Matthews Hedman identifies key gameday matchups and players to watch throughout the 2023-24 season


Note: Betting lines provided by Betway (U.S., Ontario)


1. St. Louis Blues at Dallas Stars (9:30 p.m. ET; MAX, truTV, TNT)

STL puckline (+1.5 goals): -135
DAL puckline (-1.5 goals): +105

The Stars can clinch the Western Conference if they get at least one point in their regular-season finale Wednesday. Dallas is 11-2-0 in its past 13 games, with 10 of those victories coming by multiple goals. The Blues, despite being eliminated from Stanley Cup Playoff contention, rank seventh in the NHL in team save percentage (.905); the Stars are tied for 11th in the category (.901). St. Louis is 2-0-1 against Dallas this season, with all three games being decided by one goal.

Defenseman Thomas Harley leads the Stars in points (seven in six games; all assists) in the month of April. Blues forward Brayden Schenn is finishing the season strong with 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) and 45 shots on goal in his past 15 games.

2. Toronto Maple Leafs at Tampa Bay Lightning (7 p.m. ET; MAX, truTV, TNT, TVAS2, SN)

Over 6.5 total goals: -125
Under 6.5 total goals: +105

Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews is looking to score his 70th goal of the season (leads NHL with 69 in 80 games) when they visit the Lightning in the season finale for both teams. The last time an NHL player scored 70 goals in a season was when Teemu Selanne and Alexander Mogilny each scored 76 in 1992-93. Matthews has four points (three goals, one assist) in three games against Tampa Bay this season; Toronto is 2-1-0 in the season series, with each of its victories having game totals of at least seven goals. Each of Toronto’s past four games have had totals of seven or more goals.

Each team already has clinched a postseason berth and ranks among the top five in goals per game this season, with Toronto second (3.63) and Tampa Bay fifth (3.48). Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov leads the NHL in points (142) and looks to stay in front of Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche (138; one game remaining Thursday) in the Art Ross Trophy race. Tampa Bay has lost three straight games (0-2-1), with each having a total of six or fewer goals.

3. Edmonton Oilers at Arizona Coyotes (10 p.m. ET; SCRIPPS, SN, TVAS)

EDM moneyline: -175
ARI moneyline: +145

The Coyotes play their season finale against the Oilers at Mullett Arena, where Arizona is 21-19-0 this season. Arizona has been eliminated from playoff contention but is 9-6-0 in its past 15 games since March 14, including an 8-4 win against the Nashville Predators on March 28 to end their 18-game point streak. Goalie Connor Ingram allowed six goals in the Coyotes’ loss to the Calgary Flames on Sunday but is tied for the NHL lead in shutouts (six) this season. Edmonton has clinched a postseason spot but is awaiting its first-round opponent.

Oilers forward Connor McDavid returned after a three-game injury absence and had multiple points (one goal, one assist) in a 9-2 win against the San Jose Sharks on Monday, giving him an NHL-best 100 assists this season. Edmonton and Arizona have split their season series, with the Oilers winning 6-3 at Mullett Arena on Feb. 19 before the Coyotes had a 3-2 road win April 12 in McDavid’s absence, with forward Matias Maccelli scoring the overtime goal.


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