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NHL Betting News and Notes

NHL Betting News and Notes

This Week's Best NHL Bets

Every week, we update you on who's hot, who's not and situational betting spots in the National Hockey League.

For the week of April 15-20

Hot team

Pittsburgh Penguins (2-0 SU)

The Penguins have skated to six consecutive victories and are clearly the team to beat in the East even without Sidney Crosby. Pittsburgh has a favorable schedule down the stretch and will play three likely non-playoff teams (Buffalo, New Jersey, Carolina) in its last four games.

Cold team

Florida Panthers (0-3 SU)

The Panthers are in the league basement thanks to a five-game losing streak. Florida has been outscored 28-8 during the drought and has a tough matchup with the Bruins in Boston on Sunday.

Best over play

New York Rangers (3-0 over/under)

The Rangers are fighting for their playoff lives in the East and their offense has responded with impressive back-to-back outbursts. New York has tallied a total of 14 goals in wins over Buffalo and Florida. The Rangers can eliminate the Devils from playoff contention with a win over their Atlantic rivals on Sunday.

Best under play

St. Louis Blues (0-3 over/under)

Brian Elliott has been standing on his head for the Blues and under bettors are cashing in. St. Louis is 0-8-1 O/U in its past nine contests and has allowed a miniscule 1.11 goals per game during the run. The Blues play the first game of a home-and-home series in Colorado on Sunday.

Surveying the schedule:

The Dallas Stars are two points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference heading into action Sunday. Wins won’t be easy to come by for the Stars down the stretch as all four of their remaining games are against potential playoff-bound teams (Kings, Sharks, Blue Jackets, and Red Wings).

The Ottawa Senators fell 4-1 to the Toronto Maple Leafs Saturday night to slide to seventh in the Eastern Conference standings. Clinching a playoff berth won’t be easy for the Senators, who have games remaining against the Penguins, Capitals, Flyers and Bruins.

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Re: NHL Betting News and Notes

2013 NHL Playoff Picture

The NHL season is almost over. It felt like it just began and it did thanks to the lockout, making this a shortened 48-game season. The regular season ends on Sunday, April 28 with Ottawa taking on Boston on the road in a make-up game.

That Ottawa-Boston game could mean something in the Eastern Conference, where the Senators are tied for the last playoff spot with New York Rangers with 52 points as of Monday morning, April 22. The Washington Capitals also have 52 points, but they are leading the woeful Southeast Division by just three points over Winnipeg. The Jets and the Capitals both have three games left and will play each other on Tuesday in Washington.

If the Capitals or Jets win the Division, they take on the New York Islanders (53 points), who would be the sixth seed at this moment. The Islanders have three games left, but they are all on the road. Fortunately they play non-playoff teams in Buffalo, Carolina and Philadelphia.

ATS Sportsline has won nearly 50 units last 3 weeks in hockey. We hit the Hockey Lock of the Year with the Under 5.5 Boston/NY Islanders (2-1).

The Jets most likely will have to win the Southeast Division to make the playoffs. Nobody wants to finish eighth in the East because the winner will take on Pittsburgh (68 points), who has the second-best record in the NHL. The New York Rangers have three games left, with two on the road, while Ottawa has four games left.

The top two seeds in the East are Pittsburgh and Boston. However, Montreal has 59 points along with Boston and is tied with the Bruins in the Northeast Division. Boston has four games left and Montreal has three. If the Canadiens finish fourth in the division, they'll take on Toronto (55 points). The Maple Leafs have three games left with two on the road.

In the East, New Jersey, Buffalo, Philadelphia, Carolina, Tampa Bay and Florida have all been eliminated.

In the Western Conference, things are still muddled. Chicago has wrapped up first place with the best record in hockey at 34-5 with 73 points. Vancouver and Los Angeles both clinched spots. But there are still teams still jockeying for the last playoff spot. Minnesota and Columbus both have 51 points and if the season ended, the Blue Jackets would take on Chicago. Chicago has won all four games in that series so Columbus would probably like the seventh seed.

Detroit and Dallas have 48 points, while Phoenix has 46 with four games left. The Coyotes are still in it despite trailing Columbus by five points. Dallas and Detroit have 48 points apiece, but Dallas has only three games left and Detroit has four games available. Confusing yes, but with the shortened season, the playoffs won't likely be decided until the last day or last full day on Saturday.

One of the more interesting matchups if the season ended today would be Vancouver taking on St. Louis in the 3-6 game. St. Louis has won two of the three games this year, with two in shootouts. Or technically Vancouver is 1-0-2 against the Blues.

In the West, Calgary, Edmonton, Nashville and Colorado have all been eliminated.

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NHL non-playoff teams that would love to play spoiler

There’s just one week left on the NHL schedule and those teams on the outside looking in on the postseason picture have little to play for.

However, some teams relish the opportunity to spread their misery around the league and drag opposing teams down with them.

Here are three NHL teams that could play spoiler down the stretch:

Philadelphia Flyers (20-22-3 SU, 17-28 ATS)

It’s been a disappointing season for the Flyers, but no team has more potential to play spoiler down the stretch than Philly. The Flyers are building momentum with three wins in their last four contests, and have three games remaining against squads that will be desperate for wins down the stretch – Boston, New York (Islanders), and Ottawa.

Phoenix Coyotes (19-17-8 SU, 22-22 ATS)

The Coyotes aren’t technically out of playoff contention yet, but they’re certainly on life support as they trail the eighth-place Columbus Blue Jackets by five points in the West with four games to play heading into action Monday. The Desert Dogs are coming off a huge 3-2 win over Chicago and have earned points in three of their last four contests. Phoenix will have the chance to put a serious dent in Detroit’s playoff plans Monday night and squash San Jose’s chances of earning home advantage in the first round of the postseason on Wednesday.

Calgary Flames (19-22-4 SU, 22-23 ATS)

The Flames parted ways with long-time captain Jarome Iginla at the trade deadline, waving the white flag on their failed campaign. Calgary also did its best to ship goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff to Toronto, but he boldly refused to report to a new team if traded. The veteran netminder has since announced his retirement at season’s end and the Flames have been playing spirited hockey ever since. In fact, Calgary has already been playing spoiler over its last three games knocking off Minnesota, Anaheim and Detroit. The Flames will now try to throw a wrench in the Blues’ chances of earning home advantage in the first round of the playoffs on Thursday.

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