OUR Ice Hockey expert Chris Nicol (dogthesteve) returns with two bets for the late night Tuesday NHL action.
Philadelphia Flyers @ Ottawa Senators | Wednesday 00:30
I looked into this game with a view to backing the Ottawa Senators but the more I checked, and the deeper I dug, I found myself being pushed towards backing the odds against Philadelphia Flyers.
These teams met just ten days ago at the same Canadian Tire Centre with the Sens coming away with a convincing 4-0 win. Convincing on paper at least, but they were outshot 36-31 that day by the Flyers who have since won three of their last four including a surprising 3-0 win over NY Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
The Senators are returning to Ottawa following a three game road trip where they scored a hefty 15 regulation goals winning two and losing their most recent game 4-3 in Arizona.
Jakub Voracek is having a disappointing season so far for the Flyers, this time last year he had nine goals and 23 assists compared to just one goal and 12 assists this time out. Following the defeat in Ottawa Voracek was dropped from the top Claude Giroux line and has reacted positively by picking up four assists and it seems to be a matter of time before he starts appearing on the scoresheet.
The key battle in this game will be between the goalies Craig Anderson and Steve Mason. While 34 year old Anderson won this battle convincingly last time out he has now shipped 11 goals in his last three games and could be tiring as this will be his eighth straight start. Mason on the other hand is well rested having only played in two of the Flyers last four games, conceding just the two.
The over 5.5 goals is definitely worth a look here and is available at 11/9 with Marathon Bet however the Flyers have yet to score more than three goals in regulation this season and while I expect this to be an open game with plenty of chances there's a good chance that Steve Mason or Craig Anderson could earn themselves 1st star.
Dallas Stars @ Calgary Flames | Wednesday 02:00
Dallas Stars are second in the goals scored column for the entire league with 85 to their name while the Calgary Flames are a distant last having conceded 87.
Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin have contributed 31 goals to that Stars total and could run riot tonight at Calgary's Scotiabank Saddledome. As a Calgary resident and fan I'd love to be going along to the game tonight and cheering on a Flames win but I'd be keeping a close eye on the Stars top line and the skill of Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Patrick Sharp.
As if the challenge ahead of the Flames wasn't tough enough tonight they could be doing it without their star forwards Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan who have both been feeling ill and unable to complete Monday's practice.
Karri Ramo is confirmed to start in goal for the Flames following Jonas Hiller's poor return from injury on Saturday night as the Sharks pulled Calgary apart 5-2.
Antti Niemi (no, not that one!) is likely to start for Dallas as Kari Lethonan remains on injury reserve but is expected back soon. Niemi is not an elite goaltender and the Flames offence may be able to get some change out of him should they create enough opportunities in the Stars zone.
For me, it's a question of how many here. Dallas are 23/20 to win in regulation with Sportingbet and 2/1 with a -1.5 handicap over at 32Red while even the 41/10 offered by 888 and Unibet are worth consideration. The Over 5.5 market could be worth backing should Calgary's key men be on and 10/11 is widely available.
Philadelphia Flyers @ Ottawa Senators – Philadelphia Flyers (19/13 Marathon Bet)
Dallas Stars @ Calgary Flames – Dallas Stars -1.5 (2/1 32Red)