There is less than a month of regular season games to play in this already epic year of NHL! With 7 games on the agenda today, we have picked the 5 from the bunch we feel are the most exciting, or the most likely to bring home the money. Have a read below for all our NHL picks.
Vancouver Canucks @ Ottawa Senators – 5.30 PM EDT
The Canucks and the Senators are set to wrap up their 4 game series in Ottawa today, as things stand the Senators are leading 2 games to 1 and looking to make it 3.
With just the single win so far, things haven’t exactly gone as expected for the Canucks who led the head to head record 5-0 prior to the start of the series.
They looked strong in the second game played in Vancouver, but upon heading to Ottawa the Senators looked up for it, taking the lead 10 minutes into the game, and then once again in the second term.
The match finished 2-1 and was somewhat of a snoozefest, both teams attempted less than 30 shots for the game with no goals scored in the final term.
“If we’re going to have any chance of getting into the playoffs, we can’t worry about what Montreal does. We need to believe in ourselves and win every game. We need to move on to the next game and figure out how to get two points there.” – Holtby pic.twitter.com/xFYqi39VMs
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) April 27, 2021
It is unlikely to bother the Senators, picking up their 4th win from their last 5 games against some strong opposition, however, every result from here on in is unlikely to mean much for the outcome of their season.
The Senators sit in last place in the North with the most games played, they are 11 points from a playoff position and would have to be perfect from here on in.
10 points off a playoff position, the Canucks share a similar position, however, they have played a full 5 games less than the 4th place Canadiens, and while their fixtures are incredibly congested they still have a decent chance.
St Louis Blues @ Minnesota Wild – 7.00 PM EDT
The Blues took home the bragging rights from their 3 game set against the Avalanche on Monday, landing a huge 4-1 win just 2 days after beating them 5-3.
It was quite a surprise to see the Blues take not just 1, but 2 games from the in form Avs, but thanks to some heroics from David O’Reilly on Saturday, and David Perron on Monday, they did just that.
O’Reilly picked up 2 assists in the most recent match, bringing his total to 6 points over the last 2 games, while David Perron stole the show with his goal and 2 assist effort.
Outshot in both wins, the Blues owe a lot to Jordan Binnington in net, facing 62 shots combined, Binnington made 58 saves to keep his boys ahead.
It was a solid effort at home to one of the division’s hottest teams, but now they hit the road to face the streaking Minnesota Wild who haven’t dropped a point in 7 games, with the last time they lost coming against the Blues in St. Louis.
The Wild have been enjoying a dream run against some admittedly easier opposition of late, notching their 7th straight win with their 6-3 victory against the Sharks on Saturday.
They have scored 4 or more goals in all but 1 of the 7 games, and have conceded 2 or less in all but Saturday’s game.
Kirill Kaprizov and Kevin Fiala have been immense over this run of form, both registering 6 points over their last 5 games, with Kaprizov picking up at least 1 goal in each game.
Their successful string of games has seen the Wild elevate to within 1 point of the Avalanche in 2nd place on the table, however, they will be challenged today against the Blues who beat them in their last 2 meetings by an aggregate score of 12-3.
Toronto Maple Leafs @ Montreal Canadiens – 8.00 PM EDT
The Maple Leafs had a return to form against the Jets over the weekend, after losing a season high 5 straight games going into their 2 game series a clean sweep over the Winnipeg side was a strong response.
After conceding a goal within the opening minute of their most recent game things didn’t look too good for the Maple Leafs, but by the end of the first term Joe Thornton and Mitchell Marner had pulled them to a 1 goal advantage.
It was the 100th goal of Marner’s NHL career, he leads the Maple Leafs for both assists and total points this season with 42 and 59 respectively.
The Leafs added 2 more goals to their total for the game while Jack Campbell made sure to keep the Jets at bay, making 25 saves at a 96.2 save percentage.
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) April 27, 2021
The Canadiens are coming into this one having just broken out of their form slump with a fairly unconvincing victory over the Flames in Calgary on Monday.
With a record of 4-6-0 over the last 10 games, the Canadiens are the worst running side in the North Division at the moment, not at all playing like a team ready for the playoffs.
Monday’s game got off on good note with the Canadiens scoring a goal with the man advantage 10 minutes in, but 3 minutes later the Flames flipped the script, scoring a powerplay goal of their own.
Luckily for the Canadiens a familiar hero in Tyler Toffoli stepped up late in the second term with what would become his 5th game winning goal of the season. Toffoli leads the Canadiens for goals with 25 and has now scored in 4 consecutive games.
Colorado Avalanche @ Vegas Golden Knights – 9.30 PM EDT
The Avalanche had their winning ways put on ice by the Blues across what was a 4 game set for the Avs, and a broken 4 game set for the Blues.
After taking down the first two games 4-3 and 4-2, the Avs had won 5 consecutive games and were looking good to take down the remaining 2 games of the series.
However, despite outshooting the Blues in the final 2 games, something they didn’t do in the previous 2, the Avs went on to drop both games, losing 5-3 followed by 4-1, losing consecutive games for the first time since early March.
They now head to Vegas for a single game against the breakaway division leaders, the Knights, and with the head to head record all tied up at 3-3, this is a mouthwatering matchup.
Having just won their 9th straight game on Monday with their 5-1 dismantling of the helpless Mighty Ducks, the Golden Knights could not be feeling much better heading into this one.
The Vegas side have enjoyed a dominant streak in recent weeks, rolling over the division’s bottom table teams and scoring an average of 4.33 goals per game while conceding just 1.66.
Defensively they have been rock solid, only facing above 30 shots in 3 of 9 wins, and the goaltending has been just as consistent with Robin Lehner and Marc-Andre Fleury both picking up a clean sheet.
Much of the offense has unsurprisingly come from the skipper, Mark Stone, as well as Max Pacioretty. Over the 9 wins, Stone has picked up 12 points, scoring double points in 5 consecutive games, and Pacioretty has racked up 13, scoring at least a point in 8 of the 9 games.
Anaheim Ducks @ Los Angeles Kings – 10.00 PM EDT
The Ducks and the Kings meet again today for the second match of their 4 game series which sees both sides host twice.
It is the third time these sides have met in 4 games, and if the past is any indication of the future then it is not looking too bright for the Ducks who have lost both previous matches 4-1.
It was the 5th straight defeat for the Ducks who are officially out of contention to make the playoffs and are playing like it, getting consistently dominated on the ice, the Ducks have not taken more than 25 shots for their last 3 games.
The Kings have been ordinary themselves, with only 1 more win to their name over the last 10 games than the Ducks, luckily for them, the teams above them on the table have been worse, keeping some hope of a playoff appearance intact.
— LA Kings (@LAKings) April 27, 2021
With a 6 point gap between the Kings and the Blues in a playoff position, 3 more wins against the Ducks in this series would have them on track if the Blues slip up.
Over the Kings and Ducks 2 recent games with each other the Kings have won by an aggregate score of 8-2, Andreas Athanasiou and Dustin Brown have 4 and 3 points respectively, if the 2 are firing again in this one it is hard to see them losing.
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.