NHL Props Tuesday: Lightning’s Kucherov Holds Value With Goal Prop

Nikita Kucherov #86 of the Tampa Bay Lightning warms up during a game against the Vancouver Canucks at Amalie Arena on January 13, 2022 in Tampa, Florida.
Image Credit: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

An Eastern Conference showdown between two teams with a combined 47-19-4 record. A late-night West Coast affair matching the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions against a former two-time champ that finally appears to be on the upswing. And, yes, even a clash between two Atlantic Division bottom-feeders.

We feature all that (and more) in our NHL Props Tuesday report, which highlights our five favorite NHL props culled from the league’s seven-game slate.

All odds via DraftKings updated at 2:30 p.m. ET on Jan. 18. 

Boston Bruins: RW David Pastrnak

David Pastrnak #88 of the Boston Bruins waits for the face off in the third period against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on November 13, 2021 in Newark, New Jersey. The Boston Bruins defeated the New Jersey Devils 5-2.
Image Credit: Elsa/Getty Images

The Prop: 0.5 Power Play Points (vs. Carolina)
The Odds: Over +175/Under -230

Pastrnak had a bit of a slow start to the season. In recent years, the Czech right-winger was a shoo-in to be among the league’s top scorers. This year, his numbers are down — or at least they were.

Pastrnak has picked up nine points in his last five games, highlighted by a seven-goal outburst. Along the way, he’s sparked some life in Boston’s previously struggling power play. In fact, Pastrnak netted two power-play goals in his hat trick against the Flyers on Thursday.

Thanks in part to Pastrnak’s efforts, the Bruins’ power play is up to eighth in the league rankings (23.81% success rate). It won’t be easy improving on that number Tuesday night, as the Carolina Hurricanes are the best penalty-killing unit in the league (an impressive 90.48% kill rate).

However, given how hot Pasta is — as well as the nice plus-money payoff offered in this NHL prop — it’s worth taking a shot. Especially since the ‘Canes have allowed the third-most power plays this season.

Editor’s Note: New to NHL props? Check out our complete NHL Props Betting Guide to get up to speed!

Buffalo Sabres At Ottawa Senators

Buffalo Sabres left wing Jeff Skinner controls the puck against the San Jose Sharks
Image Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

The Prop: Goal Scored in First 10 Minutes of Game Time
The Odds: Yes -140/No +110

The Sens and Sabres have a lot in common — and none if it is very good. Their 22 combined victories (11 apiece) are fewer than 10 other teams in the league. Neither team has a prolific goal scorer (which is why neither has broken the 100-goal mark yet). And both are struggling in the goaltending department.

Wednesday’s projected netminders certainly have the stats to support the latter point: Sabres goaltender Aaron Dell is 1-6-1 with an abysmal 3.75 goals-against average and an .892 save percentage; Ottawa’s Matt Murray is 2-6 with a 3.41 GAA and the same woeful save percentage.

So, when it comes to bad offense vs. bad goaltending, who breaks first? We’re banking on the latter.

First off, despite Ottawa’s season-long offensive struggles, players like Josh Norris have shown some improvement. In fact, Norris is up to 15 goals after a pair of power-play scores in the Senators’  6-4 win over Edmonton this past weekend:

Meanwhile, Buffalo has a roster loaded with high-ceiling talent that’s on the verge of busting out. Guys such as Peyton Krebs, Tage Thompson, Dylan Cozens, and Rasmus Dahlin all will see their numbers improve as the get more playing time alongside experienced scorers like Jeff Skinner and Alex Tuch.

It’s very conceivable that one of the Sabres’ youngsters will light up Matt Murray in the early going here. And it’s just as conceivable that Dell lets in an early softie.

Florida Panthers

Aleksander Barkov #16 of the Florida Panthers against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the third period at Amalie Arena on November 13, 2021 in Tampa, Florida.
Image Credit: Mark LoMoglio/NHLI via Getty Images

The Prop: 3.5 Total Team Goals Scored (at Calgary)
The Odds: Over -110/Under +120

Remember the mid-1980s Edmonton Oilers led by guys named Gretzky and Messier? If not, all you have to do is watch a Florida Panthers game to get a glimpse of how potent those Oilers were.

Florida leads the NHL with 157 goals, 21 of which have come in the team’s last three games. (No, that’s not a typo.) Most recently, the Panthers trounced the Columbus Blue Jackets 9-2 in an unrelenting offensive shellacking that from start to finish (4 goals in the first period; 2 in the second; 3 in the third).

With weapons all over the ice — including forwards Aleksander Barkov, Justin Huberdeau, and Sam Reinhart (just to name a few) — it’s no surprise that this team is firing on all cylinders night in and night out.

On Tuesday, the scorching-hot Panthers are in Calgary, which has dropped four straight games. Total goals allowed during the Flames’ losing skid: 20. Granted, the first three games were on the road, but in their most recent game Thursday, the Flames returned home and fell 4-1 to the previously mentioned anemic Senators.

There’s no reason to think Florida, which tallied nine goals in its two most recent home games, won’t continue to light the lamp often in Calgary.

Nashville Predators

Matt Duchene #95 of the Nashville Predators gets ready during a face off against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on January 08, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona.
Image Credit: Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images

The Prop: 3.5 Total Team Goals Scored (vs. Vancouver)
The Odds: Over +125/Under -155

The Nashville Predators have quietly become one of the best teams in the league, currently in the mix near the top of the insanely competitive Central Division. In years past, the Predators were known for an elite defense and stingy goaltending. Well, it seems like that style of play retired with longtime goalie Pekka Rinne, because this Preds team can score.

Nashville has tallied three or more goals in 15 of its last 17 games. Meanwhile, the Canucks have given up four or more goals in four straight games.

Yes, Nashville only found the net three times in a 3-2 victory against the Canucks earlier this season. But that game was in Vancouver, and it was way back on Nov. 5. Facing this Preds team in its current form in Nashville? That’s an entirely different beast, as the Canucks will discover.

Tampa Bay Lightning: RW Nikita Kucherov

Tampa Bay Lightning player Nikita Kucherov taking a shot against the Dallas Stars
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Prop: Score Anytime Goal (at Los Angeles Kings)
The Odds: +150

When healthy, there isn’t a more dangerous weapon in the NHL than Kucherov. The problem is the Lightning’s offensive force has been off the ice more than on it in recent seasons.

Well, Kucherov is back to full strength following surgery that sidelined him for nearly two months. And he’s been an absolute terror for opposing teams since returning to action, recording multiple points in four of five games (three goals, six assists).

Kucherov has always been more of a playmaker, but his hat trick against Buffalo a week ago reassured everyone that he still loves to score:

While that hat trick represents Kucherov’s only goals since returning, it’s not for lack of effort: He’s fired 23 shots on net in his five games post-injury. Tonight, he’ll take aim at a Kings squad that just surrendered six goals to the Sharks on Monday (after yielding only four in the previous four games).