NHL Friday player props: 3 shooters to target

Dave Reginek / National Hockey League / Getty

Thursday was a disappointing night for our shot totals. Mitch Marner came through to get the party started, but Leon Draisaitl and Kirill Kaprizov fell short. Draisaitl missed a chunk of the game while being in and out of the locker room. Kaprizov, like most Minnesota Wild players, failed to show up.

We'll look to rebound as we find the best way to attack Friday's elimination games.

Alex Ovechkin over 3.5 shots (-155)

I really like to back stars in elimination games, especially when they're volume shooters. When seasons are on the line, coaches tend to ride or die with their best players, and Ovechkin certainly classifies.

Ovechkin was once again a shooting machine this season, averaging 4.3 shots on goal per game.

While his numbers aren't as strong against the Florida Panthers, they're still quite good. Ovechkin is averaging four shots through eight meetings - including the playoffs - and has gone over the number five times. He also fell one puck shy in two of the three losses.

Ovechkin is hitting more often than not and generally finishing within striking distance when he does fall short. He hasn't played a ton in this series - he's logged more than 20 minutes only once - but I expect that to change with his team on the brink.

Aleksander Barkov over 3.5 shots (+115)

The Panthers are very deep down the middle, operating with Barkov, Sam Bennett, and highly touted rookie Anton Lundell at center. They can give any team fits, and that has shown in this series.

The Washington Capitals were one of the league's most stout sides in terms of limiting shots to the position during the regular season. However, it's been a much different story through five playoff games thanks to Florida's 1-2-3 punch.

Washington is allowing the third-most shots to centers (15. 8) among all teams this postseason.

Barkov is doing the most damage, leading Florida in shots and attempts. With a chance to put the Capitals away, you can bet the Panthers will lean heavily on their captain in this one.

Mikael Backlund over 2.5 shots (-114)

Backlund must wish he could play every game against the Dallas Stars.

The Calgary Flames centerman has registered three-plus shots in seven of eight meetings with Dallas dating back to the regular season. Backlund fell only one short in the lone exception, and that's because he missed the net five times.

The Stars were among the worst teams in the league at suppressing shots to centers over the final two months of the campaign. They allowed 11.30 per game, which is less than they've given up in the playoffs (13).

There's real value in backing Backlund again.

Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.

NHL Friday player props: 3 shooters to target
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