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  1. #1111
    NHL Western Conference final Game 3 betting preview and odds: Jets at Golden Knights

    Winnipeg Jets at Vegas Golden Knights (-135, 5.5)

    Series tied 1-1.

    Playing on the road has not fazed the Winnipeg Jets in the Stanley Cup playoffs, and they need to continue that strong play away from home as the Western Conference finals shift to Las Vegas for Game 3 Wednesday against the Golden Knights. Vegas snatched home ice with a gritty 3-1 victory Monday in Game 2 at Winnipeg, and now the Jets - who have lost in regulation just once in six road games during the postseason - look to respond as the Golden Knights did Monday.

    But nobody in the Jets locker room is panicking after losing one home contest, and as defenseman Jacob Trouba offered to reporters after Monday’s game: “We like our road game. We like where it was in the Nashville series, and we’re going to try and bring the same effort.” The Golden Knights, who did not face the type of firepower Winnipeg possesses in the opening two rounds, nonetheless shook off a Game 1 loss by surviving an early onslaught against goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, building a 2-0 lead and making life uncomfortable in the neutral zone for the Jets. Forward Jonathan Marchessault, who labeled Game 2 a “must win,” backed it up with two goals to lead a spirited effort that has the expansion Golden Knights poised to take the series lead on home ice. “Every time we need a big game out of our group, we show up,” Marchessault told the media after the game. “I think we showed the hockey world that we earned the right to be here, and we are able to play against a great team.”

    TV: 9 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network, CBC, Sportsnet, TVA

    SERIES PRICE (PER PINNACLE):



    LINE HISTORY: The host Vegas Golden Knights opened as -145 moneyline favorites but action on the visiting Jets has pushed that number down to -135 as of Tuesday night. The total hit betting boards at 5.5 and has yet to move.

    CONSENSUS: There could be some sharp action on the Jets as the line has moved in their favor despite seeing just 29 percent of wagers according to the public. The Over is seeing the slight edge in totals action with 70 percent of the bets.

    GOALIE SHOWDOWN:
    W L OTL GAA Save % SO
    Connor Hellebuyck 44 11 9 2.36 .924 6
    Marc-Andre Fleury 29 13 4 2.24 .927 4

    INJURY REPORT:

    Jets - D Dmitry Kulikov (Out Indefinitely, Back).

    Golden Knights - LW David Perron (Probable, Illness), LW William Carrier (Questionable, Upper Body), D Clayton Stoner (Out Indefinitely, Abdominal).

    ABOUT THE JETS (61-24-9-2, 46-47 O/U): Winnipeg did not play poorly in Game 2, but were nowhere near as sharp as they were in the series opener and were victimized several times by turnovers and sloppy puck handling. Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck made 25 saves, but gave up Marchessault’s second goal 88 seconds after forward Kyle Connor’s power-play marker pulled the Jets within one in the third period. Connor’s linemates - forward Blake Wheeler and center Mark Scheifele - have combined for 15 goals and 36 points in the postseason but were held off the scoresheet in Game 2.

    ABOUT THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS (60-26-5-3, 46-44 O/U): Marchessault leads Vegas in playoff goals (six) and points (15), and the 5-9 forward finished plus-2 Monday while sparking his line of center William Karlsson and forward Reilly Smith to a combined plus-6 finish. Fleury, who gave up three goals in the opening 7:35 of Game 1, fended off several good scoring chances in the opening minutes Monday en route to a 30-save performance. Vegas was much better in several areas in Game 2, blocking 21 shots and winning 51 percent of faceoff attempts.

    MATCHUP CHART:



    TRENDS:

    * Jets are 21-7 in their last 28 vs. Pacific.
    * Golden Knights are 14-2 in their last 16 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
    * Over is 6-2 in Jets' last 8 road games.
    * Under is 12-5-2 in Golden Knights' last 19 games following a win.

  2. #1112
    NHL
    Dunkel

    Wednesday, May 16



    Winnipeg @ Vegas

    Game 3-4
    May 16, 2018 @ 9:05 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Winnipeg
    12.842
    Vegas
    14.604
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Vegas
    by 2
    6
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Vegas
    -140
    5 1/2
    Dunkel Pick:
    Vegas
    (-140); Over





    NHL
    Long Sheet

    Wednesday, May 16


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    WINNIPEG (61-25-0-10, 132 pts.) at VEGAS (60-27-0-7, 127 pts.) - 5/16/2018, 9:05 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    VEGAS is 61-34 ATS (+16.6 Units) in all games this season.
    VEGAS is 34-18 ATS (+12.5 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record this season.
    VEGAS is 20-12 ATS (+7.3 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season this season.
    WINNIPEG is 61-36 ATS (+12.9 Units) in all games this season.
    WINNIPEG is 30-25 ATS (+60.3 Units) in a road game where where the total is 5.5 over the last 2 seasons.
    WINNIPEG is 38-19 ATS (+9.8 Units) second half of the season this season.
    WINNIPEG is 32-13 ATS (+14.8 Units) revenging a loss versus opponent this season.
    WINNIPEG is 13-5 ATS (+7.2 Units) after a loss by 2 goals or more in their previous game this season.
    WINNIPEG is 34-22 ATS (+7.3 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record this season.
    WINNIPEG is 24-12 ATS (+8.3 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season this season.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    VEGAS is 3-2 (+1.5 Units) against the spread versus WINNIPEG over the last 3 seasons
    VEGAS is 3-2-0 straight up against WINNIPEG over the last 3 seasons
    2 of 4 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons . (Over=+0.0 Units)

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------




    NHL

    Wednesday, May 16


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Trend Report
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Winnipeg Jets
    Winnipeg is 8-3 ATS in its last 11 games
    Winnipeg is 19-6 SU in its last 25 games
    Winnipeg is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
    Winnipeg is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games on the road
    The total has gone OVER in 6 of Winnipeg's last 8 games on the road
    Vegas Golden Knights
    Vegas is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games
    Vegas is 9-3 SU in its last 12 games
    Vegas is 2-6 ATS in its last 8 games at home
    Vegas is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games at home

  3. #1113
    Preview: Jets (52-20) at Golden Knights (51-24)
    Date: May 16, 2018 9:00 PM EDT


    LAS VEGAS - After knotting its NHL Western Conference final series at 1-1 with a 3-1 victory at Winnipeg on Monday night, the Vegas Golden Knights now hold home-ice advantage for the best-of-seven series. But considering how the Jets have played on the road lately, that might not be a good thing.

    Winnipeg, which was an NHL-best 32-7-2 at home during the regular season, has actually played better on the road during the playoffs, winning four of its last five away from Bell MTS Place, including a 5-1 rout of Nashville in Game 7 in the conference semifinals. The only road loss during that span was 5-4 in overtime in Game 2 against the Predators.

    "We'll be ready to bounce back," Winnipeg center Paul Statsny said of heading into Wednesday night's Game 3 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. "That's playoff hockey, right? You win one and all of a sudden they get one and we lose one. You think you have momentum. We view this as a fresh start."

    "It's a series," added Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba. "I don't think anybody is panicking. We've been here before."

    The Jets have outscored their opponents 21-9 in their last five playoff road games, which started with a 2-0 blanking of the Minnesota Wild in Game 4 of the quarterfinals. They outscored Nashville 11-3 in their final two games at Bridgestone Arena where the Preds were 28-9-4 during the regular season.

    "We like our road game, we like where it was in the Nashville series and we're going to try and bring the same effort," Trouba said.

    Vegas was 29-10-2 at home during the regular season at T-Mobile Arena and is 4-1 there in the playoffs.

    "I think you feed off the crowd for sure," Vegas defenseman Deryk Engelland said. "But the visiting team is coming in and trying to quiet the crowd down as much as they can. They're going to come out flying and we've got to be ready to go."

    A bigger key than playing on home ice for both teams in the playoffs has been the ability to score first. Winnipeg is 8-1 when it scores the first goal while Vegas is 7-1.

    Vegas center Jonathan Marchessault, who scored two goals in Monday night's victory, was asked whether he would rather have home ice or the first goal of the game if he had his choice.

    "I think playing with the lead," Marchessault said. "Playing with the lead is huge. When you are able to play with the lead, I think that makes a huge difference."

    Still, Marchessault says he's looking forward to playing the next two games on his home ice. Vegas, behind two goals by William Karlsson, defeated the Jets 5-2 on Nov. 10 in the only regular-season meeting between the two teams at T-Mobile Arena.

    "We're definitely going to have a fun atmosphere," Marchessault said. "We'll get a lot of energy off of that."

    Vegas played without third leading scorer David Perron, who had 16 goals and 50 assists in the regular season and has seven assists in the playoffs, on Monday night. Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant wasn't sure whether Perron would be ready to go on Wednesday night.

    "He's day-to-day," Gallant said before his team's optional skate on Tuesday afternoon. "He's not feeling well."


    SERIES AT A GLANCE

    GAME 1
    Golden Knights at Jets
    Sat, May 12 Final 2 to 4

    GAME 2
    Golden Knights at Jets
    Mon, May 14 Final 3 to 1

    GAME 3
    Jets at Golden Knights
    Wed, May 16 - 9:00PM EDT

    GAME 4
    Jets at Golden Knights
    Fri, May 18 - 8:00PM EDT

    GAME 5
    Golden Knights at Jets
    Sun, May 20 - 3:00PM EDT

  4. #1114
    Powering the Flower: Vegas' Prior teaches Fleury new tricks
    May 16, 2018


    LAS VEGAS (AP) The Vegas Golden Knights figured they might get something special by crossing a respected goaltending coach with an accomplished goaltender.

    Dave Prior and Marc-Andre Fleury are making quite the pair for the historically successful expansion team.

    Fleury, a three-time Stanley Cup champion goalie, brought a wealth of experience when he was selected during last year's expansion draft. He's aiming for a fourth Cup as Vegas returns home from Winnipeg tied 1-1 in the Western Conference final - Game 3 is Wednesday night.

    He has hit it off with Prior, Vegas' goaltending coach who has helped the 13-year veteran pick up some new tricks.

    ''He's a great man,'' Fleury said. ''I think it shows, he's been around for a long time. So much experience, he's seen a lot of goalies, guys I grew up watching and liking, and he's coached them. I think he's somebody that wants me to trust in my ability to do things.''

