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NHL: Midweek preview

After going on a franchise-record eight-game losing run, the St. Louis Blues have won two in a row, including beating the high-flying Vegas Golden Knights 3-2 on Sunday.

The Golden Knights (13-2-0) were on a nine-game winning streak, and the victory signalled a turn of the corner for the struggling Blues (5-8-0).

Aiming to prove their early season problems are behind them, the Blues, who are +170 on the Money Line, head out on the road this week to face the reigning Stanley Cup champions Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday, who are -200 to win, before a meeting with the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday.

St. Louis have famously recovered from a bad start recently, going from last place in the NHL at the turn of the year to Stanley Cup Champions in 2019.

The sensational second-half run ended a 52-year wait for a championship and the Blues are +6000 to repeat history by recovering from a sluggish start to lift the Stanley Cup in 2023.

Red-hot Devils travel to Canada

The red-hot New Jersey Devils, who are +1600 to win the President's Trophy this season, travel to Canada this week looking to extend their nine-game winning run.

The three-fixture trip begins on Wednesday against the Montreal Canadiens before a meeting with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday and Ottawa Senators on Saturday.

New Jersey lost their first two games of the season and having missed the playoffs for four straight seasons, criticism was quick and harsh with calls for coach Lindy Ruff to be fired.

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The Devils refused to panic, though, and led by Captain Nico Hischier have been on a tear since and are -550 to end their playoff drought and +1500 to win the Stanley Cup.

Hischier, 23, was selected first overall by New Jersey in 2017 and leads the team in goals (eight) and is second to Jesper Bratt (19; five goals, 14 assists) for points (17).

High-scoring affair in store

The Edmonton Oilers, +1700 to win the Stanley Cup, host the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday with plenty of goals expected.

Edmonton has scored the joint-second most goals in the NHL (59), while the Los Angeles Kings have registered the joint-fourth most (56). 

However, both teams have struggled to keep the puck out at the other end, with the Oilers allowing the fifth most (58) and Kings sixth-highest (57), which should make for an exciting affair.

Connor McDavid (32) and Leon Draisaitl (28) continue to lead the Oilers and the NHL for points with McDavid also top for goals (15) and Draisaitl for assists (19).

For the Kings, 23-year-old Gabriel Vilardi is having a breakout season and has already matched his career best of 10 goals in just 17 games.

A big story for the game will be who the Oilers select in goal with 24-year-old Stuart Skinner, on a league minimum $750,000 contract thus far outperforming Jack Campbell, 30, who was signed on a five-year, $5-million annual average value contract in the off-season.

Campbell has a .873 save-percentage and 4.27 goals-against-average (GAA) through 10 games, while Skinner has a .932 save-percentage and 2.53 GAA.

While the Oilers likely don't want to leave Campbell's large salary warming the bench, they may be left with no option if the elder statesman's performance doesn't rapidly improve.

Stern test for Flames

The Calgary Flames got back in the win column on Sunday with a 3-2 victory over the in-form Winnipeg Jets.

The impressive win snapped a seven-game losing run for the Flames, which was their worse streak since 2018.

A repeat performance will be required this week as the .500 Flames (6-6-2) face the Kings at home on Tuesday, when they are -160 on the Money Line, and Tampa Bay Lightning away on Thursday.

After losing their two top scorers last season in Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk and bringing in Jonathan Huberdeau, Nazem Kadri and Mackenzie Weegar, the Flames have taken some time to find chemistry this season.

Netminder Jacob Markstrom's strong outing against the Jets will give the Flames confidence that he and they can find better consistency moving forwards.

The 32-year-old Markstrom has a .895 save-percentage over 11 games this season which is well below his .911 career average.

Bruins aim to reach a perfect 10

The Boston Bruins host Philadelphia Flyers on Friday aiming to extend their unbeaten streak at home to 10 games.

The Bruins (9-0-0) at TD Garden beat their franchise record for longest home winning streak to start a season (set in 1983-84) with a 5-2 win over Vancouver Canucks on Sunday.

The run ranks joint-third all-time and the Bruins have their sights on matching and surpassing the Florida Panthers who hold the record with 11 set last season.

Boston lead all NHL teams with 28 points from 16 games (14-2-0) and are now +700 second favourites to win the Stanley Cup for the first time since 2011.

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