The weekend is finally here! And with just the 4 games on tonight we have had plenty of time to research each fixture in depth to bring you only the very best NHL picks.
New Jersey Devils @ Washington Capitals – 7.00 PM EDT
The Devils got their 6 game road trip off to a perfect start, picking up an overtime win against the Penguins in Pittsburgh on Sunday, following it up with a 4-3 win over the Flyers on Tuesday.
They then played the Caps in the first match of a two game series and almost kept that form going, losing in a very tight 4-3 game.
It was a disappointing result for the Devils, who were looking good and took the lead early through Nicholas Merkeley, and then again through Miles Wood in the second.
After Alex Ovechkin scored and assisted in the second to flip the narrative on the Devils, Jesper Bratt capitalised on a powerplay opportunity to level the score, only for the Caps to score a minute later.
“We played a good game. We knew they were going to have push in the second. We came back and played hard.”
— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) March 26, 2021
The Caps extend their 10 game record to 8-2-0 after their disappointing defeat to the Rangers on Saturday. It also marks the 5th time they have beaten the Devils from 5 games this season, with 4 of those wins coming by just 1 goal.
It was a Russian themed victory for the Capitals, with Orlov and Ovechkin scoring a goal a piece, and Evgeny Kuznetsov scoring the goal which gave the Caps their first lead, as well as the winning goal.
It was a very tight matchup which could have easily been won by the Devils on another day, and they get the chance today as they go back to back, which will undoubtedly test the depths of either squad.
Edmonton Oilers @ Montreal Canadiens – PPD
*This game was postponed due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols, a new date has not been confirmed at this time*
Anaheim Ducks @ St Louis Blues – 8.00 PM EDT
The Ducks lost their 3rd straight on Wednesday with a 3-2 defeat to the Wild, their 2nd, 1 goal defeat to the Minnesota team in 3 days.
It was the Ducks 7th regulation time loss over the last 8 games, and given they lost the first 5 by more than 1 goal, their results vs the Wild were a surprise.
The Ducks outshot the Wild in both fixtures, and came back from a 1 goal deficit within a minute of conceding on 2 occasions in the most recent match, but ultimately failed to keep the Wild at bay.
They find themselves comfortably in last place, 6 points behind the 2nd last place Sharks with 3 additional games played, and their prospects of a win today don’t look great considering they have not beaten the Blues from 4 games this season.
Working in their favour is the fact they come up against a Blues team who are playing in back to back games following their 2-0 defeat to the Wild yesterday.
It was the Blues’ 4th shutout defeat of the season, and it was their most measly performance yet, serving up just 11 shots to the Wilds 37.
The Blues have now lost 7 of their last 10 games, the second worst record in the division, and have only scored more than 2 goals in 1 of their last 6 games as they continue to slip further from the top 3 teams.
The Blues still hold one of the strongest road trip records in the league (12-4-2), but they have lost 5 of their previous 8 games away from home, and now head home for 2 games with the Ducks, they are currently 4-7-3 from home games.
San Jose Sharks @ Arizona Coyotes – 10.00 PM EDT
The Sharks wrapped up their 2 game series with the Kings midweek, walking away with all 4 points, they somewhat made up for their back to back defeats to the Knights, and the Blues over the weekend.
Rudolfs Balcers broke the deadlock early in the second term on Wednesday, and Evander Kane scored a captain’s goal 10 minutes later to give the Sharks a 2-0 lead.
After the Kings pulled one back at the end of the first term Kane scored his second goal just 20 seconds into the third term to restore the 2 goal cushion.
Much of the win has to be attributed to Martin Jones performance in net, after a season best 41 saves from 42 shots (97.6%) in the previous fixture, Jones made 42 saves from 44 shots on Wednesday to guide the Sharks to victory.
83 of 86 shots stopped in his past two games 👏 pic.twitter.com/DjTem7MGxX
— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) March 25, 2021
The Coyotes also head into this one following a strong victory, beating the Avalanche in a shootout on their home turf.
It was a big win for the Coyotes up against an Avalanche team that had beaten the Coyotes in 4 of 5 games, and had won 7 games straight heading into the match.
The game finished 4-4 in regulation time, with the Coyotes going 2 goals up early before conceding 4 unanswered to the Avs.
Clayton Keller and Phil Kessel both scored in the space of 2 minutes to send the game to overtime and the subsequent shootout. The Coyotes were clinical in their 5th shootout of the season, scoring all 3 attempts to bring their shootout record to 3-2, it was the Avs first shootout of the year.
Winnipeg Jets @ Calgary Flames – 10.00 PM EDT
The Jets come into this match after dismantling the Canucks 5-1 on Wednesday, it was the second match of a 2 game series in Vancouver, of which the Jets won 9-1 on aggregate.
Andrew Copp played the game of his career in Wednesday’s game, notching his first ever NHL hat trick 15 minutes into the final term, and then added 1 more just 2 minutes later.
Copp’s 4 goal haul was enough to beat the Canucks, but it couldn’t have been done without Connor Hellebuyck’s heroics in net.
After earning his first shutout of the season with 22 saves in the previous game, Hellebuyck saved 38/39 shots that came his way to keep the Canucks at bay on Wednesday.
The Flames picked up their 3rd straight defeat with a loss to the bottom place Senators on Wednesday. It was a disappointing clean sweep for the Flames, whose record over the last 10 games (4-5-1) is only better than 1 team in the North Division, the 1st place Maple Leafs (4-6-0).
From 11, 2+ game series this season, the back to back defeat to the Senators was just the 3rd time the Flames have been swept.
Their goal scoring issues are glaring in recent games, with just 2 goals scored in the last 3, including fixtures against the worst defensive side in the league, the Flames have the division’s weakest goal per game average (2.69).
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.