There is less than a month of regular season games to play in this already epic year of NHL! With 8 games on the agenda today, we have hand picked the 5 which we feel are the most exciting, or the most likely to line your pockets. Have a read below for all our NHL picks.
Montreal Canadiens @ Calgary Flames – 6.30 PM EDT
The Flames and the Canadiens are set to wrap up their 3 game series in Calgary today, and as things stand a clean sweep for the Flames is looking likely.
After a 4-2 win last Friday, the Flames came out even stronger the next day with a 5-2 win, drawing them another 2 points closer to the Canadiens in their much desired, playoff position.
The 2 games played out quite similarly, with the match remaining tight for the majority of the game before the Flames pulled away with 2 unanswered goals in the final term.
Johnny Gaudreau led the charge for the Flames with his 2 goal performance, scoring the goal to tie the score up in the first term and then once again in the second term to give the Flames a 2 goal cushion.
“It’s been full team efforts and full 60-minute efforts.”
Juuso Valimaki reflects on the first two games in the three-game set vs. Montreal. pic.twitter.com/zhsN9PQgM2
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) April 25, 2021
The Canadiens kept pace with their opponents shooting in the most recent game, but lacked the finishing touch of the Flames and had some questionable defensive moments which led to unnecessary goals.
With the tandem defeats, the Canadiens now have the worst record over the last 10 games in the North Division. They desperately need to salvage a win in this one or the Flames will be just 2 points off them and nipping at their heels.
Colorado Avalanche @ St Louis Blues – 7.00 PM EDT
The Avs and the Blues take it to game 4 today to determine who walks away with the bragging rights off their 3 match series in St Louis.
After the Avalanche claimed the first and second game, but the Blues came back swinging in the third on Saturday, winning 5-3 despite going down 2-0 3 minutes into the opening term.
Saturday’s match was a back and forth one, highlighted by brilliant individual performances on either side of the field.
Ryan O’Reilly was electric for the Blues, rallying the team when they went down 2-0 with back to back goals to tie the scores up. With the game locked up at 3-3, O’Reilly once again stepped up, assisting Mike Hoffman for a powerplay goal to pull ahead before putting the game to bed with his own goal, completing his hat trick in the process.
For the Avs, Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar were directly involved in all 3 goals, both scoring 1 and assisting 2 more. MacKinnon has been characteristically immense throughout this series and has 6 contributions in his last 2 games, 1 goal and 5 assists.
The Colorado sides’ place in the playoffs is certain, but the same can’t be said for the Blues, the St Louis based team need to be at their best throughout a tough run of fixtures. They currently sit just 1 point behind the Coyotes in a playoff position and play 8 of their remaining 11 fixtures against the division’s 3 top sides in the Avs, Knights and Wild.
Carolina Hurricanes @ Dallas Stars – 7.30 PM EDT
The Canes head to Dallas, it is the final destination of their 6 match roadtrip which has seen them play the Lightning, and most recently, the Panthers over 2 games.
They have picked up 2 wins from their last 4 games against the Florida teams, but they were strong in defeat, earning a point in both losses by sending the match to overtime.
Their most recent game came on Saturday in the form of a 4-3 overtime loss to the Panthers in which the Canes were surprisingly subdued by their opponents, kept to just 19 shots while facing 36 from the Panthers.
Leaving Florida with 6 of 8 possible points
— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) April 25, 2021
Despite their lack of offense, the Canes still looked good for the win thanks in no small part to Alex Nedeljkovic who made the Panthers lifes hard in net.
They were up 3-1 in the final term, however, they couldn’t keep the Panthers out, conceding two quick goals to send the game to overtime where they subsequently lost.
The Stars are running hot at the minute, boasting the best record over the last 10 games in the division (7-1-2), but they will need to be focused against a Canes’ outfit which has had the better of them in 5 of their 6 games this campaign.
The Dallas side are coming into this one having just wrapped up a 4 game series against the Red Wings which saw the Stars grind their way to 3 wins, 2 of which came past regulation time.
It didn’t look like the Stars would come away with the points in the most recent game despite throwing absolutely everything at the Red Wings who led 1-0 for the majority of the game, making a whopping 52 shots to the Red Wings’ 17.
Fortunately they persisted and tied the scores up 1-1, sending the game to overtime where the skipper, Jamie Benn, popped up with a goal 30 seconds in to win the match.
Anaheim Ducks @ Los Angeles Kings – 10.00 PM EDT
The Ducks picked up their 4th straight defeat on Saturday in the form of a 5-1 defeat to the Knights. They will be happy to see the back of the Vegas side for the rest of the season having played, and lost to them in 3 of their last 4 games.
In between games against the Knights they played a single game against the Kings, losing 4-1, the Ducks and Kings will now begin a 4 game series which sees them play twice in Anaheim and twice in Los Angeles.
The two sides are currently 2-2 head to head this season, and while the Ducks season is all but over at the bottom of the table, the Kings could still make playoffs if they run well from here on in.
The Los Angeles based side have had a very poor run of form lately, their 3-7-0 record is beaten out only by the San Jose Sharks’ 1-8-1 in the West Division. Fortunately for them, all teams in the West that aren’t in the top 3 haven’t had much success lately, leading to a very tight playoff race.
The Kings have played their last 5 games on home soil and have so far done terribly, winning just 1 game against the Ducks and losing the other 4 without scoring more than 2 goals in a game, including a most recent 4-0 shutout to the Coyotes.
The Ducks and Kings are experiencing a very similar struggle of late, both struggling to break down the division’s top teams. The last time these two met, the Kings put 4 past the Ducks while attempting less shots for the game.
Arizona Coyotes @ San Jose Sharks – 10.30 PM EDT
The Coyotes bagged a 4-0 win over the Kings in Los Angeles on Saturday, the much needed victory keeping their playoff goals safe for now with the Blues just 1 point behind.
After losing to the Wild in back to back games in Arizona prior, the Coyotes’ victory over the Kings was the perfect start to their 3 game road trip.
The Coyotes peppered the Kings with shots and scored in each period of the game, there were 4 different goal scorers for the game, but Phil Kessel was the only one to also pick up an assist.
Darcy Kuemper had a solid game in net, keeping the Coyotes lead intact by saving all 26 shots that came his way, recording his second shutout of the season in the process.
A shutout for @dkuemps35?
Give this man some love. pic.twitter.com/MlduRQwwPy
— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) April 25, 2021
With their 1 point lead over the Blues on the table anything but secure, the Coyotes will be looking at this series against the struggling Sharks as a good opportunity to try to break away.
Only one team in the NHL has had a worse run over the last 10 games than the San Jose Sharks (1-8-1), most recently losing 6-3 to the Wild on home soil, their 8th consecutive defeat.
They conceded just 20 seconds into the game, by the end of the second term they were down 4-0, and despite scoring 3 goals in 5 minutes in the final term, the damage was done.
Their recent failures are such that they no longer find themselves in a playoff position, now 6 points off, and while not impossible, they are set to play each of their remaining 9 fixtures against top 4 teams.
The 2021 NHL is well underway now! If you want to catch up with all the latest information, make sure you visit our NHL hub page.
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.