The Ottawa Senators get their 2021 season underway against the 1-0 Toronto Maple Leafs tonight. Four of the remaining eight teams will be looking to take a 2-0 advantage in their regular season series, while the remaining four teams look to avoid an 0-2 start.
Find all of our free NHL picks for the 5 scheduled games below!
Washington Capitals @ Buffalo Sabres – 7PM ET
The Capitals will face the Sabres in Buffalo for the second time in two nights, with Washington currently holding the 1-0 advantage in their regular season series after their 6-4 win on Thursday night.
Even with the game being played in Sabres territory, Washington showed why they were the 2019/20 Metropolitan Division champions. T.J Oshie, Nicklas Backstrom and John Carlson all scored and assisted a goal with Oshie assisting two scores in a man of the match performance.
Buffalo will be pleased that recruit Taylor Hall scored and assisted goals on his Sabres debut, as well as Jake McCabe and Victor Olofsson scoring and assisting goals and Jack Eichel chipping in with two assists. On the second night of their back to back, Washington will once again show their class against a Buffalo team that missed last year’s playoffs, recording a second two score win on the road against an Eastern Conference opponent.
NHL Pick – Washington Capitals (-130)
NHL Spread – Washington Capitals -1.5 (+210)
Game Totals Pick – Over 6 (+110)
Pittsburgh Penguins @ Philadelphia Flyers – 7PM ET
The Flyers hosted the Penguins in the opening game of the 2021 NFL season on Wednesday with the Flyers coming out victorious, 6-3 . On Friday the Flyers will once again host the Penguins for the second meeting in their regular season series.
Philadelphia had six different goal scorers in Wednesday’s match, however Pittsburgh had nine more shots for throughout the match. If not for a .912 (31/34) save percentage from Flyers goalie Carter Hart (Career average of .926), the Penguins may have been able to compete with the Flyers.
However Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry finished opening night with a .760 (19/25) save percentage (Career average of .952) which proved to be the difference in Pittsburgh’s three goals loss.
Given their resounding victory on opening night, the Flyers should have no trouble making it 2-0 against the Penguins in their second consecutive matchup, especially in Philadelphia.
NHL Pick – Philadelphia Flyers (-105)
NHL Spread – Pittsburgh Penguins +1.5 (-261)
Game Totals Pick – Over 6 (-115)
🔶 FLYERS WIN! 🔶
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) January 14, 2021
Chicago Blackhawks @ Tampa Bay Lightning 7PM ET
In their first game since hoisting the Stanley Cup, Tampa Bay got their title defense off to a hot start against Chicago. A 3-0 opening period for the Lightning all but decided the result of Wednesday’s game with Tampa Bay adding the next two scores before Dylan Strome netted a consolation prize for the Blackhawks to finish the game 5-1.
Steven Stamkos was the best player on the ice for Tampa Bay assisting on two of the five goals while also finding the back of the net with one of his five shots on goal. Only two days after their season opener, the Blackhawks and the Lightning will meet for the second installment of the regular season series matchup on Friday.
Unfortunately for Chicago, two days will not be enough time to devise a plan that can beat the reigning champions. Tampa Bay will advance to 2-0 on the season with their second two score victory over the Blackhawks.
NHL Pick – Tampa Bay Lightning (-281)
NHL Spread – Tampa Bay Lightning -1.5 (-110)
Game Totals Pick – Under 6.5 (+100)
Toronto Maple Leafs @ Ottawa Senators – 7PM ET
After an overtime win against the Canadiens in their season opener, Toronto are heading to Ottawa to face the Senators on Friday night. After a 2019/20 season that saw them miss the playoffs, Ottawa will get their 2021 season underway against the 1-0 Maple Leafs.
In their 71 regular season games the Senators scored just 191 goals while allowing opponents to score on 243 occasions, resulting in a goal differential of -52. In their season opener on Wednesday William Nylander was the player of the match for Toronto, netting two goals and assisting another in the Maple Leafs 5-4 victory.
With the Leafs season off to a strong start, it is going to be a rough introduction to the 2021 season for the Senators, as Toronto will improve to 2-0 with a confident divisional win on the road.
NHL Pick – Toronto Maple Leafs (-216)
NHL Spread – Toronto Maple Leafs -1.5 (+125)
Game Totals Pick – Under 6.5 (-115)
St Louis Blues @ Colorado Avalanche – 9PM ET
Despite many people believing that the Colorado Avalanche are one of the best teams in the National Hockey League, the St. Louis Blues showed just why they were last season’s Central Division champions with an impressive 4-1 road victory over Colorado.
Offensively Oskar Sundqvist (two goals), Jaden Schwartz (two assists) and Robert Thomas (two assists) led the way for the Blues, while Jordan Binnington was a stalwart in goals saving 26/27 Avalanche attempts.
Despite boasting the second best offense in the league last season, Colorado’s offense wasn’t up to scratch in their season opener, failing to score in the final two periods after Andre Burakovsky netted one in the first.
Coming into the second match of their regular season series, it will require a drastic turn around offensively for Colorado to avoid starting the season 0-2.
However, if Hart Trophy front runner Nathan McKinnon continues to put up four shots on goal (as he did in the season opener), he will undoubtedly find the back of the net and lead the Avalanche to 1-1 after two games against the Blues.
NHL Pick – Colorado Avalanche (-140)
NHL Spread – St. Louis Blues +1.5 (-230)
Game Totals Pick – Over 5.5 (-121)
— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) January 14, 2021
The 2021 NHL season is here! If you want to catch up with all the latest information, make sure you visit our NHL hub page.