There is less than a month of regular season games to play in this already epic year of NHL! With just the 6 games on the today, we have chosen 5 from the bunch 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 Rangers @ Boston Bruins – 7.00 PM EDT
The Rangers’ suffering continued yesterday as they notched their 4th straight defeat, the two most recent of which came at the hands of the 1st place Washington Capitals.
After back to back goalless defeats to their cross town rivals, the Islanders, the Rangers at least managed to get on the scoreboard over their 2 games against the Caps, however they had their score doubled in both games, losing 6-3, and 4-2.
Mired by injuries, including one to their star man, Artemi Panarin suffered as a result of a hit from Tom Wilson in the first game, the Rangers are in a bad way.
Such are their recent failures that they have found themselves out of contention to reach the playoffs this season, and with their final 2 games to be played against the Bruins, who have won their last 6 home games, it is hard to see their season ending on a high.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) May 6, 2021
The Boston side have been flying in the latter portion of the season, and with a record of 7-2-1, the Bruins are the best performing side in the division over the last 10 games.
However, they slipped up on Tuesday as the Devils edged them out 4-3 in overtime, putting their potential 5th straight win on ice in the process.
The Bruins attempted nearly twice as many shots as the Devils, only managing to find the back of the net 3 times from 36 shots while conceding 4 from 21, raising questions as to how they may have fared with Tuuka Rask or Jeremy Swayman in net.
Regardless, the Bruins will be looking to get their form going again with 4 games left in the season, and having beaten the Rangers from 4 of 6 games this season, today looks like as good a time as ever.
Chicago Blackhawks @ Carolina Hurricanes – 7.00 PM EDT
The Blackhawks and the Hurricanes wrap up their 3 game set in Carolina today, and after the one sided games we have seen so far it is hard to see this game going much better for the Chicago side.
The Hawks have had an incredibly tough run of it lately, coming into the series having already lost 4 straight games against some of the division’s top teams, and things have only gotten worse against the Canes.
They were dominated in the first game, kept to just 17 shots and conceding 4 goals before they scored their first, ultimately losing 5-2.
However, the Blackhawks looked much stronger in the second game, outshooting the Canes, and even dominated the opening term with a 2-0 lead, unfortunately they couldn’t keep it up, conceding the next 6 goals while adding just 1 more of their own.
While the Blackhawks picked up their 6th straight defeat, the Canes continue to soar, with Tuesday’s win marking their NHL leading, 5th straight victory.
Sebastian Aho has been crucial to the Canes’ recent success, and for that matter, the success of their season, the young talent has picked up points in his last 9 straight games, and has 3 goals and 2 assists from the previous 2 games against the Blackhawks.
Andrei Svechnikov has also been immense through the Canes’ 5 win streak, the Russian winger has 9 points over the 5 games, including a 2 goal, 1 assist effort in the most recent.
Now 4 points clear of the second place Panthers with 1 less game played, the Canes look primed to take the title of division champions, and after their close call in the second game we don’t expect the Canes to take their opponents as lightly today.
New Jersey Devils @ New York Islanders – 7.00 PM EDT
The Devils pulled off a massive home soil win against the Bruins on Tuesday, the 4-3 win coming in response to a 3-0 shutout the previous day.
It was a surprising win considering how poorly the Devils have performed when playing back to back games this season, and it took overtime to make it happen as the Devils fought their way back into the match on 2 occasions.
Jack Hughes and Damon Severson both recorded double assists, but it was Pavel Zacha who stole the show, scoring the Devils first and last goal, the latter of which was the overtime game winner.
With 4 wins from their last 5 games the Devils are in their equal best form of the season, the only other time they’ve done so was back in March.
— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) May 5, 2021
They now make the small trek to face their bitter rivals, the Islanders, for their final 2 head to head games of the season, and with just 1 win from 6 so far, the Devils need to keep their momentum going.
If there were ever a good time to face the Islanders on their home soil it is following back to back defeats to the bottom place Buffalo Sabres.
After their embarassing 4-2 defeat on Monday the Islanders were determined to write their wrongs the next day, and despite taking nearly 50 shots they managed to send the game to a shootout, losing 1-0, and 4-3 overall.
It was another notch in a disappointing run of form for the Islanders, whose 4-4-2 record over the last 10 games has seen them slip down to 4th place, however they have already clinched playoffs.
Buffalo Sabres @ Pittsburgh Penguins – 7.00 PM EDT
For the first time since April, and just the third all season, the Sabres won back to back games with their clean sweep over the Islanders on home turf.
Given how poor the Buffalo side has been when playing twice in two days, nobody expected them to back up their impressive 4-2 win with another, but they surprised everybody, winning 4-3 after a short shootout.
After Sam Reinhart’s 3 point performance against the Islanders in the first game, Anders Bjork must have felt inspired, scoring 2 of the Sabres’ 3 goals in regulation time, and fittingly scored the one and goal in the shootout to give his side the win on Tuesday.
They now go up against the Penguins who have had the Sabres in their back pocket so far this season, winning 5 of the 6 games between them.
The Guins’ bounced back to form following their painful defeat at the hands of the Flyers on Monday, flipping the 7-2 script on its head by beating the Philly side 7-3 the next day.
Sidney Crosby led the charge, the veteran Penguin bagged 2 goals and assisted another for his 60th point of the campaign, Jake Guentzel also picked up triple points in the convincing victory.
After 34 games the Penguins are tied on total points with the Caps, neck and neck in the race to be crowned the division champions, however, the Penguins have played an extra game over the Washington side.
Montreal Canadiens @ Toronto Maple Leafs – 7.00 PM EDT
The Canadiens are coming into this game following a pitiful performance yesterday which saw them completely dismantled by the Ottawa Senators, halting their 3 win streak as a result.
They were average throughout the whole game, conceding goals in each period and failing to channel the same energy that saw them come back from behind to win in the last 3 games.
With 10 points separating them from the 5th place Flames, the Habs would have to be seriously awful not to make the playoffs from here, however, they are unlikely to find their feet today as they go up against a Maple Leafs side who haven’t played since Monday.
The Maple Leafs have had a few days off since the Canadiens put an end to their 5 win streak on Monday, after playing the previous match in Montreal the Maple Leafs will now host the remaining 2.
Rematch on Thursday. pic.twitter.com/iNj7awKBGf
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) May 4, 2021
Monday’s match was another restrained performance from the division leaders, taking less than 30 shots for a 4th straight game, only this time around they didn’t have many goals to show for it.
Morgan Reilly opened the scoring early in the first term, and when the Habs pulled one back on the power play, Auston Matthews popped up with his token goal to reclaim the lead.
At 2-1 with a minute to go in the third it looked like the Leafs were going to pick up another win, but it wasn’t to be as Phillip Danault scored to send the game to overtime where the Maple Leafs would ultimately lose.
They are now in the fortuitous position of facing a Canadiens side that have a one day turnaround from their last game, this is a position teams have consistently struggled with this season and we would not be surprised to see a blowout here.
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.