It is a massive Thursday night of NHL! There are 10 games on the agenda with some big rematches in the mix, we’ve picked 5 from the lot and spent the day researching each in detail to bring you our NHL picks.
Winnipeg Jets @ Montreal Canadiens – 7.00 PM EDT
The Jets last played on Monday in a narrow 4-3 win over the Senators on home soil, after a couple days off they are taking to the road to play the next 5 games, starting with 2 games against the Canadiens who the Jets have had the better of this season (5-1).
Their most recent win against the Senators was much needed off the back of a clean sweep to the Maple Leafs, and it was well deserved as the Jets outshot their opponents 2 to 1.
Pierre-Luc Dubois got the ball rolling with a goal just 2 minutes into the game, and by the end of the second the Jets were running away with it, 4-1.
They slacked off in the final period though, and the Senators made them sweat by scoring 2 quick goals, but the Jets held on to claim their 5th win from 6 games against the Senators.
Up, up, and away! 🛫 pic.twitter.com/FSpH602DOA
— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) April 7, 2021
After being defeated by the Maple Leafs 3-2 yesterday, the Canadiens will have to be at their best against the well rested Jets today. They played well in yesterday’s game, outshooting their opponent and losing by just a goal to the molten hot Maple Leafs.
Less than a minute into the game Auston Matthews had scored an all too familiar goal, but Corey Perry replied shortly after with one of his own to keep the Canadiens in it.
Perry did the same thing in the final period after the Maple Leafs pulled 2 ahead, but that would be the final score of the game as the Leafs defeated the Canadiens for the 4th time this season.
Philadelphia Flyers @ New York Islanders – 7.00 PM EDT
The Flyers hit the road to face the Islanders today following their defeat at home to the Bruins on Tuesday. It was another notch in a disappointing string of games for the Flyers who have won just 3 of their last 10 games, the equal worst in the division.
They would feel hard done by the 4-2 defeat after they outshot the Bruins 42-26, but were unable to find the back of the net outside of 2 goals in the second term.
It is a fixture that has troubled the Flyers all season, they have a positive record against the majority of teams in the division, but have lost 6 of the 7 games played against the Flyers this season.
The Islanders did just enough to scrape past the Capitals in a scrappy 1-0 win, earning them a division leading 3rd consecutive win.
After their last match finished with a whopping 12 goals in regulation time, nobody expected to see this one finish with a singular score, but despite the teams attempting 68 shots between them, that is exactly what happened. The game went 53 goalless minutes before Brock Nelson broke the deadlock with a goal from right in front.
It was a deserved win for the Islanders who made nearly 40 shots for the game, facing 29 in return, all of which Semyon Varlamov was there to save, earning him his 4th, and the Islanders league leading, 6th shutout.
Pittsburgh Penguins @ New York Rangers – 7.00 PM EDT
The Penguins and the Rangers go again today, and if there are only half the goals as there was in the last game we would still be in for a treat.
Their last meeting finished 8-4 in favour of the Rangers, who have now scored 8+ goals in a game on 3 occasions in less than a month.
The game played out quite similarly to their 8-3 win over the Flyers, with the Rangers attempting almost half as many shots as the Penguins on Tuesday (25-45), scoring over 30 percent of their shots.
Quite remarkably, for a game with 12 goals, nobody scored more than a single goal for either the Rangers or Penguins. Artemi Panarin was the top point scorer with his goal and hat trick of assists, followed by Adam Fox with a goal and 2 assists.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) April 7, 2021
The Penguins struggled to contain the Rangers on the power play, conceding 3 goals while they were short handed, while scoring just 1 of their own with an equal amount of penalty minutes on either side.
After going down 3-0 within the first 10 minutes of the game, everytime the Penguins got one back the Rangers would reply with a goal of their own not too long later.
Tristan Jarry had a nightmare in net for the Penguins, conceding 4 goals from the first 11 shots he faced, he was replaced with Casey DeSmith in the second term who didn’t fare much better, letting in 4 more from 14 attempts.
Edmonton Oilers @ Ottawa Senators – 7.00 PM EDT
As expected, the Oilers bounced back from their road trip to loss to the Canadiens with a solid 4-2 victory over the Senators yesterday, and the 2 are set to run it again today in a back to back game.
It was the 8th meeting between the two teams, and the regulation time win yesterday was the exact same result as every other game, the Oilers 8-0-0 record against the Senators is the joint most dominant record in the league, equal with the Capitals/Devils.
The final scoreboard read an all too familiar situation as Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid both picked up 4 points a piece, 3 goals and an assist for Draisaitl, and 1 goal, 3 assists for McDavid.
The unstoppable duo has now combined for an incredible 129 points this season, and both have recorded 2 hat tricks each, 2 of only 5 players in the league to do so.
The Senators fought a good fight, coming back from a 1 goal deficit on 2 occasions throughout the game, but ultimately came up short when the Oilers pulled away late into the final term.
The odds are massively stacked against them today, and their prospects of a win don’t look too good having lost 8/8 against the Oilers this season.
It gets even worse when looking at the records of either team when playing in back to back games, the Oilers are 5-2 when playing the day after another game, while the Senators are yet to win a single one, 0 wins from 7 attempts.
Boston Bruins @ Washington Capitals – 7.00 PM EDT
The Bruins are in Washington today for a single game against the Capitals, the two sides have not met since the start of March when the Bruins beat them 6-1.
A fair bit has changed since that game though, in the time since the Bruins have gone 7-8 while the Capitals have gone 12-4 and sit atop the East Division.
The Boston based side are coming into this one off the back of a win though, they enjoyed a 4-2 win over the Flyers on Tuesday, redeeming themselves for their defeat to them the previous day.
There were some stellar performances amongst the team in the recent win, with Patrice Bergeron recording his 6th career hat trick, and Brad Marchand picking up 4 points for the second time in just 3 games, 11 points over his last 5 games.
900th career point ✅
Sixth career hat trick ✅
Two points ✅ pic.twitter.com/cjjuB3nYUm
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) April 7, 2021
It was also a day to remember for rookie goalie, Jeremy Swayman, playing in his first ever NHL game, Swayman saved 40/42 shots that came his way.
The Caps had their chances of a 3rd straight win snapped by the Islanders on Tuesday, it was their 2nd defeat to them in just 4 games, and this encounter played out the exact opposite of the 8-4 goalfest last Thursday.
Over their impressive 12-4 run, the Caps have only lost to teams based in New York, they have played the Bruins on 4 occasions this season, the series is all tied up 2-2.
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.