NHL Betting Guide: Wednesday 5/5/21

Blake Coleman has recorded five points over his last four games. Can he help the Lightning with an offensive resurgence against the Stars?

We're looking at a nine-game slate tonight in the NHL, featuring games from all four divisions. Playoff positioning and division crowns are still up for grabs, and every game on the schedule will impact some sort of playoff race. That should make for an entertaining evening of hockey.

Here are a few plays from our daily projections!

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Dallas Stars

Lightning Moneyline (-164): 1-Star Rating out of 5
Over 5.5 (+118): 1-Star Rating out of 5

Both teams are clinging to different hope in this game. The Tampa Bay Lightning are trying to make up ground for the Central Division banner, while the Dallas Stars are fighting just to be included in this year's postseason. The Bolts have more than just a home-ice advantage working in their favor tonight.

From an advanced perspective, Tampa has been on a roll lately. The Bolts have outplayed their opponents at five-on-five in six straight, posting a cumulative expected goals-for percentage of 63.3%. Defense has been the foundation of their success recently, with opponents attempting an average of 6.0 high-danger chances and 16.7 scoring chances per game.

Victories haven't come as easily as their metrics imply, though, as the Bolts' five-on-five shooting percentage is down to 3.8% over their last three games. We're expecting scoring to increase to match production, and victories to come a little easier for Tampa.

The Stars five-on-five play has suffered over their recent sample of games. Dallas has posted an expected goals-for percentage below 50.0% in five straight, out-chancing only one of their opponents in scoring chances and high-danger chances. It's hard to win games when you're consistently being outplayed.

It's even harder to win games when you're being outplayed and your goaltenders are letting you down. Stars goaltenders have combined to stop 89.6% of shots over their last four games, allowing three or more goals in three of those games.

Based on our projections, the betting line doesn't accurately reflect the Lightning's chances tonight against Dallas, leaving an advantage in taking the Bolts on the moneyline. There's also an implied advantage in taking this one to go over 5.5. Both wagers are rated as one-star plays.

Ottawa Senators vs. Montreal Canadiens

Over 5.5 (-114): 2-Star Rating out of 5

There are some high-scoring trends worth paying attention to ahead of the Ottawa Senators' encounter with the Montreal Canadiens tonight.

The Sens are playing at home, where they are a much more competent hockey team. They have put up an expected goals-for percentage above 50.0% in four of their last six and have attempted 11 or more high-danger chances across all strengths in three of their last five. Ottawa has found their offensive rhythm on home ice.

We're also seeing increased offensive production from the Habs over their recent outings. The Habs have strung together four straight games with 30 or more scoring chances and have attempted 13 or more chances in two of the three games. Increased high-danger production has resulted in more high-danger output, as the Habs have scored four high-danger goals over their last three games after scoring just two in the four previous games.

The head-to-head matchups between these teams suggest that offensive production should continue. These teams have combined for an average of 24.0 high-danger chances over their last four games, which has resulted in 16 high-danger goals. Somewhat surprisingly, only one of those games has gone over the total.

These teams' matchups haven't been as high-scoring as their production metrics would imply. We're expecting that trend to reverse tonight and this game to go over the total. That aligns with our projections which rate the over as a two-star play.