Home | News | Top NHL Betting Picks of the Week – February 12th, 2024

Top NHL Betting Picks of the Week – February 12th, 2024

By Hank Blaine

We saw NHL history over the weekend as the legendary Alex Ovechkin broke Wayne Gretzky’s all-time goals record. Nope, not overall goals scored as Ovechkin won’t catch Gretzky in that for a few years if he ever does, but Ovechkin did score his 57th career empty-net goal Saturday, breaking a tie with Gretzky for the most in NHL history. Ovechkin is now 60 goals shy of tying Gretzky’s NHL career record of 894 goals. Here’s a look at two intriguing early-week matchups around the league.

Top NHL Betting Picks of the Week (February 12th, 2024)

Minnesota Wild vs. Vegas Golden Knights

  • When: Monday, February 12th, 2024, 10:00 PM ET
  • Where: T-Mobile Arena, Paradise, NV
  • Radio: KFAN FM 100.3 (Wild) // FOX Sports Las Vegas 98.9 FM (Golden Knights)
  • Live Stream: ESPN+
  • NHL Betting Odds: Wild (+1.5) // Golden Knights (-1.5)

The Knights might get back top defenseman Shea Theodore soon, as he practiced in a non-contact jersey Saturday for the first time since being injured in November. However, he’s not expected back by Monday. Theodore suffered an upper-body injury in a 2-1 overtime win at the Dallas Stars on Nov. 22 and hasn’t been back since. Theodore had 18 points in 20 games.

“It’s great to see,” defenseman Brayden McNabb said of Theodore practicing. “It’s been quite some time. I’m sure he was pretty excited about just getting out there with the group. It’s a long process for him. This is another stage of it. It’s a good sign whenever you see him out in practice.”

Vegas enters on a two-game winning streak as it ended Edmonton’s 16-game winning streak with an upset win last Tuesday over the Oilers and then followed it with a 3-2 win at Arizona on Thursday in their most recent game. Jonathan Marchessault scored just 19 seconds into the game vs. the Coyotes, scored the fifth-fastest opening goal in franchise history, behind William Karlsson (0:10 on April 28, 2021 & 0:14 on Nov. 24, 2018), Keegan Kolesar (0:12 on Oct. 15, 2022) and Max Pacioretty (0:18 on March 15, 2019).

The Knights seem to be coming together as they are getting healthy. They have won seven of nine and have points in eight of those. Goalie Adin Hill is 4-0 and has given up seven goals since returning from a lower-body injury suffered Dec. 17. He has won seven of his last eight starts, and the other was an overtime loss.

“We understand as a team where we are at this time of the year,” Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy said. “It’s part three of the season, and the teams that expect to be playing deep into the spring, they get their game in order. I can see it with our guys. We know we have to play winning hockey.”

Minnesota also enters on a two-game winning streak and last took the ice on Friday, beating Pittsburgh 3-2. Marc-Andre Fleury (34 saves) registered his 189th career win with 30 or more saves and tied Craig Anderson for the second most by a goaltender on record (since 1955-56) – Roberto Luongo (226) paces the list. The only others with at least 170 such performances are Henrik Lundqvist (184) and Ryan Miller (173).

Brock Faber had an assist in the win and is up to four goals and 27 assists on the year. He has established Wild single-season records for most assists and points by a rookie defenseman. Overall, his 27 assists are eight more than the next closest rookie in 2023-24. Kirill Kaprizov had a goal to reach 20 on the season to set a franchise record for most consecutive 20-goal seasons with four.

This is the first meeting of the season between these teams. Vegas won all three last season.

NHL Betting Pick: Golden Knights

Los Angeles Kings vs. Buffalo Sabres

  • When: Tuesday, February 13th, 2024, 7:00 PM ET
  • Where: KeyBank Center, Buffalo, NY
  • Radio: LA Kings Audio Network (Kings) // WGR 550 AM (Sabres)
  • Live Stream: ESPN+
  • NHL Betting Odds: TBA

Top Kings forward Viktor Arvidsson is on track to make his season debut perhaps on Tuesday as Los Angeles begins a four-game road trip. He has been out because of a back injury that required surgery. He returned to practice this week, including participating in an optional skate Saturday. “He’s getting closer,” Los Angeles coach Jim Hiller said. “You saw him in a regular jersey yesterday, he actually took some contact in the drills.” Arvidsson had 59 points (26 goals, 33 assists) in 77 games for the Kings last season. The 5-foot-9 sniper has not played since Los Angeles’ loss to the Oilers in Game 6 of last year’s first-round series. His absence has left a significant hole in the cap-strapped Kings’ top-nine, and as such, their 18th-ranked offense has performed under expectations. Arvidsson is in the final season of a seven-year, $29.75MM deal signed with the Predators in 2017 and will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. Center Blake Lizotte has resumed skating on his own after sustaining a lower-body injury against the Carolina Hurricanes on Jan. 15, but Hiller said there is no update for when he will return to practice. Lizotte has nine points (five goals, four assists) in 34 games. Hiller’s head coaching debut for the Kings was Saturday’s 4-0 win over Edmonton as David Rittich stopped 27 shots for his first shutout in nearly three years. Quinton Byfield had two goals and an assist and has points in each of his past five appearances. He became one of 14 players in Kings history with at least 70 career points at age 21 or younger – a list led by current teammate Anze Kopitar (79-125—204 in 236 GP). Byfield’s nine multi-point games this season are third most by a Kings player, behind only Adrian Kempe (12) and Kevin Fiala (11). Hiller was named interim coach for the rest of the season after Todd McLellan was fired on Feb. 2. The Kings had only three wins in their last 17 games going into the All-Star break. “We’ve had a tough stretch, so we’re just trying to get back to where we were. This isn’t necessarily new. It’s just getting back there, and tonight was a good step,” said Hiller, who is the first Kings coach to win his NHL debut via shutout since Andy Murray in 1999. Buffalo comes off a 3-1 home loss to St. Louis on Saturday, its second loss in a row. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stopped 23 shots against the Blues. Luukkonen has lost four of his last five starts despite not allowing more than three goals in any of them — in fact, he hasn’t given up four or more goals in an outing since Dec. 23, going 6-5-0 in 11 starts since with a 1.75 GAA and .935 save percentage in that span. Coach Don Granato identified Luukkonen’s hard work with goaltending coach Mike Bales and his commitment as the main reasons he has emerged as the team’s top goaltender: “It’s been a continual growth with him through his commitment to becoming better and studying his own game with Mike Bales.” Buffalo’s penalty kill ranks fourth in the NHL since Jan. 1 as the Sabres have successfully killed off 33-of-38 penalties in that span for a penalty-kill percentage of 86.8. The Sabres’ PK unit has been led by defenseman Erik Johnson and forward Jordan Greenway. Johnson has logged 134:05 of shorthanded ice time in 42 games played this season, while Greenway has posted 115:34 in his 38 games. Buffalo looks for the season sweep as it won 5-3 in Los Angeles on Jan. 24. JJ Peterka had two goals and an assist, and Alex Tuch scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period. Jack Quinn had a goal and two assists and Dylan Cozens had a goal and an assist for the Sabres, who trailed 3-1 midway through the first period. Devon Levi stopped 37 shots. It was Buffalo’s first win in 14 games this season when trailing by at least two goals after the first period.

NHL Betting Pick: Sabres

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READ MORE: Top NHL Betting Picks of the Week – February 19th, 2024