    Prior has an old-school approach compared with many current goalie coaches. He thought Fleury would fit with his preferred style and insisted general manager George McPhee target the goalie when Pittsburgh left him unprotected for last year's draft.

    ''He obviously studies goaltenders all around the league and looks at the way that they're playing the game,'' McPhee said. ''He was excited, and he really advocated for him in our meetings and thought that he could make him even better than he's been.''

    Said Prior: ''When you have somebody who's as gifted as Marc is, it's trying to keep him playing to his potential all the time. He's not a backup goaltender. He's not past his `best before' date. He still has the capability of playing great.''

    Prior, of course, was right. Fleury finished this regular season with a 2.24 goals-against average and .927 save percentage - both career bests - as Vegas had by far the best expansion season in league history. The veteran also boasts career-best postseason numbers in both categories, with a 1.68 GAA and .945 save percentage through 12 games.

    Prior and Fleury have been cryptic about whatever adjustments they've made to Fleury's game. What Prior will divulge is that he believes once a goalie buys into his way of training, his confidence level increases and he begins to feel more productive in the net.

    ''I encourage a very strategic goal game that we're trying to make it very hard for the shooters, not just trying to have all the answers for the shooter's shot,'' Prior said. ''Marc is a bit secretive about it, but you have to have a lot of talent to play ... it's a difficult way to play the way I ask our goaltenders to play. I didn't know how Marc would respond because he's an older goaltender, and they usually are sort of set in their ways and harder for them to make adjustments. But he's been great and engaging in embracing this strategy.''

    Fleury said Prior has him spending less time worrying about giving up goals in practice and spending less time on the ice before games. Prior doesn't need Fleury working as hard as possible if he's working correctly.

    ''Goaltending plays games with your mind,'' Prior said. ''When you feel like you can't stop a puck in practice, you're worried that's what's gonna be showing up in the game. It plays on your mind. Guys always felt `I gotta work, I've gotta do everything to make sure I'm gonna be good.'

    ''Focus on the execution, not worry about `How hard I have to work to give me the best chance to be good,''' Prior added. ''I (prefer) you work less but are correct. It pays dividends when you play the game.''

  5. #1115
    Knights merchandise flying off shelves
    May 15, 2018


    Vegas Golden Knights merchandise is flying off the shelves, with goalie Marc-Andre Fleury's jersey leading the way.

    Specific numbers weren't immediately available Tuesday, but the NHL says the team's overall North American sales have been very strong.

    ''The Vegas Golden Knights are in the top five in merch sales all season,'' Nirva Milord, the NHL's senior director of corporate communications, wrote in an email to The Canadian Press. ''Marc-Andre Fleury is tops among players in playoffs merch sales.''

    Last month, the NHL reported that Fleury was fourth in jersey sales behind Toronto's Auston Matthews, Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby and Edmonton's Connor McDavid.

    Fleury, a three-time Stanley Cup champion in Pittsburgh, was not protected by the Penguins in last year's expansion draft. He has helped anchor the Golden Knights and gave them immediate star power.

    This random mix of journeymen, up-and-comers and castoffs will host the Jets in Game 3 of the Western Conference final Wednesday after teams split the first two games in Winnipeg.

    Cash registers have been ringing with sales of hats, hoodies, sweatshirts, T-shirts and jerseys adorned with the knight helmet symbol and the team's steel grey, black, gold and red colors.

    Marvin Ryder, a marketing professor at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, points to a couple of reasons for strong sales: a lack of competition from other top sports leagues in Las Vegas; the readiness of hockey fans and youngsters to flock to new gear.

    But where the franchise really delivered, Ryder said, was with its powerful logo coupled with an attractive color scheme.

    ''Whatever graphic identity team they hired, they knocked it right out of the park,'' Ryder told The Canadian Press.

    It helps to have a winning team, too.

    ''Ultimately it's how the fans embrace it,'' Ryder said. ''In this case, I'm going to say it's more about lucky. You had all the pieces, but they got them right the very first day. That's the unusual part of the story.

    ''Normally it takes longer for the teams to find that combination of performance and the right-looking logo that people are proud to wear. They got it right from Day One.''

  6. #1116
    WEDNESDAY, MAY 16
    GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS


    WIN at VEG 09:00 PM

    VEG -115

    U 5.5

  7. #1117
    SCHEDULE FOR THURSDAY MAY 17, 2018
    Time (ET) Away Home Site
    8:00 PM Tampa Bay Lightning Washington Capitals Capital One Arena

    SCHEDULE FOR FRIDAY MAY 18, 2018
    Time (ET) Away Home Site
    8:00 PM Winnipeg Jets Vegas Golden Knights T-Mobile Arena

    SCHEDULE FOR SATURDAY MAY 19, 2018
    Time (ET) Away Home Site
    7:15 PM Washington Capitals Tampa Bay Lightning Amalie Arena

    SCHEDULE FOR SUNDAY MAY 20, 2018
    Time (ET) Away Home Site
    3:00 PM Vegas Golden Knights Winnipeg Jets

    SCHEDULE FOR MONDAY MAY 21, 2018
    Time (ET) Away Home Site
    8:00 PM Tampa Bay Lightning Washington Capitals Capital One Arena

    SCHEDULE FOR TUESDAY MAY 22, 2018
    Time (ET) Away Home Site
    9:00 PM Winnipeg Jets Vegas Golden Knights T-Mobile Arena

    SCHEDULE FOR WEDNESDAY MAY 23, 2018
    Time (ET) Away Home Site
    8:00 PM Washington Capitals Tampa Bay Lightning Amalie Arena


    ****************************


    May NHL Record:

    05/16/2018 1-1-0 50.00% -0.50
    05/15/2018 0-1-1 0.00% -6.00
    05/14/2018 0-2-0 0.00% -12.75
    05/13/2018 1-1-0 50.00% -4.00
    05/03/2018 2-2-0 50.00% -0.25
    05/02/2018 1-3-0 25.00% -10.50
    05/01/2018 1-3-0 25.00% -12.75

    Totals...............6-13-1........29.41%.....-46.75


    May Best Bets:

    DATE................................ATS........... UNITS..................O/U..........UNITS..............TOTAL

    05/16/2018.....................1 - 0............+5.00.................0 - 1..........-5.50..............-0.50
    05/15/2018.....................0 - 1.............-6.00..................0 - 0 - 1.....-0.00..............-6.00
    05/14/2018.....................0 - 0.............-0.00..................0 - 1..........-5.50..............-5.50
    05/13/2018.....................0 - 0.............-0.00.................1 - 0...........+5.00............+5.00
    05/03/2018.....................1 - 0............+5.75................0 - 2...........-11.00.............-5.25
    05/02/2018.....................1 - 1............+0.50.................0 - 2..........-11.00.............-10.50
    05/01/2018.....................0 - 1.............-5.00.................1 - 1...........-0.50..............-5.50

    Totals.............................3- 3.............+0.40.............2 - 7 - 1...........-28.00............-28.25

  8. #1118
    Armadillo: Thursday's six-pack

    — Rockets 127, Warriors 105— Houston evens Western final at one game apiece.

    — Golden Knights 4, Jets 2— Las Vegas grabs a 2-1 series lead.

    — Yoenis Cespedes, Carlos Gomez, Luke Gregerson all went on the DL Wednesday.

    — Cleveland Indians are 3-11 in games where GW run scores after the 6th inning.

    — Milwaukee Bucks will hire Mike Budenholzer as its new coach.

    — Sidney Bouvier Gilstrap-Portley, a 25-year-old who graduated from North Mesquite HS in Texas, was recently arrested and booked into Dallas County Jail after police realized he had enrolled at Hillcrest HS in North Dallas as a 17-year-old, so he could play high school basketball.

    **********

    Armadillo: Thursday's List of 13: NFC trends for 2018……

    Arizona— Cardinals won four of their last five post-bye games.

    Atlanta— Falcons are 12-2 vs spread in last 14 home openers; under is 10-3 in their last 13 road openers.

    Carolina— Panthers open at home for only 2nd time in last seven years; they’re 0-5 last five times they started season at home. Carolina’s last Week 1 home win was in 2003.

    Chicago— Bears open on road for only 2nd time in last nine years; they’re 2-5 in last seven road openers. Under is 12-2 in their last 14 road openers.

    Dallas— Cowboys played Giants in Week 1 five of last six years; they host Big Blue in Week 2 this year. Dallas covered nine of last 11 road openers. Under is 5-2 in their last seven home openers.

    Detroit— Lions won five of their last seven home openers; over is 6-2 in their last eight. Detroit started season 1-0 six of last seven years.

    Green Bay— Packers won 10 of their last 11 home openers. Over is 10-2 in their last 12 road openers. Green Bay is 0-5 vs spread in last five pre-bye games.

    LA Rams— Rams won five of their last six home openers; they’re 2-14 in last 16 road openers, 3-15 vs spread in last 18. LA is 8-2-1 vs spread in last 11 post-bye games.

    Minnesota— Vikings won eight of their last nine pre-bye games (9-0 vs spread); they’re 2-7 vs spread in last nine post-bye road games. Minnesota won/covered its last three home openers. Under is 10-4 in their last 14 road openers.

    NJ Giants— Giants lost five of their last six home openers (0-6 vs spread); five of those six games stayed under. This will be first time in six years Big Blue opens the season at home; they open against Tom Coughlin’s Jaguars.

    New Orleans— Saints lost their last three home openers, six of last seven road openers- they started last four seasons 0-1. Saints are 7-1-1 vs spread in last nine post-bye games.

    Philadelphia— Eagles won eight of their last nine road openers, three of last four home openers. Under is 7-3-1 in their last 11 home openers. Philly is 7-3 vs spread in its last 10 pre-bye games.

    San Francisco— 49ers won six of last nine home openers (7-2 vs spread), last four of which stayed under. Niners are 0-5-1 SU, 0-6 vs spread in last six post-bye games; they won/covered six of last eight pre-bye games.

    Seattle— Seahawks open on road for 6th time in last eight years; they lost their first road game 10 of last 11 years; they’re 1-12 vs spread in last 13 road openers. Seahawks won last nine home openers (7-2 vs spread). Seattle won its last seven pre-bye games (6-1 vs spread).

    Tampa Bay— Bucs lost four of last five home openers; they didn’t play in Week 1 LY because of a hurricane. Over is 7-3 in their last ten home openers. Tampa Bay is 8-4 vs spread in last dozen post-bye games.

