Will the Sabres set a new franchise record loss streak? Will the Sharks make it 2 from 2 against the Kings? There are some great hump day fixtures ahead of us, and our experts have spent the day researching all of them to bring you the best NHL picks.
Calgary Flames @ Ottawa Senators – 5.00 PM EDT
The Flames went down 2-1 to the Senators on Monday in the first match of a 2 game series in Ottawa. They have now played on 6 occasions this season and the Senators win was the first time a team has won consecutive games.
Considering the form of both teams, the loss came as quite a surprise to the Flames, who outshot their opponents 36-23.
Phillip Gustavsson made his first start in the NHL for the Senators, and had a near perfect debut as he stopped 35/36 shots that came his way in place of the injured Joey Daccord.
— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) March 23, 2021
Mike Reilly assisted Ryan Dzingel for the Senators’ first, and again for Chris Tierney’s game winner deep into the final term, the defenseman has 14 assists and 0 goals this campaign.
Johnny Gaudreau scored the only goal for the Flames with his third term equaliser, he leads the Flames for goals scored this season with 13. Today’s match is the final game of the Flames 4 match roadtrip, of which they have only picked up 2 points so far.
Anaheim Ducks @ Minnesota Wild – 5.30 PM EDT
The Ducks took a narrow 2-1 defeat to the Wild on Monday, it was the second defeat in a row and the 7th from the last 10 for the Ducks, the worst in the league.
An away fixture to one of the stronger teams in the division was never going to come easy for the Ducks, but they did very well to outshoot the Wild and keep them to just 23 shots.
Troy Terry extended his point streak to 4 games, scoring the Ducks’ only goal early in the second term, but 10 minutes later they conceded a powerplay goal to the Wild, who are the least efficient power play converters in the league.
The Ducks have struggled at killing of penalties this season (75.79%), and will be disappointed to concede one to a team with a 9.28% power play goal percentage.
It was the Wild’s 4th win from 5 games against the Ducks this season, and it was much needed after their measly run of games against the Avalanche.
Whilst it was far from their best game of the season, the Wild did just enough to maintain their stellar record on home soil, picking up their 9th straight win.
The Wild were quite sloppy in defense, conceding their only goal due to a blunder from Zuccarello, and were lucky to be playing the league’s second worst man advantage side.
Cam Talbot played in net to give Kaapo Kahkonen a rest, it was Talbot’s 14th game of the season, picking up his 7th win with a 96% save percentage.
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*
Buffalo Sabres @ Pittsburgh Penguins – 8.00 PM EDT
The Sabres lost to the Rangers 5-3 on Monday, and with the defeat they tied an all time franchise high consecutive loss record of 14.
It was not the start fans wanted to see after welcoming in the new interim management following the firing of Ralph Kreuger last week.
The Sabres looked like they might win, coming back from 3-1 down at the start of the 3rd term, even outshooting their opponents 30-24.
However, no sooner than they had got back in the game did they find themselves down again, conceding a 2nd power play goal to Chris Kreider just 1 minute after a Jeff Skinner equaliser.
While it was embarrassing enough for the Sabres to tie the record, to set a new record today would be a dark day for the 50 year old club, and with Carter Hutton out injured the odds are stacked against them.
We are live with Coach Don Granato following tonight’s loss to the Rangers. https://t.co/PnAVSFr8n4
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) March 23, 2021
They go up against the Penguins in Pittsburgh, the Sabres are 0 from 2 games against them this season, but the Penguins are coming into this one following a home defeat to the Devils on Sunday.
It was a neck and neck game between the two, Sidney Crosby scored a captain’s goal early in the first to give the Penguins the lead, but the Devils tied things up in the 2nd.
Both sides were very even statistically in a back and forth match, Tristan Jarry was great in net with 33 saves, but couldn’t do anything to keep out Jesper Bratt’s overtime winner.
Today’s game will be the first time the two sides have played in Pittsburgh, the Penguins won the previous 2 fixtures in Buffalo with an aggregate score of 8-2.
Los Angeles Kings @ San Jose Sharks – 10.30 PM EDT
The Kings and Sharks are set to play the final game of a 2 match series today after the first leg somehow went to the Sharks in a 2-1 victory on Monday.
It was a well needed win for the Sharks who had lost 4 games in a row heading in, and thanks to some heroics by Martin Jones and Ryan Donato, they did just that.
They were outshot by the Kings by a whopping 42-23, and played 15 minutes of the game shorthanded, however they killed off every penalty while Jones played the best game of his season, making 41 of 42 attempted saves.
Ryan Donato stepped up just 3 minutes into the final term to give the Sharks the lead, scoring his 5th goal of the season, and what would end up being the 3rd game winner of his short career.
The Kings will inevitably feel hard done by due to all their scoring opportunities, and while they definitely weren’t having much luck, they ultimately couldn’t beat Jones in net, and failed to convert their powerplay chances.
It was a game to forget for Kurtis MacDermid in defense as both of the Sharks 2 goals went in via a deflection off him.
The loss continues the Kings trend of failing to win consecutive games, they have not strung back to back wins since back in February.
Winnipeg Jets @ Vancouver Canucks – 10.30 PM EDT
The Jets demolished the Canucks on Monday with a 4-0 shutout, bringing their season record to 4-2 against the Vancouver based team.
Entering the game following a disappointing home series which saw them lose back to back games to the Oilers, the Jets needed to bounce back, and did so in a big way over the in form Canucks.
The shutout victory was just the Jets second all season, both of which have come against the Canucks in Vancouver.
Aside from an Adam Wheeler goal in the first 10 minutes of the game the match was fairly quiet, with only 51 shots between the two teams. The Jets came alive in the final term though, scoring 3 goals in 15 minutes, including a brace from Adam Lowry to put the game to bed.
Connor Hellebuyck didn’t have heaps to do but was there to stop all 22 of the Canucks attempts at goal, earning his first shutout of the season in the process.
— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) March 23, 2021
It was an average game on home soil for the Canucks, suffering their 3rd shutout of the campaign, but they still boast the best 10 game record in the division (7-2-1).
They have shown great improvement in March, having won more games this month than they did in the previous 2 combined.
The 2021 NHL is well underway now! If you want to catch up with all the latest information, make sure you visit our NHL hub page.
Want more picks? We have just launched our Premium Picks service, and for a limited time only, it is free! *T&Cs Apply.
*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of Bet365.