Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:40 AM EST.
5:00 PM EST. Regulation only. The Islanders have one win in their past 10 games so their stock has hit rock bottom. As a result of that, they are evenly priced at home here and we’re on it. Without trying to be redundant, the reason the Islanders can’t get out of their own way is because they have the second worst goaltending in the NHL. However, Chris Gibson has given the team a boost and will very likely be back in goal here. Gibson has played in four games since being called up and was outstanding in three of them. Jaroslav Halak was in goal for the Islanders 6-3 loss to the Capitals on Friday. The Islanders are coming off back to back losses to the Caps while being outscored 13-6. That said, we know the Islanders can score and we trust the Hurricanes are ripe to get whacked, thus, this wager is all about fading the Hurricanes.
Carolina’s very slim playoff hopes were put to rest last night in its 4-2 loss to the Flyers back in Carolina. State of mind plays a big role in determining outcomes so let’s look into that for a second. After back-to-back wins over Philadelphia and New Jersey on March 1 and 2 respectively, Carolina’s playoff hopes were alive. The next game the team outshot Winnipeg, dominated them in time of possession and lost 3-2 after outshooting the Jets 36-23. The next game, Cam Ward allowed five goals on the first 12 shots and Carolina lost 6-2. Skip a game and jump to the Hurricanes outshooting the Rangers 44-23 and losing 6-3. That hurt. Following that dominating performance over the Rags and losing again with Scott Darling in net, Carolina played Boston and had a 4-1 lead in the third period before a Cam Ward meltdown that saw the B’s score five times in short order to win it 6-4. That hurt too. Not to be outdone, the ‘Canes still had life when they hosted the Flyers last night. They built a 1-0 lead and fought hard. They fought, they fought and they fought some more before Philadelphia would tie it up 1-1 in the third period. Not more than 90 seconds later, Carolina would respond to take a 2-1 lead with nine minutes remaining in the third but once again, Ward could not come up with a save when it mattered most. Three goals later and the Canes lost another one 4-2. This brutal goaltending duo has not come up with a big save all year. Carolina has lost five of six because of weak goaltending. Bill Peters is forced to use Scott Darling again today and he virtually has no chance to have a good game. Dude fights every puck, even long flip-ins from outside the blue-line.
What is going to motivate the Canes’ skaters to show up here in support of Darling? He has let them down all year. Carolina will be playing another team not going to the playoffs less than 24 hours after another gut wrenching, frustrating loss that essentially put the proverbial nail in their coffin. A lackluster effort by the visitor is in line here and with the worst goaltender that we have ever seen, this has to be considered the worst possible scenario for the Hurricanes to win. Islanders need victories to restore pride and this is as good as it gets for them.
Open an account today at Pinnacle Sports and take advantage of their -104 style pricing on sides and totals, which is 60% better than other sportsbooks.
N.Y. ISLANDERS -½ +151 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.02)