There is less than a month of regular season games to play in this already epic year of NHL! With 14 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.
New York Islanders @ Buffalo Sabres – 7.00 PM EDT
The Islanders made it 2 in a row over the Rangers on Saturday, notching their second shutout over their cross town rivals in 3 days.
It was a well needed boost for the Islanders after their 3 game sweep at the hands of the Capitals which saw them kept goalless on 2 occasions.
Semyon Varlamov was in net for both games against the Rangers, the veteran goalie saved all 53 Rangers’ attempts, picking up his season leading 7th shutout of the campaign, and the Islanders’ 10th, also a NHL best.
Josh Bailey had a hand in all 3 goals on Saturday while Anthony Beauvillier was responsible for burying 2 goals, his third over the 2 games.
With just 5 wins from their last 10 games, the Islanders are the worst performing side in the East Division’s top 4, and are now just 1 point ahead of the Bruins in 4th, however, they have an ideal set of fixtures ahead which sees them play the Sabres and the Devils twice.
2️⃣ on the road and 2️⃣ at home this week! 🏒📺 pic.twitter.com/xIWTUXqeh5
— x – New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) May 2, 2021
The Sabres return home to host this game following a terrible road trip which saw them lose 4 games straight, losing the most recent to the Bruins, 6-2.
With their chances of playoffs over, the Sabres are now just playing for pride, but after attempting just 19 shots against the Bruins it is hard to like their chances ahead against the Islanders who have beaten them in 6/6 games this season.
Nashville Predators @ Columbus Blue Jackets – 7.00 PM EDT
The Predators bounced back from their 7-4 defeat to the Panthers with a tight overtime victory over the Stars on Saturday.
The game finished 0-0 in regulation time despite the Stars and Panthers taking 61 shots between them, it was a great game for both goalies, with Juuse Saros saving all 28 shots that came his way for the Preds.
Erik Haula was the hero in overtime as Matias Ekholm teed up his winning goal 3.5 minutes into the added time. It was Haula’s 8th goal of the season, and with the win extending the Predators lead to 3 points above the 5th place Stars, it was easily his most important.
The Blue Jackets were unable to back up their shootout win over the Red Wings as they faced the Canes on Saturday.
The Columbus side put up a solid fight against the division leader’s, only taking 1 less shot for the game and keeping the score at 1-1 for 3 terms, eventually sending the match to overtime where they lost with just a minute to go.
It was the 10th time a Blue Jackets game has been decided in overtime, and currently they have lost all but 2 of them.
Boston Bruins @ New Jersey Devils – 7.00 PM EDT
The Bruins notched their 3rd straight win with a recent 2 game sweep over the Sabres, winning 11-4 on aggregate, all but booking their places in the playoffs as a result.
The most recent match finished 6-2, with David Krejci bagging a hat trick of assists in the win, and Craig Smith burying 3 goals for his first hat trick of the season.
After playing the last 2 games at home the Bruins now hit the road for 4 of their final 6 games of the season, starting with 2 games against the Devils who quite surprisingly have had the better of the Bruins this season with 4 wins from 6 games.
That’s 23 points in his last 23 games.
Recap Smitty’s second career 🎩 trick ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/inOFCx6D4e
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) May 2, 2021
The Devils had been in season worst form before they began their 4 game set with the Flyers, after losing the first match the Devils went on to go undefeated from the next 3 games including a most recent 4-1 victory in Philly on Saturday.
Yegor Sharangovich scored a goal in the first game, backed it up in the second with tandem power play goals, and then made it 3 from 3 with a goal and assist on Saturday for his 5th point in 3 games.
The Devils did very well to get the win considering they were outshot in every single game of the series. A lot of the credit has to go to MacKenzie Blackwood in net, the young goalie started each game, facing 122 shots and conceding 11 over the 4 games.
Pittsburgh Penguins @ Philadelphia Flyers – 7.00 PM EDT
The Penguins continue their roadtrip following 2 very impressive performances in Washington which saw them defeat the Capitals in back to back games and claim first place on the East Division table.
After only just winning the first match in overtime following an 8 goal regulation period, the Penguins came out dialled in for the second game, keeping the offensively strong Capitals goalless for just the second time all season.
Bryan Rust bagged a goal early in the first and second term, both of which were unassisted, and Jeff Carter added another midway through the second to give the Penguins a 3 goal cushion which they held thanks to Tristan Jarry who saved all 24 shots that came his way.
They go up against the Flyers who just recorded their third straight defeat, all of which came at the hands of the New Jersey Devils.
It was a lousy series from the Philadelphia based team, despite outshooting the Devils in all 4 games, they were far from clinical and their awful defending saw them concede 18 goals.
The Flyers and the Devils are statistically the 2 worst penalty killing sides in the competition, but over the 4 games the Flyers were only able to take advantage of the man advantage on one occasion, conceding 4 powerplay goals in return.
After the performance the Penguins just put up against the Caps away from home we are expecting things to get ugly for the Flyers over the next 2 games.
Anaheim Ducks @ St Louis Blues – 8.00 PM EDT
The Ducks wrapped up their 4 game set against the Kings on Saturday with a solid 6-2 win, and split the points over the 4 games with 2 wins each.
It was the first time all season the Ducks have scored 6 goals in regulation time, with their only other 6 goal haul coming in overtime, also against the Kings back in early March.
With no chances of making playoffs, the Ducks were simply playing for pride, and with veteran goalie Ryan Miller playing the final home game of his near 20 year tenure in the NHL, it was the perfect time to do so.
At 40 years old, Miller made 23 saves from 25 Kings’ attempts and inspired the Ducks to one of their best performances of the campaign, with Danton Heinen and Jacob Larsson both notching a goal and 2 assists in the win.
A special moment at center ice. pic.twitter.com/2YjJ5aysk4
— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) May 2, 2021
The Blues were an overtime goal away from a 3 game clean sweep against the Wild on Saturday, however, with 2 wins from 3 against one of the strongest home teams in the competition they aren’t likely to be too disappointed.
After an awful string of results in March, the Blues’ success recently has seen them reclaim their playoff position from the Coyotes, the Arizona team are 3 points behind, but they have played an additional 3 games.
Ryan O’Reilly and David Perron, who lead the Blues for goals and total points respectively, were vital to the teams winning ways, the two put up 7 points between them over the 3 game set.
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.