Friday NHL Props: Can Eichel, Vegas Keep Playoff Hopes Alive?

Jack Eichel #9 of the Vegas Golden Knights prepares for a faceoff against the Buffalo Sabres during an NHL game on March 10, 2022 at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York
Image Credit: Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images

Wow, does it feel great to get back in the NHL props betting win column! On Thursday, Brad Marchand scored twice to lead the Bruins to an 8-1 rout of the Devils; Aleksander Barkov scored twice (including a power-play tally) in the Panthers’ 4-0 shutout of Chicago; and Nazem Kadri bagged a pair of apples for the Avalanche.

Nailing three of five NHL props last night was great. But there’s no reason why a 5-for-5 effort can’t be accomplished. Let’s go for the clean sweep with Friday NHL props.

Odds from DraftKings and FanDuel, and updated at 2:30 p.m. ET on April 1.

Tampa Bay Lightning: C Steven Stamkos

Steven Stamkos #91 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates against the Boston Bruins at the TD Garden on March 24, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Image Credit: Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images

The Prop: Score anytime goal (vs. Chicago)
The Odds: +115

The two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning have surprisingly been better on the road this season than at home. The Bolts score 3.44 goals per game as a visitor, compared with 3.10 per game in their own barn.

Still, that shouldn’t scare you away from betting on Steven Stamkos to light the lamp Friday in front of the home fans. Stamkos and the Lightning had Thursday night off while the Blackhawks got trounced as they so often do, this time 4-0 by the Panthers.

Stamkos has 30 goals in 65 games this season, including tallies in three of his last five. The latter stat suggests the 32-year-old veteran is catching fire at just the right time of the year.

Chicago has allowed 3.4 goals-against per game in its last 10 roadies. And for the season, the Blackhawks are yielding 3.36 goals per game on the second leg of a back-to-back. Tampa Bay played Chicago in this exact situation on March 6 and rolled to a 6-3 victory.

Stamkos merely had an assist in that one. Expect him to up the ante Friday and put one in the net against a worn-down Blackhawks squad.

Nashville Predators: C Ryan Johansen

Ryan Johansen #92 of the Nashville Predators skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game
Image Credit: John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images

The Prop: 0.5 total points (at Buffalo)
The Odds: Over -122/Under  +100

No team playing on Friday has averaged more goals in their last 10 road games than the Nashville Predators. At 4.1 per contest, they’re running red-hot into Buffalo. The Sabres have been better at home in recent weeks, surrendering just 2.2 per game in their last five at KeyBank Center. Despite that, they’re still giving up 3.35 goals per contest in their own building this season.

While players like Roman Josi and Filip Forsberg are certainly the more likely scoring options for Nashville, Ryan Johansen provides an intriguing NHL props opportunity in this game.

Johansen has scored a point in 18 of 33 road games this season — including four in a row — and in 23 of 40 games when the Predators are favorites. That includes an assist on Jan. 13 against the Sabres in the teams’ only previous meeting, which gives him 17 points in 18 career games versus Buffalo.

Johansen’s three-game point streak came to an end Sunday against the Flyers, and he was again held off the scoresheet Tuesday against Ottawa. Look for the 29-year-old Vancouver native to get back on the board Friday against Buffalo.

Ottawa Senators: C Josh Norris

osh Norris #9 of the Ottawa Senators skates against the Montreal Canadiens during the first period at Centre Bell on March 19, 2022 in Montreal, Canada.
Image Credit: Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

The Prop: 2.5 total shots (at Detroit)
The Odds: Over -108/Under -124

In what just might be my favorite stat of the season, the Detroit Red Wings have games this year where they’ve allowed 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 goals. While the rebuild is well underway, this is still a team with a ton of holes on its roster.

Obviously, Ottawa isn’t in great shape either. And the Senators average more than two shots per game fewer on the road than they do at home. In fact, they rank 24th in the 32-team league in shots per game as a visitor.

So even though Detroit yields the fifth-most shots per game at home (32.7), there’s still good value in backing the Under on this shots prop for Ottawa’s Josh Norris. This season, Norris is averaging 2.25 shots per game, but he’s particularly struggled on the road, clearing this number in 11 of 27 games.

Yes, Norris ripped three shots on net Tuesday at Nashville. However, he finished with two or fewer shots in each of his previous four road efforts and seven of the previous nine.

St. Louis Blues: RW Vladimir Tarasenko

Vladimir Tarasenko #91 of the St. Louis Blues skates up ice during their NHL game against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena January 23, 2022 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Image Credit: Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images

The Prop: Score anytime goal (at Edmonton)
The Odds: +210

Though Vladimir Tarasenko’s goal-scoring prowess has taken a bit of a dip this season, his near point-per-game pace (58 in 59 contests) is still second on the team. He’s also scored in three of his past six games after an eight-game goalless drought, bringing his team-leading total to 23.

Though Tarasenko’s road numbers aren’t great this season (seven goals in 29 contests), the Blues as a team have been excellent as a visitor lately. St. Louis has averaged 4.4 goals in its past five road games. That’s the highest of any road team in action Friday.

While the Oilers have shored things up at home in recent weeks, their 3.24 GAA as a host is the lowest of any team currently in playoff position.

Back to Tarasenko: He’s certainly trying to pad his goal numbers, having put at least three shots on net in four of his past five games. He’s also had solid success against the Oilers this season, potting goals in each of the previous two clashes.

Here’s hoping he makes it 3-for-3 and delivers a nice plus-money NHL props winner.

Vegas Golden Knights: C Jack Eichel

Jack Eichel #9 of the Vegas Golden Knights keeps an eye on the play during third period action against the Winnipeg Jets at Canada Life Centre on March 15, 2022
Image Credit: Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images

The Prop: Score anytime goal (at Seattle)
The Odds: +145

Vegas’ playoff situation is getting more dire by the day. The Knights are one point behind the Dallas Stars for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference, but Dallas has three games in hand. With just 13 games remaining on its schedule, Vegas has little margin for error as it attempts to lock up a postseason berth for the fifth time in the franchise’s five-year history.

With that in mind, it’s an understatement to call Friday’s game against Seattle a must-win. An amazing 30 points separate the NHL’s two youngest teams. Given the slew of key injuries the Golden Knights have dealt with all season, that immense gulf in the standings really underscores how bad the Kraken’s first season has been.

Enter Jack Eichel. The star center is Vegas’ most lethal offensive option with Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone still out. When these teams met Wednesday in Seattle, Eichel failed to light the lamp despite putting five shots on goal in 20:40 of ice time. Eichel has seven goals in 21 games since returning from neck surgery, and though he’s been more of a set-up man than a pure goal scorer in his career, he can still strike at any moment.

With a chip on his shoulder and the season on the line, expect Vegas’ prized offseason acquisition to slide the biscuit in the basket and lead the Golden Knights to a much-needed victory.