Home | News | Top NHL Betting Picks of the Week – January 2nd, 2023

Top NHL Betting Picks of the Week – January 2nd, 2023

By Hank Blaine

The 2023 Winter Classic featured the Pittsburgh Penguins at Boston Bruins on Monday from Fenway Park. We don’t yet know the 2024 Winter Classic teams or locations but we do know another outdoor game for next season: The Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers will play in the 2023 NHL Heritage Classic at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Alberta, on Oct. 29. The seventh Heritage Classic will return to Commonwealth Stadium for the 20th anniversary of the first NHL regular-season outdoor game. The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Oilers 4-3 in the 2003 game. Here’s a look at two intriguing early-week NHL matchups. Check back for NHL odds.

Top NHL Betting Picks of the Week (January 2nd, 2023)

Vegas Golden Knights vs. Colorado Avalanche

  • When: Monday, January 2, 2023, 9:00 PM ET
  • Where: Ball Arena, Denver, CO
  • Radio: WXYT-FM 97.1 (Golden Knights) // Altitude Sports Radio 92.5 FM (Avalanche)
  • Live Stream: NHL Live
  • NHL Betting Odds: Golden Knights (+1.5) // Avalanche (-1.5)

This could be a preview of the Western Conference Finals as these are the two favorites to win the West but in opposite divisions so they could only meet then (assuming neither is a wild-card team — which Colorado might be if it doesn’t start playing better but it has been hammered by injuries.

The Avalanche got back superstar Nathan MacKinnon on Saturday from injured reserve but were still spanked at home 6-2 by Toronto. Auston Matthews had a goal and an assist to reach 499 NHL points, William Nylander and John Tavares each had two assists, and Matt Murray made 26 saves for the Maple Leafs.

J.T. Compher had a goal and an assist for the Avalanche (19-13-3), who have lost three straight (0-2-1). Alexandar Georgiev allowed five goals on 24 shots before being replaced in the second period by Jonas Johansson, who made seven saves in his season debut. Georgiev dropped to 15-8-3 with a 2.66 GAA and .915 save percentage in 26 contests this season and has been struggling lately, allowing at least four goals in each of his last three games.

MacKinnon was minus-3 with three shots on goal in 22:49 after missing 11 games with an upper-body injury. The 27-year-old has eight goals and 34 points in 24 games this season.

“I thought he was OK. Yep. I thought he had his legs underneath him,” Avs coach Jared Bednar said. “I thought his timing might be off a little bit. But obviously Nate keeps himself in great condition. Came back ready to skate and play. Was pretty dangerous at times. It’ll take him a game or two to figure out the timing of it.”

Vegas comes off a 5-4 overtime win over Nashville on Saturday. Blueliner Nicolas Hague proved to be an unlikely hero for Vegas, tallying 2:04 into the extra session. The Golden Knights had surrendered a two-goal lead over the last half of the third period to end up in overtime. The goal was Hague’s second of the season, and he picked up just three points in 15 outings in December.

Mark Stone set up three goals in the win. All three were primary assists, including a smart set-up on a 4-on-3 delayed penalty in OT that sealed the game. Stone is on a five-game, 10-point streak (four goals, six assists) and now has 35 points, including 16 goals, in 39 games.

NHL Betting Pick: Colorado Avalanche

Buffalo Sabres vs. Washington Capitals

  • When: Tuesday, January 3, 2023, 7:00 PM ET
  • Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, DC
  • Radio: WGR 550 AM (Sabres) // WXYT-FM 97.1 (Capitals)
  • Live Stream: NHL Live
  • NHL Betting Odds: TBA

The ageless wonder that is Alex Ovechkin continues to amaze. In Saturday’s 9-2 Capitals rout of Montreal, Ovechkin recorded his 30th career hat trick to speed up his pursuit of Wayne Gretzky’s all-time goals mark.

With his 24th goal of the campaign, Ovechkin has scored a minimum of 24 in each of his 18 NHL seasons. His fewest was 24 in 45 games in 2020-21. Ovechkin’s 804th, 805th and 806th career goals put him 88 back of Gretzky’s record of 894 that long seemed unapproachable. He has scored six times in four games to reach 26 this season, past the halfway point to his 10th 50-goal season, which would be one more than “The Great One.”

Ovechkin is sixth player in NHL history with at least 30 regular-season hat tricks, joining Wayne Gretzky (50), Mario Lemieux (40), Mike Bossy (39), Brett Hull (33) and Phil Esposito (32). Capitals defenseman Martin Fehervary had an assist and was plus-1 in 18:00 of ice time in his return after missing 12 games because of an upper-body injury.

Defenseman Erik Gustafsson had a goal and two assists in the win. His goal came quick Saturday when he worked a give-and-go with Evgeny Kuznetsov and scored from the left face-off circle just 32 seconds into the game. Gustafsson is on a seven-game, 13-point streak (six goals, seven assists) and he’ll continue to get a lot of offensive opportunities with John Carlson still out injured.

Somehow, this is the first meeting of the season between these teams. Washington won all three last season.

Sabres goaltender Eric Comrie was sent to AHL Rochester on a conditioning stint over the weekend. It was the first step in Comrie’s return to the NHL, as he has been out of action since Nov. 16 due to injury. He is 4-7-0 with a 3.62 GAA and an .887 save percentage.

NHL Betting Pick: Washington Capitals

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*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice.

READ MORE: Top NHL Betting Picks of the Week – January 9th, 2023