has four goals over his last five games against the Hurricanes, including goals in his last two contests. Philipp Kurashev comes into Monday’s tilt having earned assists (2A) over his last four games against the Hurricanes.

Carolina is 4-1-0 in its past five games this year and second in the Metropolitan Division, six points behind the New York Rangers. Jordan Staal’s 417 points in 796 games are sixth in Hurricanes/Hartford Whalers history. The Canes eye a third straight win Monday as they are off a 3-1 victory over Vegas.

No line was better on Carolina’s just-completed three-game road trip than Jarvis, Jordan Martinook, and Staal. Combining for 11 points in the trio of contests, both Jarvis and Staal enter tonight with three-game point streaks. As for Martinook, his eight goals in the calendar year lead all Canes skaters.

Since the start of December, the Hurricanes are 91-for-99 on the power player, a league-best 91.9% during that time. They have held the opposing power play scoreless in 14 of their last 18 games, and they have allowed multiple power-play goals just once in their last 35 games. Carolina has a 17-6-4 record on home ice this season, tied for the seventh-highest home points percentage (.704) of any NHL team.

NHL Betting Pick: Hurricanes

New York Islanders vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

  • When: Tuesday, February 20th, 2024, 7:00 PM ET
  • Where: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Radio: WRHU 88.7 FM (Islanders) // 105.9 The X FM(Penguins)
  • Live Stream: ESPN+
  • NHL Betting Odds: TBA

The Islanders probably are itching to get back on the ice ASAP after blowing a late 5-3 lead against the Rangers in Sunday’s Stadium Series game at MetLife Stadium and losing 6-5 in OT. The Rangers feasted on the Islanders’ last-ranked penalty kill with three power-play goals, including two in the third period with Igor Shesterkin pulled for an extra attacker. The Islanders penalty kill is now effective just 70.7% of the time.

“There were a couple of [calls] where we didn’t necessarily agree,” Islanders forward Brock Nelson said. “One kind of felt like a late call. Whatever it is, the ref makes up his mind. You got to go out there and get the job done.”

The Islanders’ Noah Dobson became the third player, and first defenseman, to register three assists in an outdoor game. The others: Marian Hossa (0-3—3 at 2009 WC) and Henrik Zetterberg (0-3—3 at 2017 CC & 2009 WC). Dobson now has 23 points since Jan. 1, the most in the league by any defenseman in that span. Isles netminder Ilya Sorokin still has just one regulation loss in his last seven starts, going 3-1-3 while allowing 20 goals on 218 shots (.908 save percentage).

We actually saw our fight in a regular-season Rangers vs. Islanders game since November 2021 as Rangers rookie Matt Rempe in his NHL debut fought the Isles’ Matt Martin. Just 1:29 into the first period, Rempe lined up across from Martin and the two dropped the gloves off the faceoff. Rempe used his reach to land a few punches on Martin. Neither player went down to the ice as the linesmen eventually intervened to end the tussle.

The Penguins also blew a late lead and lost Sunday, 2-1 to Los Angeles on the night the Pens retired the jersey of the legendary Jaromir Jagr. Surrounded by former teammates, coaches and management, Jagr became the third Penguins player to have his number retired, joining Mario Lemieux (66) and Michel Briere (21).

The Kings’ Adrian Kempe tied it 1-1 at 13:49 with a one-timer from the point off a pass from Drew Doughty. He then scored short-handed on a 2-on-1 from the right face-off circle for a 2-1 lead at 16:50. Sidney Crosby scored, and Tristan Jarry made 31 saves for the Penguins, who have lost four of five. Crosby scored his 112th game-opening goal and passed Bobby Hull (111) for sole possession of the eighth most in NHL history.

“I think we spent more time in our end zone than we would like,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. “Having said that, for most of it I thought we defended pretty hard. We would have liked to have controlled territory a little more. I think that’s an important aspect of playing with a lead, playing on your toes, playing on top of teams. I thought we could have done a better job of that as a group.”

Crosby remains one multi-goal game shy of becoming the 25th player in NHL history with 100 such performances. Alex Ovechkin is the only active player on that list (168).

Pittsburgh is 2-0 vs. New York this season, both played in late December.

NHL Betting Pick: Penguins

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READ MORE: Top NHL Betting Picks of the Week – February 26th, 2024