    Washington— Redskins lost five of their last six home openers; they’re 2-6 vs spread last eight times they were favored in a home opener. Redskins are 3-6-1 vs spread in last 10 pre-bye games, 2-7 vs spread in last nine post-bye games.

  9. #1119
    NHL Eastern Conference final Game 4 betting preview and odds: Lightning at Capitals

    Tampa Bay Lightning at Washington Capitals (-110, 6)

    Capitals lead series 2-1.

    The Tampa Bay Lightning fought their way back in the series with a vastly improved performance and the reward is a chance to even the Eastern Conference finals Thursday night when they visit the Washington Capitals for Game 4. All-Stars Victor Hedman, Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov combined for seven points as the Lightning recorded a 4-2 victory Tuesday in Washington after dropping the first two games of the series at home.

    “We believed all along,” Stamkos, who has scored a goal in five of the last six games, told reporters. “We knew we weren’t good enough, and credit to them, they played really good hockey the first two games. We needed to make adjustments. We did that. We worked on it. The players went out there and did what we needed to do.” Tampa Bay was much tighter defensively despite allowing 38 shots overall, and scored twice on the power play to improve to 5-for-12 with the man advantage in the series and extend their streak to eight games with at least one. Evgeny Kuznetsov finished with 12 shots on net and a goal for the Capitals in Game 3 while linemate Alex Ovechkin did not have a point despite accumulating nine shots, but coach Barry Trotz told the media his team was “off a little bit” and will be better Thursday. “We believe in each other,” Ovechkin told reporters. “We know exactly what we have to do. Nobody said it was going to be easy. They’re not going to give us two wins in a row in our house. We just have to play more desperate and play smarter.”

    TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network, CBC, Sportsnet, TVA

    SERIES PRICE (PER PINNACLE):



    LINE HISTORY: Game 4 opened as a Pick 'Em and as of Wednesday night that number has not moved. The total hit betting boards at 6 and has been steady at the opening figure.

    CONSENSUS: 59 percent of moneyline wagers are coming in on the home favorite Capitals. The Over is seeing the edge in the total action with 52 percent of the bets.

    GOALIE SHOWDOWN:
    W L OTL GAA Save % SO
    Andrei Vasilevskiy 44 17 3 2.62 .920 8
    Braden Holtby 34 16 4 2.99 .907 0

    INJURY REPORT:

    Lightning - C Tyler Johnson (Questionable, Arm), LW Adam Erne (Questionable, Lower Body).

    Capitals - C Nicklas Backstrom (Questionable, Hand).

    ABOUT THE LIGHTNING (63-27-3-2, 55-35 O/U): Coach Jon Cooper shuffled his top three forward lines for Game 3, putting Ondrej Palat with Kucherov and Stamkos, flipping J.T. Miller to a unit with Anthony Cirelli and Alex KIllorn while moving Yanni Gourde in with Brayden Point and Tyler Johnson. “We needed to put guys in positions to succeed,” Cooper told reporters. “We probably needed to spring a little life into our group.” Point has four goals in his last five games and four of his 14 playoff points in the past two contests while Hedman owns a franchise-record eight-game point streak after scoring once and assisting on two Tuesday.

    ABOUT THE CAPITALS (59-29-8-1, 53-40 O/U): Center Nicklas Backstrom (13 points, 11 playoff games) skated again Wednesday and could possibly return to the lineup Thursday after missing the last four contests with a hand injury. Kuznetsov boasts four goals and seven assists during a six-game point streak and owns 20 points overall - six in the series - while Ovechkin scored twice and set up two others in the first two contests against Tampa Bay. Goalie Braden Holtby owns an .899 save percentage in the series, but has stopped 57 of the 60 shots he has faced at even strength (.950) and leads the league with 10 playoffs wins entering Wednesday.

    MATCHUP CHART:



    TRENDS:

    * Lightning are 4-0 in their last 4 road games.
    * Capitals are 22-8 in their last 30 overall.
    * Over is 17-6-3 in Lightning's last 26 road games.
    * Over is 4-0-3 in Capitals' last 7 vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
    * Over is 20-7-3 in the last 30 meetings.

  10. #1120
    NHL
    Long Sheet

    Thursday, May 17


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    TAMPA BAY (63-27-0-5, 131 pts.) at WASHINGTON (59-29-0-9, 127 pts.) - 5/17/2018, 8:05 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    WASHINGTON is 60-38 ATS (+2.5 Units) in all games this season.
    WASHINGTON is 36-22 ATS (+3.0 Units) second half of the season this season.
    WASHINGTON is 27-11 ATS (+13.9 Units) revenging a loss versus opponent this season.
    WASHINGTON is 18-4 ATS (+11.5 Units) in home games after a loss by 2 goals or more in their previous game over the last 3 seasons.
    WASHINGTON is 36-20 ATS (+12.1 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record this season.
    WASHINGTON is 21-12 ATS (+8.1 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season this season.
    TAMPA BAY is 64-32 ATS (+9.9 Units) in all games this season.
    TAMPA BAY is 24-11 ATS (+12.7 Units) when trailing in a playoff series since 1996.
    TAMPA BAY is 233-236 ATS (+498.3 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season since 1996.
    WASHINGTON is 8-14 ATS (-10.2 Units) in home games when leading in a playoff series since 1996.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    WASHINGTON is 8-4 (+5.3 Units) against the spread versus TAMPA BAY over the last 3 seasons
    WASHINGTON is 8-4-0 straight up against TAMPA BAY over the last 3 seasons
    5 of 9 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons . (Over=+1.2 Units)

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------




    NHL

    Thursday, May 17


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Trend Report
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Tampa Bay Lightning
    Tampa Bay is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games
    Tampa Bay is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games
    Tampa Bay is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
    Tampa Bay is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games on the road
    Tampa Bay is 2-6 ATS in its last 8 games when playing Washington
    Tampa Bay is 4-10 SU in its last 14 games when playing Washington
    The total has gone OVER in 15 of Tampa Bay's last 23 games when playing Washington
    Tampa Bay is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Washington
    Tampa Bay is 3-11 SU in its last 14 games when playing on the road against Washington
    Washington Capitals
    Washington is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
    Washington is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
    Washington is 3-9 ATS in its last 12 games at home
    The total has gone OVER in 6 of Washington's last 9 games at home
    Washington is 6-2 ATS in its last 8 games when playing Tampa Bay
    Washington is 10-4 SU in its last 14 games when playing Tampa Bay
    The total has gone OVER in 15 of Washington's last 23 games when playing Tampa Bay
    Washington is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games when playing at home against Tampa Bay
    Washington is 11-3 SU in its last 14 games when playing at home against Tampa Bay

  11. #1121
    Capitals have home-ice disadvantage for Game 4 vs. Lightning
    May 16, 2018


    WASHINGTON (AP) The good news for Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals is they still lead their Eastern Conference final against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The bad news for the Capitals, counterintuitive as it may be: They host Game 4.

    So far, Washington is 7-1 in away games this postseason, closing out each of its first two series on the road.

    Heading into Thursday night, the Capitals are only 3-4 in their arena. The latest setback was a 4-2 loss to the Lightning on Tuesday, after victories at Tampa Bay by a combined score of 10-4 in the final's opening two games.

    Ovechkin simply shrugged when asked about that discrepancy.

    ''We don't think about it,'' the three-time NHL MVP said. ''We just play our game.''

    Others were less dismissive.

    ''We can take a few things that we've done on the road and put it into our home game,'' goalie Braden Holtby said. ''Just a little simpler. Simpler play. Just a kind of, like, more gritty style.''

    Asked what his club could do to fare better at home, Capitals coach Barry Trotz said: ''Just play the way we do on the road. We're invested there. We're playing with real good focus. I didn't think we were as focused as we have been normally on the road. So just pretend you're on the road. All the buildings are pretty well the same these days.''

    Trotz notices a difference in his players' attitude on home ice, saying: ''It's `us against the world' when were on the road.''

    There is a league-wide trend here: Road teams are 38-34 in these playoffs.

    So much for any supposed home-ice advantage, right?

    ''For whatever reason, at this time of the year there are more distractions than in the regular season, for sure. A lot of people have friends and family coming down and ticket requests. Sometimes there's that little added pressure of playing at home and wanting to obviously do good things in front of your fans,'' Lightning forward Steven Stamkos said. ''There's something to be said, too, (for) winning games on the road, when you can just kind of hear a pin drop in the crowd, sometimes, which is always a good thing.''

    Holtby agreed.

    ''It's easier to play on the road. It's always that way on the road. Any team would say that,'' he said. ''Because you're not focused on the excitement of your fans and all that. They bring you energy in good ways, but at the same time, you need to stay realistic and play your game.''

    During the regular season, Washington was a strong home team, playing in front of loud, red-wearing sellout crowds in every game.

    Only five teams in the 31-club NHL had more victories at home than Washington's 28 - and that total represents seven more wins than the Capitals managed on the road.

    So what is going on in the playoffs?

    ''I don't really have an explanation for it, to be honest with you,'' defenseman Brooks Orpik said. ''I know when we go on the road, I think maybe we feel a bit more relaxed, and when we do make mistakes, maybe we don't let the groaning affect us or whatnot. I mean, that being said, I think we should be probably mentally stronger to not let that affect us. Just got to try to find a way to win the next one at home, for sure.''

    NOTES: Injured Capitals C Nicklas Backstrom, who has missed the last four games with an injured right hand, took part in the team's optional skate Wednesday. But Trotz wouldn't give any hint as to when Backstrom might return. ''When Nicky's ready to go, he's ready to go,'' Trotz said. ''You miss him in every way shape or form.'' ... Washington re-signed D Aaron Ness to a one-year, two-way contract worth $650,000 if he's in the NHL, $425,000 in the minors. Ness had one assist in eight games for the Capitals this season.

  12. #1122
    THURSDAY, MAY 17
    GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS


    TB at WAS 08:00 PM

    TB +100

    O 6.0

  13. #1123
    Lightning top Caps to even East finals
    May 17, 2018


    WASHINGTON (AP) Jon Cooper's Tampa Bay Lightning won Game 4 of the Eastern Conference final despite going the equivalent of more than a period without a shot on goal.

    They won despite falling behind about 4 1/2 minutes into the game.

    They won despite being called for three penalties - one right after the other - late in the first period, allowing Alex Ovechkin and the rest of the Washington Capitals' prolific power play to get all that time to operate.

