NHL Betting Preview: Senators at Coyotes 3/5/22

Saturday afternoon will feature an inter conference bottom-dweller matchup between the Ottawa Senators and Phoenix Coyotes. Both teams know their playoff chances are gone, so this game is purely for pride purposes but a good chance for bettors to cash in on a pretty even matchup.

Game Preview

This will be the first of two meetings between Ottawa and Arizona and it’s been a pretty similar season for both. The Senators come in at 19-29-5 and 6th in the Atlantic Division while the Coyotes are 15-35-4, last in the Central Division and have the least amount of points in the NHL right now.

The Coyotes play in an arguably better division, headlined by the best team in the league, the Colorado Avalanche. In fact, in their last game the Coyotes defeated the Avalanche 2-1 at home. 

The Senators are coming in off a three game losing streak and having lost five of their last six. The Senators are 26th in goals for per game, 28th in assists and 28th in points, making their lackluster position in the Eastern Conference all the more understandable.

Meanwhile, the Coyotes are last in those three categories, and additionally power play goals and power play percentage. On Arizona’s side, their leader in points Clyaton Keller has outperformed Ottawa’s leading scorer, Brady Tkachuk by 9 points. Keller has 47 and and Tkachuk 38.

Keller is also Arizona’s leader in goals with 21 and has outscored Ottawa’s goals leader Josh Norris who has 17 this season. Arizona’s leader in assists is the veteran Phil Kessel who has four more assists than the Senators leader in that category, Thomas Chabot, who has 23 and is currently has day-to-day injured status.

At goaltender the Senators have a clear advantage. Ottawa’s Anton Forsberg has been middling but has undeniably outperformed the Coyotes’ regular starter Karel Vejmelka. Forsberg’s goals against per game rate is 2.80 while Vejmelka sits at a pretty abysmal 3.42. For save percentage Forsberg has actually been pretty solid as he’s tied for the 13th best at .918 while Vejmelka is 35th at .903.

The dropoff between these starting goalies should definitely be a factor if you’re considering making a wager on this game. The Coyotes’ -72 goal differential is also something that may very understandably make bettors want to stay away from them despite their potential value. That figure is the worst in Western Conference and 2nd worst in the NHL ahead of only the Montreal Canadiens.

 

Best bets/predictions 

All the numbers favor Ottawa taking this game, but that should by no means make bettors confident in them. This is a Senators team that’s coming into Arizona ice cold (no pun intended) and having scored just seven goals in their last five games.

The Coyotes have statistically been the worst team in the league, but it’s hard to ignore the fact that they’re coming off beating the best team in hockey and will have home ice for this one. The Coyotes have also been much better in their last five, winning three of those games and having scored 13 goals over that stretch.

Right now the moneyline favors the Senators at -120. The Coyotes are the worse team on paper but the fact that they’ve been playing much better as of late is a good indication to take them over Ottawa. With home ice this is a game the Coyotes will take and continue this mini-roll they’ve been on.

The over/under is 5.5 and with the lack of quality in net for both these teams (Arizona more so than Ottawa) take the over. This will be a high scoring game and could very easily go something like 5-3. This likely won’t be a one goal game, so don’t take the spread. One team will pull away with this one early as neither has much to play for.

 

 


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