Senatorsa safe bet

Dec 31, 2007 7:41 AM
LAST WK SEASON PCT
9-1  17-5 77.0

Tuesday, Jan. 1

Senators at Capitals: It’s the second-best team against the second-worst. The Sens are actually better on the road (13-3-0-2) than at home. SENATORS.

Lightning at Maple Leafs: Toronto has picked it up (6-5-1) and plays in a stronger division. The Lightning seldom strike on the road (NHL-worst 3-14-1). LEAFS.

Wednesday, Jan. 2

Panthers at Devils: The Devils have found their groove as Brodeur chases the all-time shutout record. NJ is 10-5 in its new digs and should prevail in a low-scoring game. DEVILS.

Coyotes at Avalanche: Still Sakic-less, the Avs have been red-hot, winning five of six in Denver. The 15-5 record on home ice is second best in the NHL. AVS.

Thursday, Jan. 3

Lightning at Canadiens: The Habs are tops on the power play (24.4 percent). They face a road-weak Tampa team playing the second game of a Canadian road swing. CANADIENS.

Rangers at Canucks: Despite new additions Jagr and Gomez, the Blue Shirts have the second-least goals (91) in the league and have been struggling. The Canucks and Luongo have been phenomenal at home, going 5-1 and outscoring opponents 17-4 in the last six with four shutouts. CANUCKS.

Friday, Jan. 4

Flyers at Devils: Philly was 0-4-1 in its last five, falling to the Atlantic Division basement. Jersey has risen to the top (21-14-3) there. DEVILS.

Blackhawks at Ducks: Chicago is 3-6 in its last nine on enemy ice and lost to the Stanley Cup champs, 5-3 on Dec. 7. Anaheim is a respectable 10-6-4 at home and needs a win to keep pace with San Jose and Dallas. DUCKS.

Saturday, Jan. 5

Lightning at Senators: Goalie Gerber has helped make the Sens D as strong as its O. Tampa is skating in the third tilt north of the border. Lecavalier can score, but Spezza, Heatley and Alfredsson score more. SENATORS.

Islanders at Avalanche: Dominating at the Pepsi Center, the Avs should roll over the Isles. New York has put the biscuit in the basket less than anyone in the NHL (89). AVS.

Blue Jackets at Sharks: Nabokov is always in net and the Sharks should defeat a Columbus team just 5-9-2 away from Ohio. The Blue Jackets topped San Jose, 2-1 Oct. 27. SHARKS, UNDER.

Sunday, Jan. 6

Red Wings at Blackhawks: Chicago is vastly improved, but Detroit is the best team in the league (29-7-3). The Wings own this series over the last five years. However, the Blackhawks have beaten Detroit four straight times. RED WINGS.

Monday, Jan. 7

Wild at Stars: Dallas is picking it up as Ribeiro has been hot. The Wild are average (9-8) on the road. The Stars have beaten Minny eight straight on home ice. STARS.

Islanders at Oilers: The Oilers catch the Isles on a Western Conference road swing and are dominant on the penalty kill (84.8 percent. OILERS.

Predators at Ducks: Nashville is 7-11-0-1 on the road. The Ducks play in the West, which is stronger than the East. Giguere (2.50 GAA) also gets the nod over Mason (3.12 GAA). DUCKS.