    And they did it, mainly, thanks to Andrei Vasilevskiy, who made 36 saves and kept things close until Alex Killorn scored the tiebreaker with about 8 minutes left, lifting Tampa Bay to a 4-2 victory over Washington on Thursday night, evening the series at two games apiece.

    ''When you don't have your `A' game, you need your goalie to have his `A' game,'' Cooper said. ''And he sure did.''

    Now the Lightning will host Game 5 on Saturday night, with Game 6 back in Washington on Monday.

    The road team has won every game in the series so far.

    ''It's pretty bizarre,'' said Steven Stamkos, who took a puck of the face during the morning skate, then went out and scored a power-play goal that gave Tampa Bay a 2-1 lead after the first period. ''We've got to find a way to win one at home.''

    The Capitals might be thinking the very same thing. After all, they fell to 3-5 in the nation's capital this postseason, while they are 7-1 in away games.

    On Thursday, they even got booed - yes, a smattering of jeers rang out in the team's first conference final in 20 years - late in the first period after failing to convert any of the trio of man-advantage chances.

    That stretch was part of a chunk of nearly 21 full minutes of game time - the last 10:41 of the first period, followed by the initial 10:11 of the second - during which Tampa Bay never putt a single official shot on net.

    ''Our guys were gassed. That's a lot of stress. Mental stress. The same guys are on the ice the whole time. Other guys aren't playing,'' Cooper said. ''You kind of lose your whole rhythm.''

    And so it was vital that Vasilevskiy played just like the Vezina Trophy finalist he is.

    He was spectacular at times, including stops against Chandler Stephenson on a breakaway and Nicklas Backstrom - who returned after missing four games with an injured right hand - from the doorstep in the second period. In the third, Vasilevskiy used his left glove to swat away a try from Brett Connolly.

    Following one flubbed chance, Ovechkin threw his head back and looked up, the very picture of disappointment.

    After allowing 10 goals in Games 1 and 2, Vasilevskiy has given up a total of four in Games 3 and 4.

    ''He didn't play great in the first two. He played well in the second two. It's our job to make him look like the goalie from the first two games,'' Washington forward Tom Wilson said. ''We'll make it hard on him.''

    Capitals goalie Braden Holtby didn't get a chance to make nearly as many saves, given the shot discrepancy: Washington ended up with 38 to Tampa Bay's 20. And Holtby allowed goals on two of the first five shots he faced, to Brayden Point and to Stamkos. Anthony Cirelli added an empty-netter with a second left.

    The go-ahead goal came thanks to a defensive breakdown, when Killorn was left pretty much alone and scored 6 seconds after a Tampa Bay power play expired, putting in a pass from Ondrej Palat.

    ''Tonight was so important,'' Killorn said. ''Going down 3-1 in a series is tremendously different from 2-2.''

    After his score, Killorn said, ''We played our best hockey.''

    That's true.

    Washington's goals had come from Evgeny Kuznetsov - off an assist by Ovechkin - in the second period, and defenseman Dmitry Orlov in the early going. But late, the Capitals could not get the tying goal in, even after pulling Holtby with a little more than 2 minutes to go so they could play 6-on-5.

    ''Of course,'' Ovechkin said, ''it's a missed opportunity.''

    NOTES: Stamkos has one power-play goal in each game of the series. ... The Lightning have produced 11 power-play goals over their last nine games, with at least one in each. ... Lars Eller was whistled for both of Washington's penalties and has five in the past two games. ''That was way too many,'' Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. ... Kuznetsov's 21 points equaled Ovechkin (2009) for the most by a Capitals player in one postseason.

  14. #1124
    SCHEDULE FOR FRIDAY MAY 18, 2018
    Time (ET) Away Home Site
    8:00 PM Winnipeg Jets Vegas Golden Knights T-Mobile Arena

    SCHEDULE FOR SATURDAY MAY 19, 2018
    Time (ET) Away Home Site
    7:15 PM Washington Capitals Tampa Bay Lightning Amalie Arena

    SCHEDULE FOR SUNDAY MAY 20, 2018
    Time (ET) Away Home Site
    3:00 PM Vegas Golden Knights Winnipeg Jets


    **********************


    May NHL Record:

    05/17/2018 1-0-1 100.00% +5.00
    05/16/2018 1-1-0 50.00% -0.50
    05/15/2018 0-1-1 0.00% -6.00
    05/14/2018 0-2-0 0.00% -12.75
    05/13/2018 1-1-0 50.00% -4.00
    05/03/2018 2-2-0 50.00% -0.25
    05/02/2018 1-3-0 25.00% -10.50
    05/01/2018 1-3-0 25.00% -12.75

    Totals...............7-13-1........35.00%.....-41.75


    May Best Bets:

    DATE................................ATS........... UNITS..................O/U..........UNITS..............TOTAL

    05/17/2018.....................1 - 0............+5.00.................0 - 0- 1......+0.00,,,,,,,,,,,,+5.00
    05/16/2018.....................1 - 0............+5.00.................0 - 1..........-5.50..............-0.50
    05/15/2018.....................0 - 1.............-6.00..................0 - 0 - 1.....-0.00..............-6.00
    05/14/2018.....................0 - 0.............-0.00..................0 - 1..........-5.50..............-5.50
    05/13/2018.....................0 - 0.............-0.00.................1 - 0...........+5.00............+5.00
    05/03/2018.....................1 - 0............+5.75................0 - 2...........-11.00.............-5.25
    05/02/2018.....................1 - 1............+0.50.................0 - 2..........-11.00.............-10.50
    05/01/2018.....................0 - 1.............-5.00.................1 - 1...........-0.50..............-5.50

    Totals.............................4- 3.............+5.40.............2 - 7 - 2...........-28.00............-23.25

  15. #1125
    Armadillo: Friday's six-pack

    Odds to win the Super Bowl this coming season:

    6-1 New England Patriots

    8-1 Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Eagles

    10-1 Los Angeles Rams

    12-1 Minnesota Vikings

    14-1 Green Bay Packers, Los Angeles Chargers

    18-1 Jacksonville Jaguars, New Orleans Saints


    **********

    Armadillo: Friday's List of 13: Random stuff with weekend here…….

    13) I’d like to thank Ken Thomsen of SportsXRadio and Andy Iskoe for having me on as a guest last night on their excellent radio program.

    You know what? If you go to SportsXradio.com, you can listen to an archived recording of the show. Even better? I’ll be on the show again tonight; sports talk radio at its finest!!! ��

    12) Vegas Golden Knights are a great story, an expansion team that is six wins away from winning the Stanley Cup, but what about these Winnipeg Jets?

    Before this season, the Atlanta Thrashers/Jets franchise had a combined record of 0-8 in Stanley Cup playoff games over their first 17 years. They’re a pretty good story, too.

    11) We’re going to learn a lot more about Baker Mayfield this summer; HBO’s Hard Knocks will be covering the Cleveland Browns this summer.

    10) NBA prospect Luka Doncic told reporters he’s still undecided about whether he’ll stay in the EuroLeague or join the NBA team that drafts him in June. He still has two games left in his season, so maybe he is just putting an announcement off until this season is finished.

    9) First five picks in the 2008 NBA Draft:
    1— Bulls-Derrick Rose
    2— Heat-Michael Beasley
    3— Wolves-OJ Mayo (traded to Memphis)
    4— Sonics (Thunder)-Russell Westbrook
    5— Grizzlies-Kevin Love (traded to Minnesota)
    35— Clippers-Deandre Jordan

    8) From 2007-17, Robinson Cano played 1,744 games at second base, the most-ever games by a second baseman over an 11-year span. Nellie Fox held the old record, playing 1,701 games from 1952-62.

    7) If/when the Orioles trade Manny Machado, that will be the most pivotal transaction of the summer; Baltimore is 13-29, going nowhere, can they upgrade their future by getting some prospects for Machado, who is a free agent after this season?

    6) Seattle Seahawks spent only $6.2M on their offensive line LY, least in the NFL.

    5) Steven Souza Jr was miked during Sunday night’s game; we could listen to him as he played in right field. Think this is a wave of the future, trying to make the game more viewer-friendly.

    4) How weird is it that part of this Michael Cohen/FBI investigation includes Ice Cube’s Big 3 half-court basketball league, and foreign investors in that league?

    3) Who would’ve thought that on the morning of May 17, more than 25% of the way thru the baseball season, that the Dodgers/Marlins would have the same record? 16-26 ain’t good, but at least Miami was expected to be bad.

    Dodgers beat Miami Thursday, are now 17-26, but they’re struggling badly.

    2) I’m walking thru the Westgate Casino Wednesday night, going to get dinner and I walk right by Mark Davis, owner of the Oakland Raiders, who will be the Las Vegas Raiders in 2020 or 2021. This does not seem like the kind of hotel an NFL owner would be staying in.

    Saw him again Thursday afternoon; there are people who live in the Westgate, maybe he is one of those people.

    1) Best $8 I spent so far this week was for the WiFi on my flight west, which made the flight seem a lot shorter.

  16. #1126
    NHL Western Conference final Game 4 betting preview and odds: Jets at Golden Knights

    Winnipeg Jets at Vegas Golden Knights (-125, 5.5)

    Golden Knights lead series 2-1.

    The Vegas Golden Knights might be an expansion team, but the play of veteran goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury in back-to-back victories has lifted them to a 2-1 lead over the Winnipeg Jets entering Friday’s Game 4 of the Western Conference finals at home. Fleury made 33 saves in a 4-2 victory in Game 3, surviving relentless pressure from the Jets in pushing the first-year club to within two victories of the Stanley Cup finals - a place Fleury reached with Pittsburgh the past two seasons.

    Fleury, who leads all remaining goaltenders in postseason save percentage (.945) and goals against average (1.70), admits nobody thought Vegas would play this deep into May, telling reporters after Game 3: “It’s been a long season. It’s been a lot of fun to be a part of. Really proud of this team and the way these guys have been working.” Once again it was forward Jonathan Marchessault who sparked the Golden Knights offense, scoring a pair of goals for the second consecutive game and recording his third-straight two-point night in the series. Meanwhile, the Jets looked sloppy and slow in the initial minutes of Game 3 and allowed a goal on a defensive miscue by goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, but pounded 16 shots at Fleury in the final 20 minutes and came close to tying the score several times. “They’re playing really well because they’re a really good team,” Jets captain Blake Wheeler told reporters after recording two assists in Game 3. “You put yourself in a tough position when you’re down by a couple goals on the road, tough environment against a good team. So, the onus is on us to get off to a better start.”

    TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network, CBC, Sportsnet One, TVA

    SERIES PRICE (PER WESTGATE LV SUPERBOOK):



    LINE HISTORY: The host Vegas Golden Knights opened as -120 moneyline favorites and that number has been bumped up slightly to -125 as of Thursday evening. The total hit betting boards at 5.5 and has yet to move.

    CONSENSUS: The public is supporting the home favorite with 67 percent of wagers coming in on the Golden Knights. The Over is seeing the edge in totals action with 69 percent of the bets.

    GOALIE SHOWDOWN:
    W L OTL GAA Save % SO
    Connor Hellebuyck 44 11 9 2.36 .924 6
    Marc-Andre Fleury 29 13 4 2.24 .927 4

    INJURY REPORT:

    Jets - LW Nikolaj Ehlers (Questionable, Undisclosed), D Dmitry Kulikov (Out Indefinitely, Back).

    Golden Knights - LW David Perron (Questionable, Illness), LW William Carrier (Questionable, Upper Body), G Malcolm Subban (Questionable, Illness), D Clayton Stoner (Out Indefinitely, Abdominal).

    ABOUT THE JETS (61-25-9-2, 47-47 O/U): Winnipeg did get the dynamic duo from its top line rolling again, as Mark Scheifele scored twice to give him a league-high 14 goals for the playoffs and Wheeler boosted his NHL-best assist total to 17. But second-line forward Nikolaj Ehlers was scratched with an undisclosed injury and the Jets looked out of sorts, as Hellebuyck got caught behind his net while allowing a goal 12 seconds after Scheifele tied the game in the second period. Hellebuyck finished with 26 saves as Winnipeg lost back-to-back games for the first time since mid-March and now trails a postseason series for the first time this spring.

    ABOUT THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS (61-26-5-3, 47-44 O/U): Marchessault now has 17 points (eight goals) in the playoffs, and along with linemates William Karlsson and Reilly Smith continue to give the Jets defense all kinds of trouble. Playoff veteran James Neal finished with a goal and an assist in Game 3, ending the night plus-3 and leading the Golden Knights with five shots on goal. Fleury made a handful of highlight-worthy saves with Vegas nursing a one-goal lead in the final period, and got plenty of help as the Golden Knights finished with 18 blocked shots and 18 takeaways.

    MATCHUP CHART:



    TRENDS:

    * Jets are 19-7 in their last 26 vs. Pacific.
    * Golden Knights are 33-12 in their last 45 home games.
    * Over is 4-0 in Jets' last 4 road games.
    * Over is 4-0 in Golden Knights' last 4 home games.

  17. #1127
    NHL
    Dunkel

    Friday, May 18



    Winnipeg @ Vegas

    Game 61-62
    May 18, 2018 @ 8:05 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Winnipeg
    14.810
    Vegas
    12.635
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Winnipeg
    by 2
    6
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Vegas
    -125
    5 1/2
    Dunkel Pick:
    Winnipeg
    (+105; Over





    NHL
    Long Sheet

    Friday, May 18


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    WINNIPEG (61-26-0-10, 132 pts.) at VEGAS (61-27-0-7, 129 pts.) - 5/18/2018, 8:05 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    VEGAS is 62-34 ATS (+17.9 Units) in all games this season.
    VEGAS is 35-18 ATS (+11.5 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record this season.
    VEGAS is 21-12 ATS (+8.3 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season this season.
    WINNIPEG is 61-37 ATS (+11.7 Units) in all games this season.
    WINNIPEG is 38-20 ATS (+8.5 Units) second half of the season this season.
    WINNIPEG is 32-14 ATS (+13.6 Units) revenging a loss versus opponent this season.
    WINNIPEG is 20-10 ATS (+7.4 Units) after allowing 4 goals or more this season.
    WINNIPEG is 34-23 ATS (+6.3 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record this season.
    WINNIPEG is 24-13 ATS (+7.2 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season this season.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    VEGAS is 4-2 (+2.5 Units) against the spread versus WINNIPEG over the last 3 seasons
    VEGAS is 4-2-0 straight up against WINNIPEG over the last 3 seasons
    3 of 5 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons . (Over=+1.0 Units)

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------




    NHL

    Friday, May 18


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Trend Report
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Winnipeg Jets
    Winnipeg is 8-4 ATS in its last 12 games
    Winnipeg is 18-7 SU in its last 25 games
    Winnipeg is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games on the road
    Winnipeg is 7-3 SU in its last 10 games on the road
    The total has gone OVER in 4 of Winnipeg's last 5 games on the road
    Winnipeg is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Vegas
    Winnipeg is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games when playing Vegas
    Vegas Golden Knights
    Vegas is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
    Vegas is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
    Vegas is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Winnipeg
    Vegas is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games when playing Winnipeg

  18. #1128
    Preview: Jets (52-20) at Golden Knights (51-24)
    Date: May 18, 2018 8:00 PM EDT


    WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- If you'd like to make the Vegas Golden Knights-Winnipeg Jets Western Conference final a little more interesting, go all-in on the expansion franchise.

    Since 1973, the team that has captured a 2-1 lead in the semifinal has gone on to take the series 87.5 percent of the time, winning 35 of 43 encounters. After Wednesday night's 4-2 victory, that puts the Golden Knights in the cat bird's seat.

    And the team that takes a 3-1 lead has gone on to win more than 90 percent of the time.

    So, yeah, you could say Game 4 on Friday night at T-Mobile Arena is pretty much must-win territory for the visitors.

    If the Jets are to have any chance of pulling this series out, they're going to need some scoring from somebody not named Mark Scheifele. The No. 1 center has scored 14 of his team's 50 goals thus far in the playoffs, a 28 percent clip, including both goals on Wednesday.

    Scheifele would have had a hat trick if it weren't for a couple of spectacular saves by Marc-Andre Fleury in the Golden Knights' net. Scheifele's 11 goals on the road are an NHL playoff record.

    Forwards Patrik Laine, Bryan Little, Mathieu Perreault and Adam Lowry have been a shadow of their regular-season selves. Laine, who had 44 goals this year, has but four in the postseason and has hit a half-dozen posts.

    Ehlers, who had 29 goals, has yet to notch one in 13 games and was a mysterious scratch on Wednesday night.

    Little has one goal in 15 playoff games after producing 16 this season, Perreault has just a single point and Lowry hasn't scored since December.

    Scheifele, the Jets' first No. 1 draft pick since relocating in 2011, wasn't pointing fingers, choosing instead to praise the Golden Knights.

    "We're in the conference finals. They're a good team, too," he told The Winnipeg Sun. "They're going to have their games, we're going to have our games. We can't sulk on this too long. We've got to pick ourselves up."

    If nothing else, it should be comforting to the Jets that home ice hasn't been quite the advantage that most people assume it is. Road teams are 38-35 in these playoffs. On the flip side, the Golden Knights are 5-1 at home in the postseason.

    There's little question that Fleury has been the star for the home side. In addition to 33 saves on Wednesday, he also took part in a scrum in his crease.

    But instead of planting his blocker in somebody's face, he gave Jets captain Blake Wheeler a "wet willie" by sticking his finger in his ear.

    "I did that?" Fleury said at his locker afterward. "There are cameras everywhere."

    The three-time Stanley Cup winner with the Pittsburgh Penguins has a 10-3 record and a sparkling .945 save percentage in the playoffs.


    SERIES AT A GLANCE

    GAME 1
    Golden Knights at Jets
    Sat, May 12 Final 2 to 4

    GAME 2
    Golden Knights at Jets
    Mon, May 14 Final 3 to 1

    GAME 3
    Jets at Golden Knights
    Wed, May 16 Final 2 to 4
    Recaps

    GAME 4
    Jets at Golden Knights
    Fri, May 18 - 8:00PM EDT

    GAME 5
    Golden Knights at Jets
    Sun, May 20 - 3:00PM EDT

  19. #1129
    Vegas' wild playoff run built from bonanza
    May 17, 2018


    After Bill Foley agreed to pay a whopping $500 million for the right to put a hockey team in the middle of the Mojave Desert, the NHL decided his Vegas Golden Knights deserved a chance for a swift return on that investment.

    If the other NHL owners had known just how huge Foley's reward would be - and how incredibly quickly he would get it - they probably wouldn't have been quite so nice to the new guy.

    It's too late now, though. After reaping a bonanza from one of the most generous expansion drafts in sports history, the Golden Knights are two victories away from an unbelievable Stanley Cup Final berth.

    A brand-new team in a league that has been around for 101 years already has a Pacific Division title, two playoff series victories and a 2-1 lead on the Winnipeg Jets in the Western Conference finals.

    ''I don't think anybody saw us here,'' Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury said. ''It's been a lot of fun to be part of it. Really proud of this team and the way these guys have been working. We deserve to be here.''

    Fleury and the other players accomplishing this feat refer to themselves as the Golden Misfits, yet few of Vegas' expansion draft selections were truly undesired by the clubs that lost them 11 months ago.

    Instead, general manager George McPhee took full advantage of his opportunities to compile an uncommonly talented roster, and coach Gerard Gallant turned that roster into a brilliant team in shockingly swift fashion. But it all started with the draft that allowed McPhee to build this monster in less than a year.

    ''It had a big impact,'' McPhee acknowledged. ''The (expansion draft) rules were favorable. Gave us something to work with, and gave this team an opportunity to be a good team.''

    The NHL allowed its teams to protect only seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie, or eight skaters and one goalie. By way of comparison, when the NHL last expanded in 2000, teams were allowed to protect a whopping nine forwards, five defensemen and a goalie, or seven forwards, three defensemen and two goalies.

    The league also required teams to expose players with significant NHL experience who were under contract through next season, closing loopholes and helping Vegas even more. Third-line forwards and top-four defensemen were available from almost every team.

    The easiest acquisition was Fleury, of course. The Knights got a three-time Stanley Cup winning goalie with 375 career victories for nothing, and he has largely stayed healthy while playing at a formidable level.

    The Knights also landed the likes of James Neal, a proven veteran talent with nine consecutive 20-goal seasons. He scored 25 goals while providing steady veteran leadership.

    They plucked William Karlsson, a clearly gifted forward who had yet to reach his full potential with two NHL teams. The Swede swiftly became one of the NHL's best players, racking up 43 goals - an NHL record for an expansion team's first season - and 35 assists along with a plus-49 rating.

