NHL Betting: Penguins to put the freeze on Florida



Ahead of their visit to Pittsburgh tonight, Florida are all the way out at 4.30 to steal a shock win in regulation - even on the back of taking out Philadelphia less than 24 hours ago. They jumped out to a 3-0 lead inside the first 10 minutes and coasted from there, with rookie Jonathan Huberdeau excellent. But that aside, it's easy to see why they aren't fancied: the NHL's worst defence comes up against the likes of Crosby and Malkin. Though I can't see the Panthers pulling the same trick tonight, I don't think it will be a rout either Avoid the handicap and take Pittsburgh at 1.67.

There's an interesting game in prospect in Nashville, with the Predators hosting the Vancouver Canucks. These two clubs that appear play-off-bound. Nashville have come away from their trademark grinding style in recent games and been a bit more loose, which has provided mixed results from entertaining hockey games. Fresh from beating Dallas, the Canucks look good value at 2.70, though these teams have a tendency to go past regulation. The tie is tempting at 3.65 but if you're playing safe take Vancouver including overtime at 2.01.

San Jose must be dreading another trip to the United Center in Chicago; the Blackhawks can compete a hat-trick of victories against them and sweep the season series. After opening up red hot with seven wins a row, the Sharks proceeded to go winless for seven until finally salvaging two points against St Louis on Tuesday. As for Chicago, if they once again avoid a regulation loss they'll set an NHL record of 17 games from the start of the season. Marian Hossa is apparently good to go after concerns when he took an illegal hit against Vancouver - the Slovakian is a reliable goalscorer and a key component to the Hawks attack. Those previous wins for Chicago were by a two-goal margin, so perhaps take on the -1.5 handicap at 3.05 instead of a simple regulation win at 2.10.

Best bet: Pittsburgh Penguins to win at 1.67