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  • Writer's pictureBlake Millner

NHL 2021 Opening Night Picks

The NHL kicks off the 2021-2022 regular season with two marquee matchups tonight. Here are the best bets for these games.

Penguins @ Lightning:

Tampa Bay kicks off its title defense against the injured Penguins in the first game on Tuesday. Pittsburgh is missing several key position plays: Jake Gruentzel, Evgeni Malkin, and Sidney Crosby. The Lightning come into this matchup with no major injuries plus a healthy Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos. Andrei Vasilevskiy is starting for Tampa and is infinitely better than Tristan Jarry who is in the net for the Penguins. I feel as though the Lightning roll over the Penguins in the season opener due to the Penguins' injuries and the superior goaltending of Tampa.

Pick: Lightning -1.5 +110

Kraken @ Golden Knights:

Arguably the two best teams in the Pacific will be squaring off open the campaign. The Kraken will be starting Philipp Grubauer in the net who was a Vezina Trophy finalist last season. Seattle will go as far as Grubauer can take them this season and it will be a great test for him against Vegas. The Golden Knights have Robin Lehner in the net who did not have a great year in 2020, but he still projects to be a solid goalie this season. Neither team has any major injuries that should impact this game. Many believe that Vegas is unstoppable in the Pacific, I believe that the Kraken will shock the world and win on enemy ice to kick the year off with a bang.

Pick: Kraken +240

Parlay for the night:

Kraken +1.5 -115

Lightning -240

Wager $10 to win $16

(If you feel a bit iffy about the Kraken winning outright or the Lightning failing to win by two goals then go with this parlay. It has a nice payout and is a bit less aggressive than my actual picks. Happy betting!)

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