    And the expansion draft terms allowed McPhee to get creative in trades with teams hoping to keep players who couldn't fit under the protection umbrella. For instance, the Knights ended up with Reilly Smith in a trade because Florida wanted them to draft Jonathan Marchessault - and the two ex-Panthers became two of the Knights' top four scorers.

    The draft bounty isn't the only reason these upstart Knights have immediately entered their Golden years.

    All of this talent wouldn't have won so many games without Gallant. He built a balanced, disciplined team that has rolled four lines and played relentless two-way hockey while mining untapped talents such as Karlsson and Eric Haula, who scored 29 goals after never managing more than 15 in Minnesota.

    ''Gerard has done a terrific job of making this a team,'' McPhee said. ''He has really brought a lot of players along, and they've played better than they've played anywhere else.''

    Foley bought this opportunity with his $500 million expansion fee, yet nobody in the sports world expected the Golden Knights to put it all together so swiftly. That includes the 73-year-old Foley, who raised eyebrows around the league when he set a public goal of bringing the Stanley Cup to Las Vegas within six years - a goal he later revised to maybe eight years.

    Instead, there's an increasingly strong chance the Golden Knights will parade the Stanley Cup down the Strip one month from now. There are 12 other NHL teams that have never won a championship, along with seven franchises that haven't raised the Cup in at least 23 years.

    Potential NHL expansion owners in Seattle and Houston are probably thinking $500 million was a bargain, since the expansion fee is likely to go up when the league eventually awards its 32nd franchise. It also seems improbable that the NHL would ever make it this easy to build a team again.

    But nothing will erase the Golden Knights' remarkable embrace of this unusual moment in hockey history.

    ''It was important to the league and to Las Vegas and to Bill Foley that this franchise had a chance to work,'' McPhee said. ''That people that were coming to the games could enjoy the product and become real fans, and we could grow some deep roots in this marketplace. So I didn't mind the rules.''

  20. #1130
    FRIDAY, MAY 18
    GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS

    WIN at VEG 08:00 PM

    WIN -110

    O 5.5

  21. #1131
    Vegas nips Jets, owns 3-1 series lead
    May 18, 2018


    LAS VEGAS (AP) The Vegas Golden Knights were a 500-to-1 long shot to win the Stanley Cup before the NHL season began in October. Their surprisingly successful inaugural season is still rolling along, and they're one win from a berth to the Stanley Cup final.

    Reilly Smith scored on a breakaway late in the third period to lead Vegas to a 3-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets in Game 4 of the Western Conference final Friday night.

    Vegas can clinch the conference title and advance to the Stanley Cup final when the series resumes Sunday in Winnipeg.

    ''The last one is always the toughest to get,'' Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury said.

    William Karlsson and Tomas Nosek also scored for Vegas, and Fleury, ninth all-time in postseason wins, turned in another spectacular performance by making 36 saves to earn his 73rd career playoff victory. The 14-year veteran goalie, left exposed by the Pittsburgh Penguins for Vegas to select him in the expansion draft, continues to have a career-best postseason as he aims for a third straight Stanley Cup title.

    ''I think we've got to keep the same mindset,'' said Fleury, who has a 1.72 goals against average and .945 save percentage in the playoffs. ''Just take it one game at time and not think too far ahead and be ready to play that next game, because they're going to be coming hard.''

    It's something the Jets have already been doing, even in their three losses in the series.

    Asked how his team has been able to survive Winnipeg's tenacious attack, Smith replied: ''He's sitting right next to me,'' referring to Fleury at the postgame news conference.

    But with the game tied at 2, it was Smith who made the big play after racing down the left side of the rink and beating Winnipeg's Connor Hellebuyck above his blocker to put the Golden Knights ahead with 6:58 left.

    Hellebuyck made 27 saves, but lost for the third consecutive game despite telling reporters after Game 3 that he liked his game better than Fleury's. Patrik Laine and Tyler Myers scored for Winnipeg, which is on the brink of elimination.

    ''I know we can win a game, we're a good enough team,'' Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice said. ''We've battled. We've gone into some pretty heavy environments and won a game that we needed to win. So it's just one game.''

    The Jets took over where they left off in the third period of Game 3 by outskating the Golden Knights in the first period of Game 4, but Karlsson's power-play goal was the difference. Off the draw, Smith found Jonathan Marchessault, who fed Karlsson for the one-timer that gave Vegas a 1-0 lead.

    In a case of deja vu from Game 3, when Vegas responded 12 seconds after giving up a 1-0 lead, Winnipeg and the Golden Knights traded goals 43 seconds apart midway through the second period.

    First, it was Laine's one-timer on the power play that even Fleury wasn't catching up to and it tied the game at the 9:29 mark. Then, it was Hellebuyck failing to secure a shot by Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, who raced to the puck and fed Nosek, who punched in his first career playoff goal to put Vegas up 2-1.

    ''It's a good way to be, when they get one, the next guy's up and ready to go,'' said Golden Knights forward James Neal, who is looking to make it to the Stanley Cup final for a second consecutive year after getting there with Nashville last season. ''It's always hard when you get one and the other team scores right away, it kind of takes the wind right back out of you. For us being at home, it just energizes the building. As soon as it sucks the wind out, boom, huge goal, and we're back.

    ''That was a great goal by Nose.''

    The Jets outshot the Golden Knights 12-2 by the midway point of the third period - including Myers' tying goal - keeping Fleury busy. But the three-time Cup champion was finished allowing anything in his net.

    ''We win that game nine times out of 10 - tonight was that one,'' Winnipeg's Blake Wheeler said. ''Their goalie made some extraordinary saves, he's a good player. You've got to sometimes take your hat off to a good player.''

    NOTES: The Golden Knights and Jets joined a record 18,697 in attendance in a moment of silence for those affected by the shootings at Santa Fe High School in Texas on Friday. ... Jets forward Mark Scheifele, who registered his 10th and 11th road goals in Game 3 to set a single-year NHL postseason record, had his six-game goal streak as a visitor end.

    UP NEXT


    Game 5 is at Winnipeg on Sunday.

  22. #1132
    SCHEDULE FOR SATURDAY MAY 19, 2018
    Time (ET) Away Home Site
    7:15 PM Washington Capitals Tampa Bay Lightning Amalie Arena

    SCHEDULE FOR SUNDAY MAY 20, 2018

    Time (ET) Away Home Site
    3:00 PM Vegas Golden Knights Winnipeg Jets

    SCHEDULE FOR MONDAY MAY 21, 2018

    Time (ET) Away Home Site
    8:00 PM Tampa Bay Lightning Washington Capitals Capital One Arena

    SCHEDULE FOR TUESDAY MAY 22, 2018
    Time (ET) Away Home Site
    9:00 PM Winnipeg Jets Vegas Golden Knights T-Mobile Arena

    SCHEDULE FOR WEDNESDAY MAY 23, 2018
    Time (ET) Away Home Site
    8:00 PM Washington Capitals Tampa Bay Lightning Amalie Arena

    SCHEDULE FOR THURSDAY MAY 24, 2018
    Time (ET) Away Home Site
    8:00 PM Vegas Golden Knights Winnipeg Jets


    ***************


    May NHL Record:

    05/18/2018 0-2-0 0.00% -11.00
    05/17/2018 1-0-1 100.00% +5.00
    05/16/2018 1-1-0 50.00% -0.50
    05/15/2018 0-1-1 0.00% -6.00
    05/14/2018 0-2-0 0.00% -12.75
    05/13/2018 1-1-0 50.00% -4.00
    05/03/2018 2-2-0 50.00% -0.25
    05/02/2018 1-3-0 25.00% -10.50
    05/01/2018 1-3-0 25.00% -12.75

    Totals...............7-15-1........31.81%.....-52.75


    May Best Bets:

    DATE................................ATS........... UNITS..................O/U..........UNITS..............TOTAL

    05/18/2018.....................0 - 1.............-5.50.................0 - 1 - 0......-5.50..............-11.00
    05/17/2018.....................1 - 0............+5.00.................0 - 0- 1......+0.00,,,,,,,,,,,,+5.00
    05/16/2018.....................1 - 0............+5.00.................0 - 1..........-5.50..............-0.50
    05/15/2018.....................0 - 1.............-6.00..................0 - 0 - 1.....-0.00..............-6.00
    05/14/2018.....................0 - 0.............-0.00..................0 - 1..........-5.50..............-5.50
    05/13/2018.....................0 - 0.............-0.00.................1 - 0...........+5.00............+5.00
    05/03/2018.....................1 - 0............+5.75................0 - 2...........-11.00.............-5.25
    05/02/2018.....................1 - 1............+0.50.................0 - 2..........-11.00.............-10.50
    05/01/2018.....................0 - 1.............-5.00.................1 - 1...........-0.50..............-5.50

    Totals.............................4- 4.............+0.10.............2 - 8 - 2...........-33.50............-34.25

  23. #1133
    Armadillo: Saturday's six-pack

    Odds to win the Super Bowl this coming season:

    100-1: Washington Redskins, Arizona Cardinals

    80-1: Bengals, Browns, Bills, Jets, Dolphins, Bucs, Seahawks

    60-1: Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears

    50-1: New Jersey Giants, Baltimore Ravens

    40-1: Denver Broncos

    30-1: Detroit Lions, Carolina Panthers

    **********

    Armadillo: Saturday's List of 13: Random stuff with weekend here…….

    13) Solid food recommendation here in Las Vegas: Villa Pizzeria on Durango Drive. Really good pizza, and not expensive at all. Nice people work there and they had four TV’s in there showing the Golden Knights’ game. One of best pizzas I’ve ever had.

    12) National League hasn’t won the season series from the AL since 2003; they’re off to a 37-16 lead so far this season.

    11) Talk about how fragile life is: Texas governor Green Abbott uses a wheelchair. Why?

    Back in the 80’s, when Abbott was a law student, he went out jogging one day and a tree fell on him, severely injuring his spine, which is why he has used a wheelchair ever since. What are the odds that someone goes out jogging and gets hit by a damn falling tree?

    10) Major league record for most one-hitter thrown by one team in same season?

    The 2015 Cleveland Indians threw six one-hitters.

    9) Former Louisville AD Tom Jurich gets $4.5M from the school to take a hike. I mean, the guy got fired and still gets $4.5M.

