Kesler returns to Canucks lineup

Ryan Kesler returns to the Vancouver lineup Monday as the Canucks look to increase their lead in the Northwest over idle Minnesota.


Vancouver has won back-to-back games in convincing fashion over Calgary and Edmonton the past week and they’ll wrap the current three-game homestand against Phoenix. Sportsbooks are favoring the Canucks at -160 with a total set at 5 Under (-105) and team totals of Coyotes 2.5 Under (-146) and Canucks 2.5 Over (-119).


Kesler will likely lineup with Zack Kassian and Mason Raymond tonight as the club tries to maintain the offensive burst that began with the addition of Derek Roy. In the seven games prior to trading for Roy the Canucks only scored more than two goals twice, despite going 5-2.


Cory Schneider has found his groove and with three lines that can score, opponents will have a much tougher time matching up against the powerful Sedin line which includes Alex Burrows.


Phoenix is playing much better hockey on home ice but they did win 4-2 against Vancouver Feb. 26 at Rogers Arena. The Canucks have since evened the season series with a 2-1 in the desert and the road team is 8-0-2 in the past 10 meetings between these teams with five of the last seven staying under the number.


The Coyotes are 4-0-2 in their last six overall but on the road, six of their past seven opponents have tallied at least three goals. The Canucks are 9-4 at home this year when favored by more than -150 on the moneyline and outscoring teams 3.2 to 2.1. They look potent but for Vancouver to win, they’ll need to limit chances and get another solid performance from Schneider.

Pick: Take the Coyotes-Canucks to stay “Under” 5 goals


Discuss this game at the EveryEdge sports betting forum and check the latest NHL odds at Pinnacle Sports!

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NHL Picks: Canucks at Sharks

The Vancouver Canucks are in revenge-mode Monday as they look for a win against the red-hot San Jose Sharks.


Vancouver was blindsided by the Edmonton Oilers Saturday when the upstart Oilers scored two goals on their first two shots, eventually chasing Cory Schneider in what would turn into a 4-0 final. Tonight the Canucks attempt to bounce back against a Sharks team who are 11-1-4 at home and riding a four-game win streak.


The Canucks have usually played well in California and they have a nice following of fans that often make the trek but this is just a solo game and then it’s back home for three. Coach Alan Vigneault’s mission for his team is to get in, get the points and get out before anyone else gets hurt.


Mason Raymond (shoulder) is the latest Canuck to hit the injury report and after missing the morning skate, Raymond will watch tonight’s game from the press box.


Sports betting sites offer the Sharks as small home favorite but when playing on the road against the Sharks, Ducks or Kings off a road loss Vancouver has been a solid play, going 6-2-1 the past nine times and scoring 3.2 goals per game.


Vancouver is also “live” for a post-streak system that has produced 2 overs, 15 unders and a push the past 18 times with games averaging just 4.2 total goals.


The Canucks have confirmed Schneider will start against the Sharks and the new No. 1 has a 3-2-1 career record against San Jose, with a 6-3-2 road record in 2013. Antti Niemi makes his eighth-straight start for San Jose and he sports a 10-1-3 record at home with a microscopic 1.63 goals against average.


Niemi is 5-6-2 in his career against Vancouver but this Canucks lineup lacks the kind of punch that has put up such strong numbers over the past few seasons. Taking all things into account, the top play for us in tonight’s game is on the total.

Pick: Take the Canucks and Sharks Under 5 goals (+106)


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NHL Picks: Jets at Hurricanes

In a key Southeast matchup Tuesday, the division-leading Winnipeg Jets will look to widen the gap over a second-place Carolina Hurricanes riding a five-game winless streak


WINNIPEG (17-14-2) AT CAROLINA (15-13-2)

The Jets were stunned in back-to-back home games by the surging Washington Capitals but regained some of their composure with a 3-2 win over Tampa Bay Sunday at the MTS Centre. Winnipeg maintains a four-point lead over Carolina but the Hurricanes have three games in hand and a win tonight would get the Canes back to .500 at home.


Sportsbooks opened the line for tonight’s game at Carolina -122 and 6 Over (-135) but pressure on the “Under” caused a drop to 5.5 Over (-115). Ondrej Pavelec (14-14-2) gets the nod for Winnipeg vs. Canes’ netminder Justin Peters. Pavelec hasn’t always fared well against Carolina, posting a 4-6-2 career mark vs. the Canes but he’ll look to build off his last performance which saw him record 27 saves in a 4-3 Jets win at PNC Arena.



Winnipeg is 9-6-2 on the road this year with Pavelec accounting for seven of those wins


Peters (2-2) takes over the No. 1 slot for Carolina with both Cam Ward (sprained MCL) and Dan Ellis (hand) unavailable due to injury. Peters won his only career start against the Jets and he is 1-1 at home this year with a 3.51 goals against average and .897 save percentage.



The Jets are playing without forwards Jim Slater and James Wright but defensemen Ron Hainsey (hand) and Mark Stuart (undisclosed) took part in the morning skate. Winnipeg seems to have found a winning recipe on the road this season and given the huge advantage between the pipes, we like the Jets to steal what is essentially a four-point game tonight and extend their lead in the Southeast.

Take the Jets


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