There is less than a month of regular season games to play in this already epic year of NHL! With just the 4 games scheduled today it is a quiet Friday of hockey, but we have got them all covered in detail. Have a read below for all our NHL picks.
Winnipeg Jets @ Montreal Canadiens – 7.00 PM EDT
In a battle of the North Division’s worst performing sides over the last 10 games, the Jets and the Canadiens tee off for their final head to head match of the season.
The Jets are in their worst form slump of the season, the Winnipeg side had previously not lost more than 2 successive games all year, the best of any team in the competition, but they picked up their 5th straight defeat on Wednesday against the Oilers.
All 5 games were played on home soil, with the Jets failing to pick up a single win, kept to just 1 goal or less in 4 of the 5 games while conceding 21 goals.
Their dip in form has been very hard to comprehend, with everyone wondering when they will snap out of it. They now hit the road for the next 3 games, starting with a match against the equally struggling Canadiens, which might be the shake up the Jets need after a demoralising home stand.
🎥 Paul Maurice on what he saw in tonight’s game against the Oilers. pic.twitter.com/zr5xha6MtZ
— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) April 29, 2021
The Canadiens returned to Montreal after their 2-1 win over the Flames, but failed to keep the momentum going as the Maple Leafs comfortably disposed of them 4-1.
Despite taking more shots than the Toronto side, the Habs were only able to find the back of the net once thanks to a familiar goal from Nick Suzuki.
With 5 defeats from their last 7 games played the Canadiens need to be careful with just 8 games left of the regular season, they still sit in a playoff position, however, every team below them is performing better.
San Jose Sharks @ Colorado Avalanche – 9.00 PM EDT
The Sharks picked up another big win over the Coyotes on Wednesday, putting their 8 loss streak in the rear view mirror they now remain in the conversation for playoffs.
They came out swinging on Wednesday, scoring the first 3 goals in the opening term with goals from Evander Kane, Rudolfs Balcers and Kevin Labanc. Kane’s goal marked the 6th straight season the Sharks’ skipper has scored 20 goals in a season.
The Coyotes clawed back to within a goal, but the Sharks managed to keep them at bay thanks in no small part to Brent Burns brilliant defensive workrate, and when the Coyotes got desperate Tomas Hertl buried an empty netter to claim the 2 game sweep.
It was an inspiring series for the down but not out Sharks, unfortunately, they will need to be even better than that with a 4 game series against the Avs kicking off today.
If there were ever a good time to face the Avalanche it would be now as they just recorded their 3rd straight defeat for the first time all season.
The Avs played a single game against the Golden Knights on Wednesday, suffering their worst defeat to the Vegas side all season, 5-2.
They were once again without the services of Bowen Byram, Joonas Donskoi, and star man, Mikko Rantanen, despite this, the Avs still took 11 more shots than the Knights, but struggled to beat Flower in net.
They will be looking to return to form over this 4 game set, from the 4 games they have played with the Sharks this season, the Avs have won 3 times, including 2 shutouts.
Los Angeles Kings @ Anaheim Ducks – 10.00 PM EDT
The Kings and the Ducks have reached the midpoint of their 4 game series, and after playing the last 2 games in Los Angeles they head to California today.
After the Kings cruised to a 4-1 victory in the first game, the Ducks bounced back in the second with a tight 3-2 win on Wednesday.
The Ducks took less shots than the Kings, and gave away more than double the penalties of their opponent which led to them conceding a powerplay goal, followed by a shorthanded goal.
2-0 down midway through the second term the Ducks prospects weren’t looking too great, however they rallied, pulling the score back to 2-2 by the end of the term thanks to goals from Sam Carrick and Sam Steel.
No comment. pic.twitter.com/iA5h9eK3YE
— LA Kings (@LAKings) April 29, 2021
It looked like the match was going to overtime at 2-2 late in the final term when Cam Fowler stepped up with a rare game winning goal with a minute to play.
With 10 points separating them from a playoff position, the Kings will be kicking themselves for throwing away a 2 goal cushion. The head to head series is now tied up at 3-3 this season, the two haven’t played in Anaheim since early March when the Kings won by a convincing 5-1.
Vegas Golden Knights @ Arizona Coyotes – 10.00 PM EDT
The West Division’s most in form side, the Golden Knights, travel to Arizona for 2 games with the division’s most out of form side, the Coyotes.
The Knights dominance continued on Wednesday as they picked up their 10th consecutive victory in the form of a clinical 5-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche.
For the majority of their streak the Knights have played the weaker teams of the division, but a win against the Avs cemented the quality of their form, and with 2 games against the Coyotes to play it is hard to see that streak coming to an end.
Wednesday’s game was once again the Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty show, the two picked up 3 points each, bringing their totals to 15 and 16 points over the last 10 games respectively.
The win could not have happened without a 3 star performance in net from Marc-Andre Fleury, the veteran shot stopper made 35 saves from 37 attempts to keep the Knights in front.
The Coyotes couldn’t catch a break as they lost a second straight game to the Sharks, the only other team in the division who were performing as poorly as the Arizona side.
With just 2 wins from the last 10 games, the Coyotes have seen their playoff position claimed by the Blues, and they now sit 5 points off with 2 games against the most in form team in the league to play.
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.
Want more picks? We have just launched our Premium Picks service, and for a limited time only, it is free! *T&Cs Apply.
*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.