    8) Texas center Mo Bamba has a wingspan of 7-feet, 10 inches, the longest wingspan ever recorded at the NBA Combine.

    7) Orioles won 7-4 in Boston Friday, snapping a 13-game road losing streak. Boston is 13-13 since starting the season 17-2.

    6) QB Blake Barnett will be eligible to play ball at South Florida this year, after going to Alabama and Arizona State; he started the first game of Alabama’s 2016 season but was benched before halftime of their opener with USC and never got his job back.

    5) In their history, NHL’s Washington Capitals are 3-5 in series when they grabbed a 2-0 series lead. By way of comparison, Montreal is 51-5 in series that they led 2-0.

    4) Ohio State graduate transfer quarterback Joe Burrow has committed to finishing out his collegiate career at LSU; he’ll have two years to play in Baton Rouge. LSU beat out Cincinnati for the young man’s services.

    3) NFL star JJ Watt is going to pay for all ten funerals of the people who were murdered in Texas Friday. Watt is a great football player but a way better person.

    2) I’d be remiss if I didn’t say something else about the shooting in Texas Friday; as Americans, it is our duty to speak our minds, while we still have the right to do so.

    It makes me want to puke to hear a politician invoke religion, or God, or “Sorry for your loss” after the 22nd school shooting this year. It is May 19, so in 138 days, we’ve had 22 shootings in a school. If you’re bad at Math, thats one every 6.27 days.

    Hanging flags at half-staff means jack; tightening the gun laws would mean a whole lot more. Other countries have virtually eliminated these types of murders. Why can’t we?

    1) Our politicians are so damn corrupt that even though ONE OF THEIR OWN SENATORS GOT SHOT last year, they are still in the NRA’s pocket. They should all be ashamed of themselves.

  24. #1134
    NHL
    Dunkel

    Saturday, May 19



    Washington @ Tampa Bay

    Game 5-6
    May 19, 2018 @ 7:15 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Washington
    12.018
    Tampa Bay
    14.149
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Tampa Bay
    by 2
    8
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Tampa Bay
    -170
    6
    Dunkel Pick:
    Tampa Bay
    (-170); Over





    NHL
    Long Sheet

    Saturday, May 19


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    WASHINGTON (59-30-0-9, 127 pts.) at TAMPA BAY (64-27-0-5, 133 pts.) - 5/19/2018, 7:15 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    TAMPA BAY is 65-32 ATS (+32.8 Units) in all games this season.
    TAMPA BAY is 35-15 ATS (+9.1 Units) after scoring 4 goals or more in their previous game this season.
    TAMPA BAY is 234-236 ATS (+545.0 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season since 1996.
    WASHINGTON is 60-39 ATS (+11.8 Units) in all games this season.
    WASHINGTON is 36-23 ATS (+7.8 Units) second half of the season this season.
    WASHINGTON is 16-4 ATS (+10.8 Units) on Saturday games this season.
    WASHINGTON is 5-0 ATS (+5.0 Units) in road games in the conference finals since 1996.
    WASHINGTON is 8-2 ATS (+5.8 Units) in road games revenging a home loss versus opponent this season.
    WASHINGTON is 27-12 ATS (+11.0 Units) revenging a loss versus opponent this season.
    WASHINGTON is 36-21 ATS (+13.3 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record this season.
    WASHINGTON is 21-13 ATS (+7.9 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season this season.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    WASHINGTON is 8-5 (+4.0 Units) against the spread versus TAMPA BAY over the last 3 seasons
    WASHINGTON is 8-5-0 straight up against TAMPA BAY over the last 3 seasons
    5 of 9 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons . (Over=+1.2 Units)

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------




    NHL

    Saturday, May 19


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Trend Report
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Washington Capitals
    Washington is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games
    Washington is 10-4 SU in its last 14 games
    Washington is 11-1 ATS in its last 12 games on the road
    Washington is 12-1 SU in its last 13 games on the road
    Washington is 9-4 ATS in its last 13 games when playing Tampa Bay
    Washington is 15-7 SU in its last 22 games when playing Tampa Bay
    Washington is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Tampa Bay
    Washington is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games when playing on the road against Tampa Bay
    The total has gone OVER in 9 of Washington's last 12 games when playing on the road against Tampa Bay
    Tampa Bay Lightning
    Tampa Bay is 6-2 ATS in its last 8 games
    Tampa Bay is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games
    Tampa Bay is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games at home
    Tampa Bay is 7-3 SU in its last 10 games at home
    Tampa Bay is 4-9 ATS in its last 13 games when playing Washington
    Tampa Bay is 7-15 SU in its last 22 games when playing Washington
    Tampa Bay is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games when playing at home against Washington
    Tampa Bay is 2-5 SU in its last 7 games when playing at home against Washington
    The total has gone OVER in 9 of Tampa Bay's last 12 games when playing at home against Washington

  25. #1135
    NHL Eastern Confernce Finals Game 5 betting preview: Capitals at Lightning

    The road team is a perfect 4-0 thus far in the Eastern Conference Finals. Can Ovechkin and the Caps keep that trend going or will the Bolts break through on home ice?

    Washington Capitals at Tampa Bay Lightning (-170, 6)

    Series tied 2-2

    Neither team has figured out a way to win on home ice yet in the Eastern Conference finals as the Washington Capitals visit the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday for Game 5 of the best-of-seven series. The Capitals had a 7-1 edge in even-strength goals to dominate the first two games in Tampa Bay and the Lightning responded by winning two in Washington with a red-hot power play and brilliant goaltending from Andrei Vasilevskiy.

    “It’s pretty bizarre,” Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos, who has six goals in the last seven games, told reporters, “but you come on the road and there’s just this business-like attitude where you’re together as a group, you’re with each other for dinner, you’re watching the other game, you’re playing cards, you’re going into the hockey rink and just playing.” Vasilevskiy stopped 72 of the 76 shots he faced the last two games and the Capitals will have to find a way to cool off the Lightning power play, which is 6-for-14 in the series and that does not include Alex Killorn’s winning goal in Thursday’s 4-2 triumph that came six seconds after a man advantage. Washington, which is 7-1 on the road in the postseason, can’t complain about the chances it created the last two games at home - outshooting Tampa Bay 76-43 combined - and has a 145-99 edge in shots during the series. “It’s a missed opportunity,” Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin told reporters. “It is what it is. Nothing we can do. We’re not going to look back. We’re just going to look forward. This group of guys has been in different situations all year and we fight through it.”

    TV: 7:15 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, TVA

    SERIES PRICE (PER SPORTS INTERACTION):



    LINE HISTORY: The Lightning opened this pivotal Game 5 as -165 home favorites and have been bet up to -170 as of Saturday morning. The total hit the board at an even 6.

    CONSENSUS: Bettors are taking a team to win on home ice for the first time in this series with 57 percent of public wagers on the Lightning. Bettors also like the Over, which is seeing 64 percent of wagers.

    GOALIE SHOWDOWN:
    GP W L GAA SAVE % SO
    Andrei Vasilevskiy (Lightning) 14 10 4 2.63 .918 0
    Braden Holtby (Capitals) 15 10 5 2.24 .917 0

    INJURY REPORT:

    Capitals - No injuries to report.

    Lightning - LW Adam Erne (Questionable, lower body).

    ABOUT THE CAPITALS: Nicklas Backstrom (hand) returned to the lineup for Game 4 after missing the previous four contests, recording four shots and winning six of nine faceoffs with a minus-1 rating in 18:51 of ice time. Center Evgeny Kuznetsov scored Thursday for his seventh point of the series and has 21 in the postseason, tying Ovechkin’s franchise record in one playoff season that was set in 2009. Defenseman John Carlson, who has 14 points in the playoffs, was a minus-3 on Thursday and center Lars Eller (five points in the series) has been called for five minor penalties in the last two contests - two leading to power-play goals.

    ABOUT THE LIGHTNING: Vasilevskiy has allowed two goals or fewer in eight of 14 playoff games, including the last two and Stamkos told reporters after Thursday’s win: “Vasy was there to bail us out. That’s why he’s one of, if not the best, goalie in the world.” Stamkos has scored with the man advantage in each of the last four games and passed Martin St. Louis for the franchise record with 11 power-play goals in the playoffs. Center Brayden Point recorded a goal and an assist in each of the last three games and owns 16 points in the postseason to tie Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov for the team lead - all of them scoring seven and setting up nine.

    MATCHUP CHART:



    TRENDS:

    * Capitals are 14-2 in their last 16 road games.
    * Road team is 5-0 in the last five meetings.
    * Under is 6-2-2 in Capitals last 10 after scoring two goals or less in their previous game.
    * Over is 11-3-2 in Lightning last 16 after allowing two goals or less in their previous game.
    * Over is 12-3-1 in the last 16 meetings in Tampa Bay.

  26. #1136
    Preview: Capitals (49-26) at Lightning (54-23)
    Date: May 19, 2018 7:15 PM EDT


    TAMPA, Fla. -- Four games into the Eastern Conference final, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitals are tied 2-2, but getting there hasn't been anything as expected.

    The road team has won all four games, with Washington dominating its way to a 2-0 lead in Tampa, only to see the Lightning pull back even with two road wins themselves.

    The Capitals are 7-1 on the road and 3-5 at home in the playoffs, so do the Lightning really have an advantage with two of the remaining three games at Amalie Arena?

    "It seems like in this series, the pressure shifts on the home team," said Lightning coach Jon Cooper, whose team is 5-1 on the road in the playoffs against the New Jersey Devils, Boston Bruins and Capitals. "The big, glaring 0-4 is staring at you. Home-ice advantage has been a disadvantage in this series. Having said that, I'd rather have Game 5 at home. I believe we'll be a different team than we showed up in Games 1 and 2."

    In a battle of division winners, the Lightning are in the conference final for the third time in four years and the Capitals are here for the first time in 20 years.

    Which will be the advantage to push one team to the Stanley Cup final?

    Capitals forward Tom Wilson said the advantages of home ice are lessened in the playoffs, when both teams have ample energy and intensity because of what's on the line.

    "It doesn't really matter this time of year, whether you're home or away," Wilson said after the Game 4 loss. "Every game is huge and the emotion is going to be there. Road, home, it doesn't matter. We're going to go after it and hopefully get the next one."

    Special teams have been at the center of Tampa Bay's turnaround, as well as stellar play in net from Vezina Trophy finalist Andrei Vasilevskiy. The Lightning have gone 6 of 14 on their power play in the series, improving on the success rate for what was the NHL's best power play in the regular season.

