The weekend is here! And there is an epic pool of games to go along with it, after an elite day of picks yesterday our experts are fired up to run it back today. We have spent the day preparing our NHL picks, and you can find them all below.
Washington Capitals @ Buffalo Sabres – 7.00 PM EDT
The Caps and the Sabres meet for the 7th time today, and with both teams playing in their own separate game yesterday, the fitness levels and depth of either squad will be tested.
For their match yesterday the Caps travelled to Boston for a singular game against the Bruins, losing 4-2 for their second straight defeat, just the 4th time they have lost consecutive games this season.
It was the 6th match of a so far disappointing 8 game road trip for the Caps who boasted a 10-2-2 record before the first game, picking up just 4 points from a possible 12.
The Caps went down early to the Bruins, conceding a goal within the first minute, 5 minutes into the second period they were 3-0 down, despite successive powerplay goals from Ovechkin and Oshie they were unable to get back into the game.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) April 9, 2021
The Sabres are coming into this one off the back of a loss of their own, coming in the form of a 6-3 defeat on home soil to the Devils.
A win would have given the Sabres 3 straight for the first time all season, but the Devils were determined not to repeat the mistakes they made in the previous game.
The Sabres opened the scoring through Victor Olofsson only to find themselves 3-1 down 15 minutes later, they rallied to pull the score back to 3-3 thanks to a 2 goal second term before a sloppy final period which saw them concede 3 unanswered.
Despite the loss, the Sabres have 3 wins from their last 5 games, their best return since the start of the season, and while they still have a lot of issues to solve, it is a big step in the right direction.
Pittsburgh Penguins @ New Jersey Devils – 7.00 PM EDT
The Penguins got up over the Rangers with an emphatic 5-2 victory yesterday, it came in response to the embarrassing 8-4 defeat they suffered to them 2 days prior.
It was not an entirely surprising result given how rarely the Penguins have been swept this season, and how they outshot the Rangers nearly 2 to 1 in the first game.
They once again outshot them yesterday, but they were far more clinical this time around, scoring goals in each period and swiftly replying whenever the Rangers scored.
The points were shared around the team, with Letang, Rodrigues, Zohorna and Zucker all picking up 2 points. Tristan Jarry redeemed himself in net following his nightmare performance in the previous fixture, saving 22/24 shots.
The Devils finally snapped their 4 game losing streak with a 6-3 win against the Sabres, the much needed victory was just their 4th from the last 10 games, with any hope of making the playoffs now gone.
Nearly half of the Sabres total wins have come against the Devils this season, not wanting to become the first team to be swept by the Buffalo side, the Devils put on a good performance.
After going down 1-0 out the gate, Pavel Zacha wasn’t having it, and scored by capitalizing on back to back power play opportunities to take the lead 2-1.
They now head home to New Jersey which is unlikely to fill fans with confidence given that they have the worst home record in the entire league, winning just 4 of 20 games.
New York Rangers @ New York Islanders – 7.00 PM EDT
The Rangers are coming into this one following a 5-2 defeat to the Penguins yesterday. It was the second game of a 2 match series, and after beating them in the first leg, the loss marks the 7th straight time the Rangers have both won, and lost one game of a 2 match series.
The heroics of Adam Fox and Artemi Panarin were nowhere to be seen yesterday, the same can be said for Igor Shestkerin in net, allowing 4 goals from 31 attempts, the same amount of goals he let in from 13 less shots in the previous game.
“Every point’s huge right now. Definitely a missed opportunity, but a quick turnaround for us tomorrow, so a good opportunity to try to get it back.”
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) April 9, 2021
They don’t have to travel far for today’s fixture as they prepare to face their cross town rivals, the Islanders, the two have only played 3 times this season with the Islanders currently leading 2-1.
It took the Islanders a shootout to get up over the struggling Flyers in yesterday’s match, but that is unlikely to be of too much concern as they pick up their 4th consecutive win, the last 3 of which were decided by just a goal.
Brock Nelson got the Islanders off to a strong start with a goal in the first 6 minutes, and he became the hero when he scored the decisive goal deep into the shootout.
The Islanders have had a fair bit of experience with playing 2 games in 2 days this season, and they have had a lot of success in these games, with a record of 4-1 from those second game situations.
Colorado Avalanche @ Anaheim Ducks – 10.00 PM EDT
The Avs had their 5 win streak halted in shocking form, losing to the Wild 8-3 after beating them the previous game, hockey can be a weird sport at times.
The match got off to a horrible start for the Avalanche, conceding 3 unanswered goals in the first term, but they rallied in the second by scoring 3 goals to the Wilds 2 before allowing another 3 unanswered in the final term.
Despite the loss, the scoresheet was largely unsurprising for the Avs, with MacKinnon, Rantanen and Cale Makar all picking up double points in the second period.
What did come as a surprise was the performance of Phillip Grubauer who posted a season worst 61.1 save percentage, allowing a whopping 7 goals from just 18 attempts. Grubauer leads the NHL for most shutouts for a goalie, and will be keen to put this performance behind him immediately.
The Ducks come into this one with some semblance of form having snapped their 3 loss streak with a convincing 5-1 victory over the streaking San Jose Sharks.
The goals were distributed evenly across the team, including a goal for Max Comtois who leads the Ducks for both goals and points, 11/23.
They now head back home to welcome the Avs for 2 games, and they will need to be at their best in this battle between the West’s 1st and 8th ranked teams. They haven’t fared too badly against the Avs this season though, winning 2 from 6 games so far.
Arizona Coyotes @ Vegas Golden Knights – 10.00 PM EDT
The streaking Coyotes narrowly missed out on their chance to win 4 straight games for the first time this season with a 4-3 defeat to the Kings in Los Angeles.
They were looking good to make it happen when they were 3-1 up at the start of the final term, but they lapsed in a horrible final period allowing the Kings to put 3 unanswered goals past them.
Despite the bitterly disappointing defeat, Jakob Cychrun continued his epic run of form with 2 more assists, bringing his total over the last 3 games to 3 goals and 4 assists.
“With our group, we always find a way to bounce back.”
Lawson Crouse, Jason Demers, and Coach Tocchet gave their thoughts after tonight’s game: pic.twitter.com/23AHtaxIAC
— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) April 8, 2021
It was the 5th game of the Coyotes long 9 match roadtrip, with 6 points so far it has been successful enough to claim a playoff position for now, but they face a tough run of games ahead, beginning with 2 against the Knights.
However, it is an ideal time to face the Knights as they are in season worst form having lost 4 of their last 5 games, including 3 straight games at home which has been a fortress for the majority of the season.
Their most recent defeat came at the hands of an unsuspecting Blues team who had lost 7 straight games prior to their match on Wednesday.
The 3-1 scoreline only tells half the story though, as the Golden Knights made a ridiculous 51 shots for the game, only managing to beat Jordan Binnington on one occasion.
The Knights’ bad string of results has seen them slip 4 points from the Avs at the top of the table, and they need to get back to form soon with the Wild nipping at their heels.
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.