It’s back to a regular week of professional hockey in North America. Great games abound this week in the NHL. The first game that made my NHL Best Bets of the Week has Pittsburgh taking on Tampa Bay on Feb. 5. Both teams are jockeying for playoff position in the Eastern Conference. The New York Islanders travel to Detroit to take on the Red Wings in another top game of the week. Chicago battles Dallas and Washington will be looking for revenge when they take on Philadelphia in the final game of my NHL Best Bets of the Week article.
A Closer Look At The NHL’s Best Bets Feb 1-7
Pittsburgh Penguins at Tampa Bay Lightning
When: Feb. 5
After facing Ottawa on Feb. 2, Pittsburgh travels to Tampa Bay to battle the Lightning. Pittsburgh lost 4 to 5 to Tampa Bay the last time that these 2 teams faced each other. The Penguins are on a bit of a roll having won 3 out of their last 4. But all 3 wins were at home. Pitt is 1 and 4 straight up in their last 5 road games. That should give Lightning backers plenty of confidence going into this Feb. 5 match.
Pick: Tampa Bay
NY Islanders at Detroit Red Wings
When: Feb. 6
The Red Wings beat the Islanders 4 to 2 the last time that these 2 matched up. The Red Wings are 2 and 3 in their last 5 to start the week. They appear to be fully capable of beating New York again since that game wasn’t that long ago on Jan. 25. The feeling here is that even though New York has a 10-8-1-2 road record, they don’t match up very well with Detroit. I’m backing the Red Wings in this Feb. 6 game.
Chicago Blackhawks at Dallas Stars
When: Feb. 6
Chicago isn’t running away with the Central Division this season. The Blackhawks face some heady competition in the Dallas Stars who are 31-14-3-2 to start the week while the Blackhawks are 33-16-4 to start the week. Chicago is 12-11-3 on the road while Dallas is 19 and 6 at home. The last time that the Stars faced the Blackhawks, they punished Chicago 4 to 0. Dallas could provide another big win over their Central rivals on Saturday.
Philadelphia Flyers at Washington Capitals
When: Feb. 7
Philadelphia surprised Washington last week. The Capitals seemed like a great wager on the puck line. The Caps have far and away been the best team in NHL this season. Last Wednesday, Philly took Washington down 4 to 3 in overtime. I don’t expect the Flyers to do the same thing to the mighty Washington Capitals this Sunday. Washington should go back to its winning ways at home versus a team that shouldn’t be as competitive against it as it was last week. The Caps are the play.