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Betting on history: Will Matthews, Kucherov reach milestones in Game 82?

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There are four games on the NHL schedule Wednesday night, but only one pops off the page. With two of the league's brightest stars having a chance to write their names in the history books, we'll dive into the best ways to get involved in the action.

Auston Matthews: Over 0.5 goals

Matthews let us down against the Panthers, but it certainly wasn't for a lack of trying. He generated 12 shot attempts, seven scoring chances, and six high-danger opportunities. Matthews did everything but put the puck in the net.

His chances of getting to the 70-goal mark should be higher against the Lightning. They're not as defensively sound as the Panthers, nor are they playing for anything in the standings.

That means the Bolts will turn to journeyman Matt Tomkins over star netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy. Tomkins has managed a .891 save percentage through five appearances this season - all against bottom-seven teams - and allowed at least three goals in all but one of them. He hasn't faced a side as good as the Leafs, nor any scorer close to Matthews' caliber.

Matthews leads the NHL in scoring chances by a country mile over the past 10 games. He'll get his share of opportunities. I'll take my chances on him converting one of them against a replacement-level goaltender.

Odds: -150

Nikita Kucherov: Under 3.5 shots

Kucherov's shot volume has fallen off a cliff as he's trying to add his name to the list of a select few players who've recorded 100 assists in a single season. He's recorded two shots or fewer in six of his past seven games and is coming off a zero-shot performance against the Sabres.

Kucherov sits just one assist shy of 100 and will do everything possible to get there in Tampa Bay's final regular-season game. That likely means his shots will be few and far between.

The Lightning can't move up or down the standings. They're playing for nothing outside of Kucherov's record and would likely prefer to rest him as much as possible ahead of a taxing series against the division-rival Panthers. I think his usage will be cut the second he gets an assist.

Even if Kucherov sees a full dose of ice, I don't see the shots being there. As long as he needs an assist, that'll be his priority.

Odds: -130 (playable to -160)

Brayden Point: Over 0.5 goals

Kucherov is -200 to record an assist in this game. There's no likelier option to be on the other end of that historic point than Point.

He's found the back of the net in 10 of the last 15 games in Tampa Bay and potted 12 goals in that span. Point leads the Lightning in goals, he's a shooting machine on home ice, and he receives a ton of Kucherov's passes at even strength and on the power play.

It's no coincidence that Point's shot volume has spiked even further over the past seven games while Kucherov's has plummeted as he chases assists.

Kucherov should have no problem creating chances for his teammates against a fatigued Maple Leafs team playing for nothing. Don't be surprised if Point is often on the receiving end.

Odds: +140 (playable to +125)

Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. You can follow him on X at @ToddCordell.

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