The 2021 NHL playoffs are here! With just 2 games on the agenda today, we have had plenty of time to research each match in depth, to bring you only the very best predictions. Have a read below for all our NHL picks.
Vancouver Canucks @ Edmonton Oilers – 3.30 PM EDT
The Canucks picked up their second straight defeat on Thursday with their 4-1 loss to the Flames, today they wrap up a 6 game road trip with their final head to head against the Oilers.
Despite remaining fairly even with the Flames for shots attempted on Thursday, the Canucks were only able to convert once through Matthew Highmore, while Thatcher Demko had a forgettable night in the net with just 24 saves.
With their playoff hopes long finished the Canucks will be focused on finishing strong for their remaining 4 fixtures and trying to improve on their current bottom place, but with 6 points separating them from the Flames and Senators, and given their form of late, a wooden spoon finish is looking likely.
Today marks the final day of the Oilers’ regular season, and with 3 straight wins under their belt they will be eager to keep that momentum going with playoffs around the corner.
The #Oilers wrap up their 2021 regular season with tomorrow’s matinee matchup vs. Vancouver as Koekkoek makes his return from injury. @TonyBrarOTV tees us up.@SkipTheDishes | #LetsGoOilers pic.twitter.com/JUO213eqdp
— x – Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) May 15, 2021
The Oilers return home for this fixture following a 2 game sweep away from home over the Canadiens, of which both games were won 4-3 with the deciding goal coming in overtime.
Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl were unsurprisingly the heroes for the Oilers over the series, each picking up 2 points per game including the overtime, match winning goal from McDavid in the first game.
With a record of 8-2-0 over the last 10 games the Oilers are on track to have the strongest regular season finish in the league, and having beaten the Canucks in 6 of 9 games already this season, another win here seems likely.
Boston Bruins @ Washington Capitals 7.15 PM EDT
The head to head between the Bruins and Capitals is tied up at 4-4 over 8 games in the regular season, making this series one of the most exciting of the lot. We can expect a hugely physical game from these two, with both sides relying on getting their best from their top players to make the difference.
The Bruins finished the regular season with a record of 33-16-7, and a last 10 record of 6-3-1, with their most recent game a 2-1 defeat to today’s opponents, the Caps, however, not wanting to risk injuring key players ahead of the playoffs, the Bruins fielded a reserved side.
🎥 @1996_Carlo on the #NHLBruins physical matchup with the Caps: “Personally, I enjoy it. I think we all do in this room. It makes for a fun series, a hard series. But this is the Stanley Cup Playoffs. You want it to be that way.” pic.twitter.com/rnOpw53u1h
— x – Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) May 14, 2021
The Caps finished the season strong, their 7-2-1 record over the closing 10 games was bettered by only the Penguins in the East Division. Their recent victory over the Bruins will give them lots of confidence heading into today’s game despite them playing a weakened side, especially with former Bruin, Zdeno Chara, picking up an assist in the win;
The Caps claim the home advantage, and given their injury woes, they will need all the help they can get in the first match, with T.J Oshie and John Carlson unlikely to play, and Evgeny Kunetsov still out due to Covid protocols.
As far as goaltending goes we can’t deny the advantage that the Bruins have, and with the uncertainty of some of the Capitals main players for game 1 we predict the Bruins will take out game 1 of this series.
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.