The 4-day hiatus is over and NHL Tuesday is back after their holiday break. Before diving into tonight’s slate and my three picks, let’s take a moment to highlight the soon to be greatest goal scorer in NHL history. This past Friday, Alex Ovechkin netted goals 801 and 802 to pass Mr. Hockey, Gordie Howe, for 2nd all time. The Great 8 is now 92 goals away from tying Wayne Gretzky’s all-time record. Congratulations to Alex Ovechkin.
Season Record: 8-4 (+4 Units)
NHL Tuesday Odds Powered by DraftKings.
Washington Capitals (+134) at New York Rangers (-162) – Tuesday, 7:00 PM EST
The holiday break couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Washington Capitals because the Caps are hot. They have gone 9-1 in their last ten games. Friday night saw them not only defeat Winnipeg 4-1, but they also witnessed history. Alex Ovechkin surpassed Gordie Howe as the 2nd leading goal scorer in NHL history. Ovechkin currently has 22 goals on the year and is on pace for yet another 50-goal season. If he achieves another 50-goal season, then he will set a record with ten 50-goal seasons, passing Mike Bossy.
The Capitals recent hot streak has catapulted them into the 8th playoff spot, just behind the New York Rangers. A win tonight would place the Capitals above the Rangers in the Eastern Conference Wild Card race. However, Washington has struggled on the road this year posting an 8-8-3 record, even after they have won their last three road games. For a team struggling to stay healthy, Washington is in a great position heading into the new year, but will need to continue their strong play tonight.
New York is another team that could’ve done away with the holiday break. The Rangers are playing their best hockey of the year in their past ten games. They have gone 8-2 and have beaten multiple powerhouses over that stretch including the Devils, Maple Leaf’s, and the Golden Knights. They face the only team that is currently hotter than them at home in Madison Square Garden.
New York will look to improve upon their current 8-6-4 record at Madison Square Garden. Since their 4-game home losing streak in the beginning of December, they have since won four straight at the Garden. They currently average three goals per game at home and are 19-1-1 in games where they score three or more goals. However, tonight they will face a stingy Washington Capitals defense, who are allowing just 2.78 goals per game.
The 2021 Vezina Trophy winner, Igor Shesterkin will look to improve to 18-5 on the season. He is on fire this year posting 2.44 goals against average in his 26 starts. The star goaltender and the rest of the Rangers will look to gain some separation in the standings against their Tuesday night opponent.
Wicked Wager – Under 6.5 Goals (-144)
Wicked Player Prop – Igor Shesterkin Total Saves Over 26.5 (-112)
Edmonton Oilers (+126) at Calgary Flames (-152) – Tuesday, 9:00 PM EST
What better way to open up following the holiday break then with the Battle of Alberta? To make it more interesting, the Oilers currently sit one point behind the Flames for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Edmonton has underperformed this season after reaching the Western Conference Finals last season for the first time since 2006. However, offense has not been the problem for Edmonton. They are currently averaging 3.6 goals per game, which is 3rd in the NHL. This is no surprise as their big guns are all on their way to career years.
All-Star Connor McDavid has somehow managed to improve his seemingly flawless game and is on pace for an astounding 150+ point season. Adding to that is Leon Draisaitl (56 points), who has 20 points in the month of December. Furthermore, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (41 points) is on pace for the best season in his 12-year NHL career. However, the major issue for the Oilers has been their defense and goaltending. Jack Campbell, acquired in the offseason, has not performed the way Edmonton would’ve liked. He will sit again tonight as Stuart Skinner is projected to get the start. Edmonton is allowing 3.46 goals per game, which is good for 24th in the NHL.
The preseason favorite to win the Pacific Division is also sitting much lower in the standings than they anticipated in the beginning of the season. Calgary is currently one point ahead of the Oilers and will look to gain some separation on home ice. The Flames are coming off a successful road trip that saw them go 3-0-1 away from the Scotiabank Saddledome. Their sole loss being an overtime defeat to the Kings.
The Flames have played well at home as they average 3.44 goals on home ice while allowing just over three goals per game. They will need to be sharp defensively tonight as they face the #1 and #2 leading scorers in the NHL. McDavid has had his way with Calgary over his career posting 28 goals and 23 assists in 36 games. Calgary will look to an inconsistent Jacob Markstrom to try and shut down the top-heavy offense of the Edmonton Oilers.
Wicked Wager – Oilers ML (+126)
Wicked Player Prop – Connor McDavid Total Points Over 1.5 (-130)
Vegas Golden Knights (+100) at Los Angeles Kings (-120) – Tuesday, 10:30 PM EST
For all those NHL fans on the East Coast, tonight would be the night to stay up past your bedtime. Tuesday night features the top teams in not only the Pacific Division, but the Western Conference alike. The Vegas Golden Knights (49 points) will look to start pulling away from the 2nd place Kings (44 points) as they get set to enter the new year.
After missing the playoffs for the first time in their short NHL tenure last season, Vegas is back with a vengeance in 2022. They rank 10th in the NHL in goals scored per game (3.31) and goals allowed per game (2.78). Additionally, they will look to netminder Logan Thompson to shut the door on LA tonight as he looks to improve to 16-8 on the year. Thompson is allowing just 2.66 goals per game and will face the 16th ranked offense in the NHL.
Vegas has been dominant on the road this season posting a 14-2-1 record. Chandler Stephenson, coming off a 4-point game against St. Louis, will look to extend his team lead in points as Vegas continues rolling into 2023.
The Kings are set to play their 2nd to last home game of the calendar year and will look to improve upon their 10-5-2 record at Crypto Arena. They will give the nod to future Hall of Fame goaltender Jonathan Quick. While Los Angeles has been on fire this year, Quick has not played his best hockey. In his 16th season, the 2-time Stanley Cup winner has an 8-8-4 record with a 3.41-goals against average. That isn’t the Quick we are all accustomed to, but he is never one to write off.
The Kings’ offense, led by newly acquired Kevin Fiala, will need to pick up for their starting goaltender tonight as they possess an opportunity to gain ground on the 1st place Knights. Fiala currently leads the Kings in points with 35 through his first 37 games. He is on pace for just under 27 goals and 60 points. The Kings’ offense ranks 16th in the NHL in goals per game (3.19). If they are going to make a deep run, they will need to put the puck away more frequently. They will need to get back on track after their 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Arizona Coyotes.
Wicked Wager – Vegas ML (+100)
Wicked Player Prop – Chandler Stephenson Total Assists Over .5 (-118)