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NHL Picks: Back Claude Giroux to snap scoring drought for Flyers

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August 27th, 2020

After a nerve-wracking overtime win on Wednesday, the Philadelphia Flyers will look to take the lead in their second-round series with the New York Islanders in Game 3 tonight.

Meanwhile in the NHL’s Western Conference, the Vegas Golden Knights and Vancouver Canucks play in a pivotal Game 3, with the series tied at one game apiece.

Here are the NHL bets we like for tonight.

Philadelphia Flyers vs. New York Islanders

Thu, August 27 2020, 11:08 PM

New York Islanders

Puck Line

-1.5

Moneyline

-110

Total

O 5

Philadelphia Flyers

Puck Line

+1.5

Moneyline

-110

Total

U 5

The Flyers have evened their series with the Islanders, doing it the hard way with a 4-3 overtime victory on Wednesday after coughing up a three-goal lead.  

Nonetheless, teams will take wins anyway they can at this point, and now the Flyers have a chance to take the lead in this series. One thing, however, stands out for Philadelphia and that is the production of Claude Giroux.

Shockingly, Giroux hasn’t scored a goal in 11 postseason games this summer.

Giroux has been a consistent 20-goal scorer throughout his NHL career and is just two years removed from a 100-point season. But, as you see above, scoring in the playoffs has become a massive issue for him.

That has to change, and I’m banking on that happening tonight. Giroux’s odds to score an anytime goal in Game 3 are +400 at BetAmerica.

The underlying numbers this postseason show a player that has been on the ice for more total shot attempts for than against, as well as goals for at five-on-five, which should on the surface lend optimism that it’s only a matter of time before Giroux buries one himself.

Philadelphia has been conceding more scoring chances and high-danger scoring chances when Giroux has been on the ice at even strength.

The best chance to break his current post-season slump is likely on the power play. Giroux has 12 shots on goal on 22 attempts on the advantage this postseason, with eight individual scoring chances, according to Natural Stat Trick.

The one issue is power plays have been scarce for Philadelphia through two games of this series. The Flyers have had only three opportunities against the Islanders.

That Giroux hasn’t scored yet, however, is still surprising and good players like him do eventually break through. With odds of +400, it may be worth a bet that it happens tonight against the Islanders.

Free pick: Claude Giroux to score an anytime goal (+400)

Vegas Golden Knights vs. Vancouver Canucks

Fri, August 28 2020, 1:48 AM

Vancouver Canucks

Puck Line

+1.5

Moneyline

+160

Total

O 6

Vegas Golden Knights

Puck Line

-1.5

Moneyline

-195

Total

U 6

Everyone loves a good underdog story, and the Vancouver Canucks certainly fit the bill.

Making their first playoff appearance since 2015, the Canucks knocked off the defending champion St. Louis Blues in the first round and have now tied their second round series with the heavily favored Vegas Golden Knights going into Game 3 tonight.

Credit Elias Pettersson’s brilliance and Jacob Markstrom’s sensational goaltending in Vancouver’s Game 2 victory.

The Golden Knights surely have taken notice.

They will almost certainly emphasize a much more physical and tight checking game plan on Pettersson, taking away Vancouver’s best offensive player. And Vegas will almost certainly continue to pressure Vancouver’s defense and fire puck after puck at Markstrom.

The Canucks likely won’t win another game getting buried in total shot attempts, like they have been in this series. Vegas had 93 total shot attempts in Game 2. That’s taxing on the defenders blocking shots – Vancouver had 40 shot blocks – and on Markstrom if he’s having to react to each shot attempt.

In a one-game situation, a team can overcome getting buried in total shot attempts and territorial play to win. But what about the next game and the game after that?

The Golden Knights play with speed, relentlessly coming at teams in waves. They’re big, they’re physical, they’re skilled. And their best game should be expected tonight. Even if the Canucks remain competitive, back the Golden Knights to prevail by two goals or more.

NHL pick: Golden Knights -1.5 puck line (+133)

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