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Canes, Lightning: NHL Betting

Carolina has won back-to-back to stay within reach of Buffalo for the final playoff spot in the East and they have a chance to continue their winning ways when they play the struggling Tampa Bay Lightning (-145 home favorites at Sportsbook.ag).

It's the first of a home-and-home set Friday night in NHL betting action.

The Hurricanes (+125) have won three of the last four, but the Lightning have just one victory in their last four contests.

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Taking the Hurricanes on the road might have been a bit of a gamble earlier this season, but Tampa Bay has lost two straight at home to non-playoff teams. Carolina has been very strong on the power play head-to-head with the Lightning, and that could spell more bad news for the struggling Bolts.

Carolina could be the best upset bet of the night on the NHL betting lines. [ Best Hockey Bonus? Get 50% at Bovada ]

Steven Stamkos has been held off the scoresheet in three straight games and Martin St. Louis has cooled off as well. These two players have lit it up with nine points over three meetings against the Hurricanes this season, with the Lightning winning twice at home. Carolina took the only matchup in Raleigh by a 6-4 margin.

Totals betting could see a ton of action with the previous four head-to-head matchups sending OVER bettors to the payout window.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are another Eastern Conference team looking to surpass the Buffalo Sabres to grab the eighth and final spot in the postseason. They can’t afford many more losses in their final stretch drive. [ Odds on Every Game ]

Toronto will be underdogs when they travel to Detroit for a marquee Original Six NHL betting matchup on Saturday night. While the Red Wings will be home favorites they are reeling with injuries to Pavel Datysuk and Johan Franzen – and losers of three straight.

The Maple Leafs had won three of their last four games before Thursday night's action, including victories over Carolina and division-leading Boston. Detroit is going to be cautious down the stretch with key players as they sit second in the West and are destined to be a factor in the playoffs.

This could be one of those nights where the stars align for the Maple Leafs. Not to mention they have won three in a row head-to-head against the Red Wings, and that makes the Maple Leafs a serious underdog on the NHL betting lines in their only meeting this season with Detroit.

With teams fighting for their playoff lives scoring tends to decrease, and that could mean an opening for totals betting with the UNDER bet being more probable.