    Even more impressively, Tampa Bay's penalty kill, which ranked in the bottom five of the league in the regular season, went 7 of 7 on killing off Capitals power plays in the last two games. Three of those came in the final eight minutes of the first period Thursday night, as Tampa Bay held onto a 2-1 lead.

    Steven Stamkos has dominated on the power play -- six of his seven postseason goals and six of his nine postseason assists have come on that unit, matching Nikita Kucherov for the team scoring lead with 16 total points each.

    Evgeny Kuznetsov and Alex Ovechkin both have 10 goals to pace the Capitals, who now have the confidence that comes with playing on the road.

    Tampa Bay tied for the NHL lead with 25 road wins in the regular season, but it will need to win a home game to win this series. Overall in the playoffs, road teams are 40-34, on pace to challenge the NHL record for most postseason wins by a road team -- 47 in 2012.


    SERIES AT A GLANCE

    GAME 1
    Capitals at Lightning
    Fri, May 11 Final 4 to 2
    GAME 2

    Capitals at Lightning
    Sun, May 13 Final 6 to 2
    GAME 3

    Lightning at Capitals
    Tue, May 15 Final 4 to 2
    Recaps

    GAME 4
    Lightning at Capitals
    Thu, May 17 Final 4 to 2
    Recaps

    GAME 5
    Capitals at Lightning
    Sat, May 19 - 7:15PM EDT

    GAME 6
    Lightning at Capitals
    Mon, May 21 - 8:00PM EDT

    GAME 7
    Capitals at Lightning
    Wed, May 23 - 8:00PM EDT

  27. #1137
    SATURDAY, MAY 19
    GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS


    WAS at TB 07:15 PM

    WAS +135

    O 6.0

  28. #1138
    Lightning hold off Caps, lead 3-2
    May 19, 2018


    TAMPA, Fla. (AP) The Tampa Bay Lightning are on the brink of a return trip to the Stanley Cup Final.

    Coach Jon Cooper and his players say it won't be easy to close the deal against the Washington Capitals.

    ''We haven't won anything yet,'' Cooper said Saturday night after Cedric Paquette scored in the opening minute and Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 28 shots to help the Lightning hold off the Caps 3-2 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference final.

    Ondrej Palat and Ryan Callahan also scored as the home team won for the first time in the best-of-seven matchup, with Tampa Bay taking a 3-2 series lead and moving within one victory of advancing to the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in four seasons.

    ''Let's be honest,'' Cooper added. ''You've got to get four, not three.''

    The Capitals, in the conference final for the first time in the Alex Ovechkin era, have lost three straight after winning twice on the road to begin the series.

    Ovechkin scored with 1:36 remaining, trimming what once was a three-goal lead to one, however Vasilevskiy made three more saves to finish the victory.

    Game 6 is Monday night in Washington, where Tampa Bay has already won to improve to 5-1 on the road this postseason.

    ''We have a lot of unfinished business. This isn't even close to being over,'' Callahan said. ''This last game's definitely the hardest against a very, very good Washington team. ''To go in their building and try to close it out is going to be tough.''

    The Capitals were encouraged by the way they finished the game and are confident they can force the series back to Tampa for Game 7.

    ''This group has got its backs against the wall, and this group has responded all year,'' coach Barry Trotz said. ''I don't expect anything different.''

    The Capitals won the first two games on the road, scoring 10 goals on Vezina Trophy finalist Vasilevskiy and sending the Lightning - won had the best record in the East during the regular season - into desperation mode.

    Tampa Bay responded by winning Game 3 in Washington, evening the series despite being outshot and outplayed for sizeable stretches of a 4-2 victory in Game 4 and returning home, where Cooper was confident the Lightning would be better than they were in the first two games.

    Turns out Cooper was right.

    Washington's Dmitry Orlov turned the puck over in the neutral zone on the opening shift of the night and Callahan made the Caps pay for the mistake, feeding Paquette for a 1-0 lead just 19 seconds into the game.

    Palat's second goal of the series made it 2-0. Tampa Bay extended the advantage to three goals when Callahan scored 33 seconds into the second period.

    Outshot 13-4 and limited to one scoring opportunity in the opening period, the Caps began to put some pressure on Vasilevskiy in the second.

    Evgeny Kuznetsov scored a goal in his fourth straight game, giving him a franchise single-year, playoff-best 22 points (11 goals, 11 assists) and trimming Washington's deficit to 3-1 at 4:21 of the period.

    The Capitals kept pressing in the third period, but didn't breakthrough against until Ovechkin scored his 11th goal this postseason.

    ''It's not frustrating,'' Ovechkin said. ''Of course, when you lose a game you feel bad. We just had a bad start. We didn't handle the puck in the neutral zone. They got a lucky bounce and put in the first goal. That gave them momentum.''

    ''It's disappointing, but I thought our second two periods were great,'' Capitals winger T.J. Oshie said. ''We showed a lot of character. Character doesn't always win you games, but I think it's going to be important to have that feeling going into Game 6 at home.''

    Notes: The road team won each of the first four games of a series for the sixth time in the last 10 years and 26th time in Stanley Cup playoffs history. Under that scenario, the road team has won Game 5 only three times. ... Paquette's goal was his first in the playoffs since Game 3 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, ending a 34-game drought for the 24-year-old center. ... At 19 seconds of the opening period, Palat's goal was not the fastest to start a game in Lightning history. Adam Hall scored for Tampa Bay 13 seconds into Game 2 of the Eastern Conference final against Boston in 2011. ... Capitals winger Andre Burakovsky was a game-time scratch.

  29. #1139
    SCHEDULE FOR SUNDAY MAY 20, 2018
    Time (ET) Away Home Site
    3:00 PM Vegas Golden Knights Winnipeg Jets

    SCHEDULE FOR MONDAY MAY 21, 2018
    Time (ET) Away Home Site
    8:00 PM Tampa Bay Lightning Washington Capitals Capital One Arena


    ************************

    May NHL Record:

    05/19/2018 0-2-0 0.00% -10.50
    05/18/2018 0-2-0 0.00% -11.00
    05/17/2018 1-0-1 100.00% +5.00
    05/16/2018 1-1-0 50.00% -0.50
    05/15/2018 0-1-1 0.00% -6.00
    05/14/2018 0-2-0 0.00% -12.75
    05/13/2018 1-1-0 50.00% -4.00
    05/03/2018 2-2-0 50.00% -0.25
    05/02/2018 1-3-0 25.00% -10.50
    05/01/2018 1-3-0 25.00% -12.75

    Totals...............7-17-1........29.16%.....-63.25


    May Best Bets:

    DATE................................ATS........... UNITS..................O/U..........UNITS..............TOTAL

    05/19/2018.....................0 - 1.............-5.00.................0 - 1 - 0......-5.50.............-10.50
    05/18/2018.....................0 - 1.............-5.50.................0 - 1 - 0......-5.50..............-11.00
    05/17/2018.....................1 - 0............+5.00.................0 - 0- 1......+0.00,,,,,,,,,,,,+5.00
    05/16/2018.....................1 - 0............+5.00.................0 - 1..........-5.50..............-0.50
    05/15/2018.....................0 - 1.............-6.00..................0 - 0 - 1.....-0.00..............-6.00
    05/14/2018.....................0 - 0.............-0.00..................0 - 1..........-5.50..............-5.50
    05/13/2018.....................0 - 0.............-0.00.................1 - 0...........+5.00............+5.00
    05/03/2018.....................1 - 0............+5.75................0 - 2...........-11.00.............-5.25
    05/02/2018.....................1 - 1............+0.50.................0 - 2..........-11.00.............-10.50
    05/01/2018.....................0 - 1.............-5.00.................1 - 1...........-0.50..............-5.50

    Totals.............................4- 5.............-4.90................2 - 9 - 2.........-39.00............-44.75

  30. #1140
    Armadillo: Sunday's six-pack

    Odds to win the AFC this coming season:

    3-1: New England Patriots

    4-1: Pittsburgh Steelers

    7-1: Los Angeles Chargers

    9-1: Jacksonville Jaguars

    10-1: Texans, Chiefs, Raiders

    12-1: Tennessee Titans

    **********

    Armadillo: May 17, 1979: Phillies 23, Cubs 22….a recap

    On May 17, 1979, Phillies beat the Cubs 23-22 in 10 innings, in one of the strangest games ever:

    13) Phillies were 24-10 at the time; Chicago was 16-16. Cubs had 26 hits in the game, Phils had 24.

    12) The game was 7-6 Phillies, after the first inning. Somewhere, someone bet the under in this game.

    11) Phillies starting pitcher Randy Lerch homered in the top of the first inning, never finished the bottom of the first. Both starting pitchers got only one out before being removed.

    10) Pete Rose, Mike Schmidt hit 3rd/4th in Phillies’ order; they combined to score seven runs and knock in eight. Light-hitting Larry Bowa was 5 for 8 in the game.

    9) Bob Boone was 3-4 with five RBI’s; his son Aaron is now the manager in the Bronx. Boone and Schmidt were both walked intentionally twice.

    8) Reliever Tug McGraw faced 10 batters; seven of them scored. McGraw is the father of the great singer Tim McGraw.

    7) 22 of the first 53 Cubs who came to bat scored, but Rawly Eastwick slammed the door shut in the last two innings, retiring all six Cubs he faced.

    6) Donnie Moore faced 14 batters and seven of them scored, but he did hit a triple, one of his two career three-baggers.

    5) Phillies led this game 21-9 in the 5th inning but Cubs tied the game off of Ron Reed in the 8th inning; Reed pitched 19 years in the major leagues and also played 119 games for the NBA’s Detroit Pistons from 1965-67.

    4) Dave Kingman hit three homers for the Cubs; Bill Buckner knocked in seven runs, seven years before his infamous error in the ’86 World Series.

    3) Phillies went home the next day and got swept in a 3-game series by the Expos. Chicago lost its next four games after this one.

    2) 1979 turned out to be the only year in a six-year stretch where the Phillies missed the playoffs; they finished 84-78, the Cubs 80-82.

    Phillies fired manager Danny Ozark late in 1979, hired Dallas Green and won the ’80 World Series.

    1) Naysayers like to criticize baseball now but attendance that day was 14,952; when was last time the Cubs drew less than 15,000 for a home game?

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