The Vancouver Canucks will be looking to close the gap in the standings on fourth-place Montreal to just one point with a fourth straight win when they close out a two-game series with the visiting Canadiens on Wednesday as +125 underdogs on the NHL odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Vancouver overcame an early 1-0 deficit to claim a 2-1 shootout victory in Monday’s series opener, and has posted wins in four of five outings ahead of Wednesday night’s game at Rogers Arena.
Losers in 11 of 13 February outings, the Canucks surrendered four or more goals on eight occasions during their recent swoon. However, the Vancouver defence has tightened up considerably of late, holding opponents to just nine total goals in their past five overall outings.
In addition to rekindling their fading playoff chances, the Canucks’ current three-game home win streak comes on the heels of a five-game slide on home ice, during which they were outscored by a wide 17-9 margin and shut out on two occasions.
While the Canucks take major strides back into playoff contention, Montreal searches for its first win in six road outings. Listed as -145 favourites at sports betting sites for Wednesday’s contest, the Canadiens have moved in the right direction since interim head coach Dominique Ducharme took over behind the bench amid a worrisome 2-4-4 run. The Canadiens have earned at least a point in five straight contests, but have ended up losing in each of their past five outings that have gone to overtime or a shootout.
The Canadiens offence has struggled to find the back of the net, averaging just 2.2 goals per game during the team’s five-game swoon on the road. However, even with Monday’s loss the team has managed to score with regularity in recent trips to Vancouver, averaging over four goals per game while winning six of eight at Rogers Arena.
Earlier on Wednesday night, the Ottawa Senators look to tally a rare win over Edmonton as they continue a three-game series with the Oilers as +200 road underdogs. The Senators squandered an early lead on their way to a 3-2 loss in Monday’s series opener, and are now winless in five meetings with Edmonton this season.
Listed as heavy -240 chalk for Wednesday’s contest, the Oilers have now won two straight since being swept by the Toronto Maple Leafs in a three-game series a week ago. Edmonton has limited visiting teams to two or fewer goals in five of its last nine home dates. In addition, the Oilers have seen the UNDER prevail in four of their last five home dates, and in each of the team’s past four meetings with Ottawa.
Maple Leafs' goalie Petr Mrazek exits with groin injury vs. Senators – The Athletic
Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Petr Mrazek exited after the second period of a 3-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Thursday with what the team called a groin injury. The team had no further update on his status after the game.
Mrazek went down awkwardly on the final shot of the period from Ottawa’s Victor Mete, then hobbled down the tunnel at the end of the period. Mrazek made 26 saves but allowed three first-period goals. Jack Campbell came on for the Leafs in goal to start the third period.
Mrazek, 29, was making his debut with the Leafs after signing a three-year deal in the offseason.
(Photo: Chris Tanouye / Getty Images)
Umpire's 'Blown' Check-Swing Call Ends Epic Dodgers-Giants Series And Stuns Fans – Yahoo
The Giants’ Wilmer Flores struck out on what many believed was a blown check-swing call by first base umpire Gabe Morales. The out preserved the Dodgers’ 2-1 victory in Game 5 on Thursday, allowing the team to advance to the National League Championship Series against Atlanta.
The chances of a Giants rally appeared dim at the time. The count was 0-2, there were two outs, a runner on first, and three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer was pitching. Not to mention that Flores had never gotten a hit off Scherzer before, the San Francisco Chronicle noted.
But the anticlimactic ending to the momentous playoff clash between the historic rivals angered fans. Reporters and Major Leaguers, including the New York Mets’ Kevin Pillar (a former Giant), chimed in, too.
Check out the reactions of what some called “the check swing heard round the world.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.
Cardinals acquire Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz from Eagles – Sportsnet.ca
The undefeated Arizona Cardinals have added another weapon to their arsenal.
The Cardinals, who are the only 5-0 team in the NFL, acquired three-time Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz from the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday for cornerback Tay Gowan and a 2022 fifth-round draft pick.
Ertz played with the Eagles since they selected him in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He set an NFL record for most receptions by a tight end in a single season with 116 catches and also had a career-high 1,163 yards during the 2018 season. Ertz, who was selected to the Pro Bowl three consecutive years from 2017-19, caught the game-winning touchdown during Super Bowl LII to help the Eagles defeat the New England Patriots 41-33 and capture their first Super Bowl.
“Zach Ertz built a special legacy in Philadelphia,” Eagles chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie said in a statement. “Talented, tough, and passionate, he helped to establish our team’s culture and played a vital role in our success over the years.
“Zach created so many memories that will live on forever, from setting numerous franchise and league records, to reaching across the end zone for the game-winning touchdown in our first-ever Super Bowl championship. He will always be a member of the Eagles family, not only because of what he accomplished on the field, but also because of the wonderful person, dedicated leader, and exemplary role model that he was for nine seasons in Philadelphia. We wish Zach and Julie nothing but the best.”
The 30-year-old Ertz has 18 receptions for 189 yards and two touchdowns in six games this season. Philadelphia lost 28-22 Thursday night to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with Ertz hauling in a touchdown catch.
The Cardinals play the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.
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