NHL Betting Preview: March 5

Story posted March 6, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Evan Popalis

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With only a little over two months remaining in the NHL regular season, teams jousting for playoff positioning will tighten the skates even more with points being a luxury.

The first Friday in March will bring multiple tasteful games for fans of hockey. There are essential matchups scattered across the league for the six-game night.

Tensions rose quickly between the Capitals and the Bruins Wednesday night at TD Garden, and now both teams will have the opportunity against each other Friday night. The Caps edged out a 2-1 shootout win versus Boston in Zdeno Chara’s return to his former home.

A grinding, physical matchup translated Wednesday, but expect the lethal scorers on these respected clubs to take over Friday. It would be shocking to see the high-powered offenses only tally three goals combined in back-to-back games.

The Bruins were flat for lengthy stints on Wednesday. The top line knows that they must produce to heighten their chances of defeating the division-leading Caps. Left-winger Brad Marchand should find himself on the scoresheet and quite possibly more than once.
Play: Brad Marchand over 0.5 or 1 points

The Lightning and the Blackhawks have not squared-off against each other since the opening two games of their seasons. Tampa secured both matchups at home comfortably against a young Chicago group. Now, the Blackhawks have solved their major goaltending issue with Kevin Lankinen.

Friday will be the second of three in a row between the Bolts and the Hawks. The Blackhawks are right in the thick of the playoff race, with Patrick Kane continuing to lead the way for the franchise. It will be challenging for Chicago to pull a win out; however, a close game should take place Friday with a hungry Blackhawks team.
Play: Chicago Blackhawks +1.5

A West division bout between the Minnesota Wild and Arizona Coyotes is a fascinating matchup to keep an eye on. The Coyotes are searching for a playoff spot, and the Wild might be their easiest prey to try to sneak in.

Arizona has a respectable defensive structure and goaltender in Darcy Kuemper. The Coyotes tend to lean on Kuemper and the defense, considering they are one of the league’s worst scoring teams. 

Minnesota’s powerplay is dead last in the NHL at a dismal 7.6%. Both teams rank in the top 10 on the penalty kill, making it difficult for man-advantage goals. Seemingly, the Coyotes want to play a low-scoring game in which they can grind out a 2-1 or 3-2 win. The only question is, can they get the job done?
Play: Under 5.5 goals

This last game will be a triple play to increase the cash flow for the first weekend in March. The Colorado Avalanche have the train back on the tracks and are climbing in the West standings. They play host to the Anaheim Ducks, who are trending the exact opposite direction from Colorado.

When firing on all cylinders, Nathan MacKinnon is easily one of the best forwards the game has to offer. MacKinnon has a head-scratching five goals this season in 19 games played. He still has 22 points overall and is producing but not as the dominant scorer seen in the past.

MacKinnon’s line partner, Mikko Rantanen, continues to play well for the Avalanche. He has ten goals to lead the club. The overall success of Rantanen will propel MacKinnon to find the back of the net Friday night.  Two teams trending in different directions have this triple play looking solid.
Play: Colorado Avalanche -1.5; Nathan MacKinnon over 0.5 goals; Mikko Rantanen over 0.5 assists

Evan Popalis is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email epopalis83@gmail.com

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Evan Popalis

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Evan Popalis is a junior from Lititz, Pennsylvania majoring in broadcast journalism. He is a writer, analyst, and play-by-play commentator for the CommRadio sports department. His writings include weekly NHL betting previews along with power rankings for the NHL and NFL. He appears weekly on the NHL Podcast as a host and analyst reviewing the previous week’s action. If you would like to contact him, email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).