Home | News | Top NHL Betting Picks of the Week – February 26th, 2024

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

By Hank Blaine

Tampa Bay Lightning star Nikita Kucherov made a case to win the Hart Trophy as league MVP over the weekend as he had a goal and three assists in Sunday’s win over New Jersey to become the first player in the league to reach 100 points this season. Kucherov leads the NHL with 102 points. He reached 100 points in just 59 games, the fewest to do so in Lightning history. Here’s a look at two intriguing early-week matchups around the NHL.

Top NHL Betting Picks of the Week (February 26th, 2024)

Los Angeles Kings vs. Edmonton Oilers

  • When: Monday, February 26th, 2024, 9:30 PM ET
  • Where: Rogers Place, Edmonton, Canada
  • Radio: KWKW 1330 AM (Kings) // 630 CHED AM (Oilers)
  • Live Stream: ESPN+
  • NHL Betting Odds: Kings (+1.5) // Oilers (-1.5)

Edmonton was the Stanley Cup favorite at one point not long ago but enters off its third straight loss Saturday, 6-3 to Calgary. Connor McDavid had two assists to extend his multi-assist streak to four games, one shy of his career high (5 GP in 2020-21). Wayne Gretzky owns the franchise and NHL mark (8 GP in 1984-85). Evan Bouchard collected his 40th assist in his 55th game of the season. The last Oilers defenseman to reach the 40-assist mark in fewer contests was Paul Coffey in 1986-87 (46 GP). The Flames scored six goals in Edmonton for just the third time in the past 25 years following March 22, 2014 (8-1 W) and Jan. 21, 2012 (6-2 W).

The Kings are 8-2 in their past 10 following a 3-2 shootout win over Anaheim on Saturday. Pierre-Luc Dubois and Trevor Moore scored in the shootout for the winners. Kevin Fiala, who had a goal and an assist, could not convert in the third round. It was up to David Rittich to stop Alex Killorn to preserve the victory for the Kings, who have nine straight victories over their Southern California rivals. It was only Los Angeles’ second win in seven shootouts this season.

“We haven’t been great at shootouts all year, so that was big for confidence. And I think, overall, deserved the two points,” said Adrian Kempe, who had a pair of assists to extend his points streak against the Ducks to 10 games. “Maybe wasn’t our best performance overall, but it was a big win. And especially to get it in OT slash shootout was good for the confidence moving forward in that situation.”

The Kings are without a key player in forward Viktor Arvidsson, who sustained a lower-body injury in a 5-1 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets last Tuesday and was placed on long-term injured reserve Saturday. Arvidsson, who did not make his season debut until Feb. 15 because of a back injury that required surgery, has two assists in four games. He was injured 17 seconds into his only shift against the Blue Jackets.

Coach Jim Hiller expressed optimism that Arvidsson could return before the end of the regular season: “I mean, he’s week-to-week. You never know how things progress. We’ll just see how it goes.”

Defenseman Mikey Anderson is also week-to-week for the Kings because of an upper-body injury. Anderson, who has 15 points (one goal, 14 assists) in 55 games, is second on the Kings in average ice time per game (21:07). Only his defense partner Drew Doughty plays more (25:57). He was hurt last Thursday against Nashville. Anderson averaged 2:32 of short-handed ice time per game, second on Los Angeles.

“Somebody’s going to have to take the minutes, for sure,” Hiller said. “Penalty kill’s been good, we’ve got a good structure. Whoever it is I’m sure will go in and do a good job.”

The Kings and Oilers have split two meetings this season. They most recently played Feb. 10 in Los Angeles and the Kings won 4-0. Rittich stopped 27 shots for his first shutout in nearly three years, and Quinton Byfield had two goals and an assist. It was Hiller’s first game as an NHL head coach. Hiller was named interim coach for the rest of the season after Todd McLellan was fired on Feb. 2.

NHL Betting Pick: Oilers

Buffalo Sabres vs. Florida Panthers

  • When: Tuesday, February 27th, 2024, 7:00 PM ET
  • Where: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise, FL
  • TV: Hulu, ESPN+
  • Radio: WGR 550 AM (Sabres) // AM 560 Sports WQAM (Panthers)
  • Live Stream: ESPN+
  • NHL Betting Odds: TBA

Panthers star forward Matthew Tkachuk missed Florida’s 3-2 win against the Washington Capitals at Amerant Bank Arena on Saturday because of an upper-body injury and is day-to-day. He took a hard hit from Andrei Svechnikov at 17:55 of the first of a 1-0 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday and played a few more shifts but did not return to the game after the period. Tkachuk is second on the Panthers with 65 points (20 goals, 45 assists) in 57 games. Saturday was his first game missed this season.

Defenseman Gustav Forsling scored at 3:41 of overtime to give the Panthers the victory over the Caps. Aleksander Barkov tied it for Florida on a power play with 3:30 to go in regulation, beating goalie Charlie Lindgren with a deflection of Carter Verhaeghe’s long-range snapshot. Forsling ended it with a one-timer from the right side on a 3-on-1 break.

Florida has scored a game-tying goal in the final four minutes of regulation and won for the third time, tied with Anaheim and Dallas for the most such instances this season. The Panthers have now won each of their past five games when scoring a tying goal in the final five minutes of regulation.

“Sometimes, you just got to surprise them,” Forsling said of his decision to jump in on the 3-on-1 rush. “I figured I could go at them and surprise them a little bit. It could’ve been a breakaway, but it worked out.”

Improving to 38-16-4, the Panthers have won 11 of their last 13 games. In that stretch, they haven’t surrendered more than two goals in a single game. “You always want more though,” Panthers head coach Paul Maurice said.

Anthony Stolarz was in net for Florida Saturday, but it should be No. 1 Sergei Bobrvosky here. Bobrovsky has allowed two or fewer goals in each of his last eight appearances. Doing so again Tuesday would set a Panthers record for most consecutive games with two or fewer goals against, besting Tomas Vokoun (8 GP in 2007-08, 2x), Mark Fitzpatrick (8 GP in 1996-97) and John Vanbiesbrouck (8 GP in 1995-96 & 1994-95).

The Sabres activated good young defenseman Owen Power from injured reserve, and he played Sunday against Carolina in the 3-2 shootout win. The 21-year-old had missed six games. Power had a goal and is up to three goals Sabres and 16 assists this season. That victory extended the Sabres’ modest winning streak to a season-high three straight — their best since a 3-0 run from April 6-10 last season.

Netminder Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has posted a 10-6-0 record dating back to Jan. 1, registering a .936 save percentage and a 1.75 goals-against average in that span. He ranks first in goals-against average and is tied for first in save percentage among all NHL goaltenders who have played in at least five games since Jan. 1.

Florida leads the season series 1–0 thanks to a 4-0 win in Buffalo on Feb. 15. Stolarz made 45 saves for his first shutout this season. Carter Verhaeghe scored twice. Eric Comrie was in net for Buffalo as Luukkonen was dealing with a minor injury.

NHL Betting Pick: Panthers

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