Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:00 AM EST. Odds subject to change.
Ottawa +101 over N.Y. Rangers
7:07 PM EST. OT included. The Rangers played last night in New York, where they threw the kitchen sink at the defending Stanley Cup champion Golden Knights, but left that game battered and with their egos bruised after a 5-2 loss. It was the Rags' second loss in a row, fourth in their last five games, and eighth in their last 11 games. Across that time, New York has been up and down both coasts with games in Montreal, Washington, St. Louis, Vegas, Los Angeles, Anaheim, and San Jose. The Rangers played the Sharks and lost 3-2 in overtime on Tuesday night in San Jose, jettisoned for Manhattan to battle the Knights last night, and now they are in Ottawa tonight for one more road game before returning to New York for a high-profile two-game homestand against the Avalanche and Lightning after the eight day break.
New York will send Jonathan Quick to the net today on the back end of this two games in two nights set, and he is no longer a goaltender that can be trusted night in and night out. Sure, everyone has an off night, but Quick has not won a game since December 15th, going 0-4-1 over his last five starts. Quick will be down one of his defenders in this game as well, as Ryan Lingren was injured against Vegas and will not play tonight. The Rags were hoping to get a boost from the return of Filip Chytil, who potted 22 goals and 55 points for them in 74 games last season, but Chytil experienced a huge setback in his recovery just yesterday morning, as he was helped off the ice once again after experiencing concussion-like symptoms. Maybe it’s nothing, but the emotional toll that can take on a team is a variable that cannot be quantified.
The Rags need this trip to Canada’s capital like they need a hole in the head on the best of days, but the fact that the hometown Senators are playing some of their best hockey in years (that's right, YEARS), this one off-road trip to Ottawa could be even more troublesome. You see, the Sens have won four of their last seven games, and that includes a run of four games in a row where they picked up points, including their 3-2 overtime loss to the Bruns on Thursday night. That result was very much a lucky one for the B’s as Ottawa outshot Boston 37-to-23 but suffered from some unfortunate “puck luck". Furthermore, the Sens played well in losses to Winnipeg (2-1) and Colorado (7-4), but did not get the most positive result possible, a win, in either contest although they took the Jets to OT. Ottawa is still undervalued and under the radar. This game presents the perfect opportunity to end the first half on a very positive note.
Ottawa +101 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.02)