Free NHL Picks Today For Wednesday, March 31st, 2021

Free NHL Picks Today For Wednesday, March 31st, 2021
Wed 31st March 2021

There are 6 stacked fixtures on the agenda for what is shaping up to be a brilliant hump day! Our experts have been hard at it all morning to bring you the very best NHL picks.

Toronto Maple Leafs @ Winnipeg Jets – 7.30 PM EDT

The Maple Leafs had their 3 win streak snapped by the Oilers on Monday, it was the third straight game that the Leafs went to overtime, but they were unable to make it 3 from 3, conceding a goal to Darnell Nurse within 20 seconds of overtime.

The Toronto side looked good for the win, outshooting their opponents and maintaining a 2-1 lead for most of the game which was earned by goals from Mitchell Marner and Auston Matthews.

It was Matthews’ 23rd goal of the season, increasing his lead as the NHL top scorer to 2 goals over Connor McDavids’ 21.

The Maple Leafs will now hit the road for the next 4 games, starting with 2 games against the Jets, they are 2-2 from 4 games against the Winnipeg side this season.

The Jets are coming into this one on a pretty hot run, they have won 4 of their last 5 games including a most recent 5-1 victory over the Flames in Calgary.

After conceding a powerplay goal in the opening moments of the game it looked like the Jets may be headed for a repeat of the previous game, but that was not to be, as the Jets went on to score 5 unanswered goals.

Nikolaj Ehlers had a hand in 3 of the Jets’ goals, while Mark Scheifele scored 2 and assisted another, the two lead the Jets for scoring with 36 and 43 points respectively.

After resting in the previous game, Connor Hellebuyck stepped back in the net for the most recent game and made all the difference, saving 29/30 shots.

NHL Pick – Winnipeg Jets (+120)
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Philadelphia Flyers @ Buffalo Sabres – 7.30 PM EDT

The Flyers and Sabres go again today for round 2 of their 2 game series in Buffalo, and after the Flyers just got away with the victory last time out, the Sabres will be looking at this as a real chance to end their miserable run.

The loss marked 18 straight for the Sabres, tying up the all time record with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2003/04, they will be desperate not to break that record here.

It was probably the best chance the Sabres have had to get a win throughout the entire losing streak, 3-0 up at the start of the final term, it looked like they had done enough.

However, the Flyers rallied in the third, scoring 3 goals unanswered to force the overtime, Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier both scored and assisted one another before Ivan Provorov buried a goal just 40 seconds into overtime.

It was undoubtedly the most embarrassing moment of the Sabres entire loss streak, as they seemingly choked when finding themselves in the unfamiliar position of being on top of the game.

NHL Pick – Philadelphia Flyers (-210)
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Arizona Coyotes @ Colorado Avalanche – 9.30 PM EDT

The Coyotes picked up a big shutout win over the Sharks on Saturday to give them a clean sweep on home turf, it was also their third straight win as they bring themselves a little bit closer to a playoff position.

The 4-0 victory was only the second shutout for the Coyotes all season, with rookie goalie, Adin Hill, largely to thank, making 34 saves to earn his second career shutout.

Phil Kessel stole the show though, the veteran winger was responsible for 3 of the Coyotes’ 4 goals, the 7th hat trick of his 14 year career in the NHL.

The Coyotes will now take to the road for the next 8 games, first up is a single game against the Avalanche, the two sides have played 6 times this season with the Coyotes winning just 2 games.

The Avs are coming into this one following a solid win of their own, beating the Ducks 5-2 away from home, no team has ran better than the Avs over the last 10 games in the division (8-0-2).

Nichushkin and MacKinnon both picked up double points in the win, but Cale Makar stood out with 3 assists, the talented young defender has been immense since making his return to the squad, picking up 8 points in his last 6 games. 

NHL Pick – Colorado Avalanche (-280)
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Los Angeles Kings @ Vegas Golden Knights – 10.00 PM EDT

The Kings and the Golden Knights do battle again today, it is the second game of a 2 match series in Vegas of which the Knights took down the first leg with a fairly comfortable 4-1 win.

It was the third straight defeat for the Kings after the Sharks swept them in San Jose, today is the last match of their 4 game road trip, with 0 points so far they are in need of a win, and currently have one of the weakest records over the last 10 games in the division (3-6-1).

They remained competitive with the Knights for a good chunk of the game on Monday, outshooting them 25-24, and taking the lead just 1 minute into the first which they held for the term.

They couldn’t keep the Knights’ attacking power at bay for long though, conceding 3 goals in a disastrous second term followed by 1 more in the final term.

It was a classy performance from the Knights, showcasing the amount of talent they have all throughout the squad as they picked up their 6th straight home victory.

Reilly Smith broke the Knights deadlock with a powerplay goal, a strong effort against one of the league’s best penalty killing teams.

Marc Andre Fleury took a rest for this fixture after playing the last 2, and Robin Lehner did well in his place with 24 saves, claiming his 6th win of the season with a season high save percentage of 96%. 

NHL Pick – Vegas Golden Knights (-230)
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Minnesota Wild @ San Jose Sharks – 10.30 PM EDT

The Sharks surprised the Wild on Monday with a 4-3 shootout victory, the Wild came into the game hot following 3 consecutive wins at home, and were well rested against a Sharks side that had just been swept by the Coyotes.

The Wild took the lead early as Kevin Fiala assisted Marcus Johansson, and they had an answer for the Sharks equaliser thanks to a Nick Bonino goal in the 19th minute of the first.

The Sharks out shot the Wild by a solid 39-35 and looked to have won it when Erik Karlsson scored back to back in the space of 10 minutes, however this time around Marcus Johansson was there to assist Fiala with a third term equaliser.

What followed was one of the best shootouts of the season, with both teams taking 8 shots before a winner was found.

Cam Talbot and Martin Jones both did what they could, making 3 saves a piece to keep their side in it, but there was nothing Talbot could do to deny Erik Karlsson’s winning shot, a fitting end to the game after the Swede already scored twice in regulation to get them to the shootout.

With the win, the Sharks tie up their season record against the Wild at 2 games a piece, and they bring themselves even with the Kings on 32 points. 

NHL Pick – Minnesota Wild (-158)
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Calgary Flames @ Vancouver Canucks – 10.30 PM EDT

The Flames took a painful 5-1 defeat to the Jets on Monday, the third and final game of a 3 match series in Calgary which the Flames only left with 2 points.

It was another loss in what has been a bad run for the Flames, with just 1 win from their last 5 games and the division’s worst record across the last 10 (4-6-0), a testament to the strength of the North division.

The Flames brought it to the Jets though, outshooting them in 2 of the 3 games, Jakob Markstrom had a game to forget in the most recent, stopping just 19 of 23 shots before he was subbed out.

They now hit the road for 2 games, starting with a match against the Canucks, the two sides have met 6 times already this season, the Flames have had the better of them thus far, winning 4 of 6. 

No team has ran better over the last 10 games in the North than the Canucks 6-3-1, however, that doesn’t tell an accurate story of their form as they have lost their last 3 games straight.

They were most recently swept by the Jets over 2 embarrassing games, a 4-0 shutout followed by 5-1 dismantling on Wednesday.

Whilst they prevented the back to back shutout, their only goal was merely a consolation in the final term, that isn’t to say they didn’t deserve more, making 39 shots for the game. 

NHL Pick – Calgary Flames (-118)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.

Connor is a passionate writer and sporting fanatic, with a focus on all things’ soccer, NBA, and NHL. Happy to chew your ear off about his beloved Tottenham Hotspur, or talk odds on the latest ball game. Connor always delivers the latest in breaking news, matchday analysis and predictions.