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Canucks, Isles on NHL lines

Vancouver takes their league-best record into New York to face the Islanders as a -210 favorite on the NHL betting lines for Tuesday night’s tilt on Long Island.

The Islanders (+185) reeled off three wins over a recent five-game road trip before getting the top goal-scoring team in the Canucks. After a recent trade of backup goalie Dwayne Roloson - and an injury to Rick DiPietro - the Islanders will have to face adversity in net again and use one of two rookie goaltenders.

Vancouver has averaged 3.4 goals per game this season, but since going 13-0-3 they are depositing pucks into the back of their opponents' nets at a rate of 4.6 goals per game. This is a daunting challenge for the upstart Islanders, but they have won back-to-back against the Canucks and four of five at home head-to-head.

Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo hasn’t fared well against the Isles, posting a 1-2-2 record – including a 5-2 loss in the team’s only meeting last season. While the smart money is on the Canucks, a trend has been established with the Islanders' lock on Vancouver in recent memory and could provoke some action on the home underdog on the NHL betting lines.

With the Canucks' explosive offense combined with the Islanders' 3.25 goals allowed per game, it is setting up to favor OVER bettors on the total of 5.5 at sportsbooks.

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Tampa Bay and its high-flying offense will then tangle with Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night in the Sunshine State. The Lightning will be favorites on the NHL betting lines against the Capitals, who they beat 1-0 in their only meeting this season.

Washington has dominated the Lightning of late though, winning three of four. And, despite a relatively weak road record (9-8-1) entering their Tuesday game with Florida, they will garner a lot of attention on the NHL betting lines. Ovechkin will need to ensure he’s at the top of his game with Nicklas Backstrom’s scoring woes and the injury to sniper Alexander Semin.

The Lightning are 12-3-2 at home thus far and will be challenged against the Capitals. They are also 12-8 overall when labelled as favorites and that should bode well for Tampa Bay backers.

Tampa Bay has scored on over 20 percent of its power-play opportunities and is second-best in the NHL, while Washington is third overall in the league for its penalty-killing. This game could come down to which team has the best special teams.

Oddsmakers have set the OVER/UNDER at 6 for many Washington games this season, and it has played in favor of UNDER bettors on most nights. These teams have also sent UNDER bettors to the payout window in four of the previous five head-to-head matchups.

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