NHL Props Thursday: Red-Hot Sidney Crosby Takes Aim At Kraken

Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby looks on before a face-off against the St. Louis Blues
Image Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL All-Star game is a little more than a week away, but we’re celebrating early with a star-studded list of NHL Thursday props.

With 10 games on the Thursday schedule, dozens of the league’s top players will be showcasing their skills across two countries. So we’ve chosen to highlight four captains among our top five NHL Thursday props, with the fifth prop focusing on one of the league’s most dangerous (and hottest) offensive clubs.

Odds via DraftKings and updated as of 4:15 p.m. ET on Jan. 27.

Vegas Golden Knights: RW Mark Stone

Vegas Golden Knights right wing Mark Stone celebrates after scoring a goal against the New York Rangers
Image Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The prop: 0.5 Total Assists (at Florida)
The odds: Over +105/Under -130

Stone has been in and out of the Vegas lineup all season because of various injuries, the most recent of which sidelined him for just two games. He returned to action Tuesday at Carolina and failed to register a point while playing a little more than 19 minutes in a 4-3 overtime loss.

In two games prior, though, the Golden Knights’ first-ever team captain recorded assists against the Maple Leafs and Penguins. Those two helpers ended a five-game assist drought for Stone.

That drought was surprising when considering the veteran forward had picked up at least one assist in 13 of his 16 games this season, including nine in a row before the five-game slump.

So why is there so much juice to Under on this prop? Here’s the main reason: Stone’s on-ice sidekick, Max Pacioretty, remains sidelined with a wrist injury, which has forced the captain to take on more of an aggressive (as opposed to setup) role.

Throw in the fact that Florida has surrendered only one or two goals in all five home games this month, and the Under looks like the play here.

Los Angeles Kings: C Anze Kopitar

Anze Kopitar #11 of the Los Angeles Kings skates against the Montreal Canadiens during the first period at Centre Bell on November 9, 2021 in Montreal, Canada.
Image Credit: Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

The prop: 2.5 Total Shots (at New York Islanders)
The odds: Over +110/Under -140

The Kings’ captain hasn’t been afraid to let it rip this season, as he ranks 45th in the league with 115 total shots through his first 43 games. That’s just three more shots than Kopitar had last year in 56 contests — and only 20 fewer than he produced in 70 games in 2019-2020.

Now in his 16th NHL season (all with Los Angeles), Kopitar has beaten this prop number 24 times in his 43 games, including four of the last five, during which he fired a total of 17 shots on net.

The one downside? Prior to putting three shots on goal in Tuesday’s 3-2 shootout loss at the Rangers, Kopitar had gone Over this prop in just six of his first 17 road games. In fact, while he’s recorded at least four shots in 14 games this season, he’s only done so once outside of L.A.

The Islanders are one of the league’s better defensive squads, ranking fifth in fewest shots allowed (28.7). Then again, the Rangers are third in shots allowed (28.3), and Kopitar put three on net against them 48 hours ago. Let’s ride the 34-year-old’s hot hand in this one and play it Over.

Carolina Hurricanes

Carolina Hurricanes forward Nino Niederreiter (center) and two teammates celebrates Niederreiter's goal against the Edmonton Oilers
Image Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

The prop: 3.5 Total Team Goals (at Ottawa)
The odds: Over -140/Under +110

The Hurricanes rank eighth in the league in goals scored this season at 140, and they climb all the way to fourth in goals-per-game average at 3.59. Most importantly as it pertains to this prop, Carolina’s offense is scalding-hot right now.

Including Tuesday’s aforementioned 4-3 overtime win over Vegas, the ’Canes have tallied 25 goals in their last five games, netting at least four each time out. Take it back to a 5-3 home win over the Red Wings on Dec. 16, and Carolina has topped this prop number in 10 of its last 12 outings.

On Thursday, the Hurricanes entertain an Ottawa squad that is allowing 3.47 goals per game (sixth-worst in the league).

Add it all up, and the Over is an absolute slam dunk with this NHL prop, right? Eh, not so fast. The Senators are coming off consecutive wins over the Blue Jackets and Sabres by a combined 7-1 score. And while they lost their previous game at Washington, it was a 3-2 final.

Also, back on Dec. 2, Ottawa not only went to Carolina and held the Hurricanes to just two goals, but they walked out of the arena with a 3-2 victory. Still, with the way the Carolina offense is humming right now, it’s tough to pass up the Over here — even if he we have to lay some juice.

Pittsburgh Penguins: C Sidney Crosby

Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby celebrates after a teammate scores a goal
Image Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

The prop: Score Anytime Goal (vs. Seattle)
The odds: +150

Bad time for the expansion Kraken to be catching the Penguins — heck, bad time for any team to be catching the Penguins. Pittsburgh has won 17 of its last 19 games, including six in a row overall and eight in a row at The Igloo.

What’s more, after dropping their first three games with Crosby in the lineup, the Pens are 22-5 when their captain laces up the skates.

Just how much has Sid The (Not So Much Anymore) Kid contributed to all this success? Not a lot — at least from a goal-scoring perspective. While he’s averaging better than a point per game (34 in 30 contests), Crosby has put the biscuit in the basket only 11 times.

However … the future Hall of Famer is in a groove right now, with goals in four of his last five contests (six goals in all). Yep: Crosby has more goals in his last five games than he had in his first 25! Oh, and one of those first five goals he scored? It came in a 6-1 victory at Seattle back on Dec. 6.

The Kraken have yielded 12 goals in their last three games overall and four or more goals in five of their last seven roadies. Look for Crosby to stay hot and light the lamp again.

Edmonton Oilers: C Connor McDavid

Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers warms up prior to the game against the Philadelphia Flyers on October 27, 2021 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Image Credit: Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

The prop: 0.5 Total Points (vs. Nashville)
The odds: Over -115/Under -110

The Oilers finally appear to be heading in the right direction, as they’ve picked up consecutive victories over the Flames (5-3) and Canucks (3-2 in overtime). Those two wins are as many as Edmonton collected in its previous 15 games — a mindboggling slump that followed a scintillating 16-5 start to the season.

To absolutely nobody’s surprise, McDavid was a key cog in the Oilers’ last two wins, picking up two points in each game (two assists vs. Calgary; one goal and one assist at Vancouver).

Edmonton’s captain — and perhaps the most skilled hockey player on the planet right now — started the season as hot as his team, putting together a surreal 17-game point-scoring streak. And while he’s obviously cooled off since, he only been held off the scoresheet just eight times in 37 games. (Somewhat interestingly, though, five of those instances happened at home.)

McDavid picked up two assists in a 5-2 home loss to Nashville back on Nov. 3. That gave him 20 points (five goals, 15 assists) in 14 career games against the Preds.

With McDavid and the Oilers heating up a bit, let’s play the Over one more time!