Around the NHL: Predictions for January 8th

There are six NHL games around the NHL tonight, so let’s take a look at the top picks, plays and predictions.

January 8, 2017 – NHL Schedule
Lightning vs Penguins
ML +200 / -250
O/U 6
Bruins vs Hurricanes
ML +110 / -137
O/U 5
Flyers vs Blue Jackets
ML +140 / -160
O/U 5.5
Predators vs Blackhawks
ML +125 / -145
O/U 5
Oilers vs Senators
ML +110 / -130
O/U 5
Wild vs Ducks
ML +100 / -120
O/U 5

Here are tonight’s starting goaltenders, courtesy of LeftWingLock.

Play of the Day: The over in Lightning vs Penguins.
Pittsburgh seems to be the common denominator in these games that feature an over/under set at six or higher. And really, who can argue with that?

Pittsburgh has not played a game yet in 2017. They had a full week off after their New Year’s Eve victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. The Pens ended 2016 on a four-game winning streak and taking five of their last six. The over-six would have hit in four of those six games.

Given Pitt’s propensity to get into high-scoring games, and the fact that Tampa is in the bottom third in the league in goals-allowed per game, expect the over to be a hit in this one too.

The Bolts lost yesterday’s matchup to the Flyers 4-2. With Ben Bishop out with an injury until later this month, Andrei Vasilevskiy will likely get the start again.

Nikita Kucherov will look to continue to carry the Bolts offense tonight. Kucherov has 10 points in his last seven games and is a shot-on-goal machine. Jonathan Drouin has been picking things up lately too, with points in four of his last five games.

The over is 9-2-1 in the last 12 meetings in Pittsburgh, with the Pens usually coming out on top.

In their last encounter, the Penguins overcame a two-goal deficit and struck three times on the powerplay to best the Lightning 4-3.

Prediction: Take the well-rested Penguins to win. Play the over.

The Game to Watch: Flyers vs Blue Jackets.
It seems like every time the Blue Jackets play now, it is must-watch television. Well, that is especially true when they take on division rivals.

Last night’s game did not disappoint in terms of excitement. The Jackets jumped out to a 4-1 lead on the New York Rangers. Michael Grabner got a goal early in the second period to cut the deficit to two goals. In the third, Adam Clendening scored his first and second goals of the season to tie things up at four a side. With the final seconds of regulation ticking away, Grabner sprung himself on a breakaway, splitting the Columbus defense. He deked to his backhand side and lifted it over the legs of Curtis McElhinney. Game, set, match. Columbus loses 5-4.

It truly is not because the Jackets played poorly or that they took their foot off the gas pedal that they lost last night. McElhinney was fine, but he was beaten the same way three times with a wrist shot from the left circle over his glove hand. The fourth goal from Clendening snuck through from the right boards on a freak play. At the end of the day, there were not a lot of fingers to point, though John Tortorella had no problem pointing one at his goaltender after the game.

Philadelphia was also in action yesterday afternoon, as they played the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Flyers controlled the pace of the game for most of the day, coming out on top 4-2. Philly outshot the Bolts 44-26. Jake Voracek had himself two assists. Radko Gudas’ second goal of the season gave the Flyers the NHL lead in collaborative points from defensemen.

Both teams will be rolling out their number ones tonight. Sergei Bobrovsky and Steve Mason will be squaring off against their respective former teams. Mason is 3-3-3 in his career against the Jackets. Bobrovsky, meanwhile, is 5-1-0 against his old club with a 1.81 goals-against average and a .940 save percentage.

Philly is winless in their last five road games. The Jackets have won their last five games against teams with a losing road record.

Columbus has won six of the last seven encounters with the Flyers, including the last eight in Ohio.

If they want to avoid a new kind of streak, the Jackets are going to have to turn it around here tonight.

Prediction: Take the Jackets to win. Play the over.

Other Game Notes Around the NHL

Oilers vs Senators: The Oilers are looking to finish up this four-game road trip of theirs with a winning record. They lost the first game of the trip in Ohio to the Blue Jackets, but have won their last two against Boston and New Jersey, each by one goal. Their final tough task will be against Ottawa.

With a road win, they will have already surpassed their total from last season. Pretty incredible.

Jonas Gustavsson will start for the first time since December 8th. He was lit up by the Flyers in his last outing, allowing six goals on 31 shots. Gustavsson has allowed 13 goals in four starts, posting a 1-2-1 record.

This will be a matchup of stars looking to snap their goal-scoring skid. Jordan Eberle has been held goalless in his last 13 games, while the Sens’ Kyle Turris has not scored in his last eight.

Bobby Ryan sat out last game for undisclosed reasons for Ottawa. The Sens continue their backslide losing four games in a row, and a potential personal issue does not help matters.

At least Patrick Maroon has been having a good time. Maroon netted his first career hat trick against Boston last week.

Prediction: Take the Oilers to steal one on the road. Play the under.

Bruins vs Hurricanes: The Carolina Hurricanes finally had their 11-game point streak at the PNC Arena come to an end last week in a 3-1 loss to New Jersey. They will look to start a new streak tonight against the Bruins, as five of their next six games are at home.

Cam Ward will make his 16th consecutive start. Ward has been fantastic at home, posting a 9-3-1 record with a 1.92 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage. He has two shutouts in North Carolina.

David Pastrnak will be looking to snap his current nine-game scoring drought. Pasta leads the team with 19 goals this season, putting him among the best scorers in the NHL.

Boston has lost their last four games on the tail-end of a back-to-back.

Prediction: Take the Canes to win. Play the under.

Wild vs Ducks: Ryan Getzlaf has been ruled out for tonight. The Ducks have won three in a row, but that still bites. Minnesota is 1-0-1 on this SoCal road trip they are on. The fact that the Wild played yesterday and went into extra time against the Kings helps negate the fact that Anaheim will be missing their best player.

Prediction: Take the Ducks to win a close one. Play the under.

To make a play on these predictions, or any other NHL bets, visit our sports book

About Casey Bryant

Casey is GetMoreSports' resident hockey fanatic and host of "Jersey Corner" on the GMS YouTube channel. He is the play-by-play voice of Marist College Hockey and the New York AppleCore. He currently works as a traffic coordinator for MSG Networks. Steve Valiquette once held a bathroom door for him.

About Casey Bryant

Casey is GetMoreSports' resident hockey fanatic and host of "Jersey Corner" on the GMS YouTube channel. He is the play-by-play voice of Marist College Hockey and the New York AppleCore. He currently works as a traffic coordinator for MSG Networks. Steve Valiquette once held a bathroom door for him.

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