NHL Props: Colorado’s MacKinnon Presents Strong Betting Value Vs Canadiens

Nathan MacKinnon #29 of the Colorado Avalanche looks on prior to the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Ball Arena on November 03, 2021 in Denver, Colorado.
Image Credit: Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

NHL prop betting opportunities abound Thursday, with 10 games on the schedule. The bulk of the action takes place east of the Mississippi, but we’ve got the entire map covered, from eastern Canada, down to Florida, and over to Texas before finishing up in Hollywood.

Here are our top five NHL props for Thursday.

All odds via DraftKings and FanDuel updated as of 1 p.m. ET on Thursday, Dec. 2.

Colorado Avalanche: Nathan MacKinnon

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (29) passes the puck in the third period against the Vegas Golden Knights at Ball Arena.
Image Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Prop: Score Anytime Goal (vs. Montreal)
The Odds: +125

The Colorado Avalanche got speed bagged by the Toronto Maple Leafs Wednesday night, ending up on the wrong side of an 8-3 score. Eager to put that loss in the rearview mirror, the Avs head to Montreal on Thursday for a showdown with a Canadiens team that allows the eighth-most shots per game (33.3) and the second-most goals against per contest (3.54).

Enter MacKinnon, one of the league’s preeminent goal scorers who somehow has put the puck in the net just once in nine games this season (thanks to a career-worst 3.6% shooting percentage). Given Montreal’s leaky defense and goaltending, MacKinnon encounters the perfect matchup to finally break out of his slump and light up the scoreboard.

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

Florida Panthers: Sam Bennett

Florida Panthers center Sam Bennett (9) skates with the puck against the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena.
Image Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Prop: 0.5 Assists (vs. Buffalo)
The Odds: Over +152/Under -188

Throughout his NHL career, Bennett has been more of a goal-scorer than a set-up guy. To wit: He’s only notched five assists this season, and in his last 51 games against teams with a losing record, Bennett has recorded at least one assist just six times.

However, nearly half of those 51 games were played when Bennett was still with the Calgary Flames. Since his trade to Florida last season, Bennett has 14 assists in 28 contests. On Thursday, Bennett and the Panthers face a Buffalo Sabres squad that has allowed 33 goals in its last seven games (going 1-6-0 in that span). The fact this game is in Miami is meaningful, as Bennett’s last four assists have come on home ice.

Tampa Bay Lightning: Corey Perry

Seattle Kraken right wing Joonas Donskoi (72) chases Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Corey Perry (10) during the first period at Amalie Arena.
Image Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Prop: Score Anytime Goal (vs. St. Louis)
The Odds: +310

With talent all over the ice, virtually every player wearing a Lightning sweater is a threat to score — even the guys who man the blue line. But Perry’s case, in particular, is worth considering because of his recent uptick in production.

It took time for Perry to settle in with the two-time defending champs, as he failed to notch a goal through his first 17 games with his new club. However, Perry has lit the lamp in three of his past four outings, including in St. Louis on Tuesday. He’s also registered three or more shots on goal in three of those four (scoring each time he registered 3+ shots).

There’s some risk to this one, as Perry ranks ninth among Tampa Bay forwards in time on ice per game. But he’s got a hot hand, and he’s facing an opponent that has surrendered at least three goals in four straight games overall and at least three in nine of 11 road games (including the last four in a row).

Dallas Stars

Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Stars left wing Roope Hintz (24) in action during the game between the Dallas Stars and the Edmonton Oilers at the American Airlines Center.
Image Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Prop: 3.5 Team Goals in regulation (vs. Columbus)
The Odds: Over +116/Under -146

Columbus has allowed 12 goals in their past two contests, while Dallas has tallied 18 goals in its last five, going Over this prop number three times. What’s more, the Stars are 7-1 in their last eight games, and they’ve put up the following goal totals in their victories: 5, 5, 4, 4, 3, 3, 4.

While the Blue Jackets beat the Stars 4-1 back on Oct. 25, Dallas was missing several of its top scorers in that contest, including Jason Robertson (15 points in 14 games this season). Also, that game was in Columbus, which is significant because the Jackets have been especially generous as a visitor, surrendering four-plus goals seven times in nine road contests.

For the season, Columbus is yielding 3.25 goals per outing, the seventh-most in the league. That average leaps to 4.22 on the highway.

Los Angeles Kings: Anze Kopitar

Anze Kopitar #11 of the Los Angeles Kings skates against the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena on May 13, 2021 in Denver, Colorado.
(Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Prop: Score Anytime Goal (vs. Calgary)
The Odds: +220

Like the Avs’ MacKinnon, Kopitar is a goal-scoring machine who takes the ice Thursday in a bit of a drought, having gone goal-less in six straight games. But that just means he’s due.

True, he’s facing an opponent that has built a fortress around its own net this season — Calgary leads the league with a sparkling 1.95 goals-against average. In fact, the Flames have posted shutouts in three of their last five road games.

However, Kopitar has scored five of his eight goals at home, and he has 19 goals in 58 career games against Calgary (fifth most vs. any opponent). Considering Kopitar averages three more minutes of ice time per game than any other Kings skater, he’s quite likely L.A.’s best bet to light the lamp in this one.