NHL Tuesday best bets: Senators to cool off Rangers
We'll take the split and set our sights higher with a couple of plays for Tuesday night's card.
The Rangers are a very good team riding a three-game winning streak.
Although it doesn't necessarily reflect in their record, there are certainly warning signs beneath the surface that suggest they may be slowing down.
Take the past four games, for example. The Rangers conceded 38 shots (and five goals) to the Sabres, were forced to come from behind against the Red Wings, were outshot 39-26 by the Predators, and squeaked out a one-goal victory against the Sharks. Not overly impressive.
The level of play we've seen from them has tailed off, particularly on the defensive side of things.
Dating back 10 games, the Rangers rank bottom-five in shots allowed per contest. Igor Shesterkin is as well-equipped as anybody to handle that kind of workload, but it's still not a recipe for sustained success.
The Rangers are clearly giving up a lot right now and noticeably struggling with odd-man rushes against. For all the Senators' faults, they have a lot of talented forwards and team speed. I think they can exploit the weaknesses we've seen from the Rangers of late.
The Rangers aren't going to continue winning 18 of every 23 contests. A three-games-in-four-nights situation on the road - while showing signs of loosening up defensively - seems like a prime letdown spot.
Look for a hungry Senators team to grind out a much-needed victory.
Bet: Senators (+110)
Slowly but surely, the Devils are getting healthy. Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier, and, most recently, Timo Meier all rejoined the lineup over the last couple of weeks, giving the Devils a full cast of characters up front.
They now have a mix of high-end speed, skill, and game-breaking ability that few teams can match up against.
Generating chances hasn't been an issue this season, and - fully healthy up front for the first time since the beginning of the year - the Devils should be able to finish at a high rate and make the most of them.
Keeping the puck out has absolutely been a problem. Similarly to the Hurricanes, though, the Devils have done a good job at limiting shots and high-danger chances. They're just not getting saves.
Vitek Vanecek and Akira Schmid don't exactly make for a highly-touted, name-brand goaltending duo, but they helped the Devils finish 11th in save percentage last year. Even if they played over their heads, and regression was inevitable, the pendulum has now swung too far the other way.
The Devils should start getting saves at a higher clip sooner rather than later. If all else fails, they're now healthier and better equipped to outscore their problems.
They've won three of the past four, their underlying metrics are very strong, and they're healthier than they've been in weeks, if not months. I see value in backing them in this spot.
Odds: Devils (-110)
Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Follow him on X, formerly known as Twitter, at @ToddCordell.