While we still secured a winning day, I opened yesterday's guide wondering when the overtime shenanigans would stop giving us issues. Montreal was tied with Boston with just four minutes left yet didn't cover the 1.5-goal puckline in regulation.
That wasn't what I meant by avoiding overtime shenanigans. At the very least, we'll likely need regulation wins for these two lines today. These guys are mostly dead on arrival if there's an extra period.
Note: Lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. All ratings are out of five stars. All NHL betting odds and totals come from FanDuel Sportsbook.
Under 6.0 (-110) - 2 Stars
We're getting a larger recent sample on both of these clubs that implies defense, so the sharp play here might actually be the under.
For the entire regular season, these are below-average defensive clubs. New York has ceded the 7th-most expected goals per 60 minutes (3.33 xGA), and Ottawa has allowed the 14th-most (3.17). The script has flipped since December 1st.
In that period, Ottawa is allowing the 11th-fewest (2.96), and the Islanders are an improved 19th-fewest (3.12). Of course, it's not fair to mention defense and the Isles' skaters without mentioning they're held to a different standard.
They've been bottom 10 in actual goals allowed per 60 minutes all year thanks to netminder Ilya Sorokin, who comfortably leads the NHL in goals saved above expectation (31.31 GSAx). Even despite some rough patches, Ottawa's Cam Talbot (1.17 GSAx) is still a decent bet on that end, too.
Overall, our model sees this one at six fewer total goals 63.5% of the time. While that does factor in a potential push, it's still a valuable wager against these standard 52.5% implied odds.
Under 6.0 (-122) - 2 Stars
He's back. Well, he's been back; this is just my first opportunity to target him.
Frederik Andersen has come off the shelf for the Hurricanes in January, and it's like he never left. The keeper has started four games, and he won all four holding a 1.75 GAA. GSAx is a cumulative stat, so while his (2.60) lags behind other top goalies with just 12 games played, he'll get there. Andersen was second in the NHL with 28.46 GSAx last year.
On the other side, Dallas' Jake Oettinger (23.65 GSAx) could be second in the NHL this year before too long. He's fourth in the league in that department and slightly behind both Juuse Saros (27.42) and Connor Hellebuyck (23.83). Those two dueled last night, so this has been a fun week if you like top-shelf goaltending.
With these two studs in net, you'll want to move quickly. This line is trending toward 5.5, but per our model, this game has a 56.9% chance to see five goals or fewer. That means you can still take a 5.5-goal line with some value at anything longer than -132 odds.
When factoring in a potential push of 6.0 goals at this number, this is the model's best bet of the day.