The 2021 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs are in full swing! With 2 games on the agenda today, we have spent the morning researching each fixture in depth to bring you the absolute best predictions. Have a read below for all our NHL picks.
Montreal Canadiens @ Toronto Maple Leafs (Game 5) – 7.00 PM EDT
With 3 straight wins under their belt, the Maple Leafs will be looking to put their round 1 series against the Montreal Canadiens to bed today.
Since their surprising defeat in game 1 the Maple Leafs have barely slipped up, allowing just 2 goals while putting 11 past the Habs, including a most recent 4-0 win on Tuesday.
The shutout win was their best result so far, with Jack Campbell earning his first ever playoff shutout victory, making 32 saves for the night, and William Nylander maintaining his 100% goalscoring streak, opening the scoring early in the second term.
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) May 26, 2021
With an average of just 1.01, Campbell leads the postseason for goals conceded on average, and a save percentage of 96.5%, also a league best.
Alex Galchenyuk picked up his first point of the postseason by assisting Nylander, and he finished the game with 2 more, including scoring the final goal. Alexander Kerfoot also picked up 3 points in the win, his 5th point of the playoffs.
Despite outshooting their opponents, the Canadiens were unable to find the back of the net even once, a problem that has plagued them this entire series. With just 4 goals scored the Habs are the weakest performing side in the playoffs.
Carolina Hurricanes @ Nashville Predators (Game 6) – 9.30 PM EDT
The Hurricanes and the Predators take it to game 6 in Nashville today, and given how the series has played out thus far, history would suggest we expect a win for the home side.
After convincingly dismantling the Predators in games’ 1 and 2 in Carolina, the Hurricanes hit the road to Nashville, where they were grinded down over 2 massive games, losing both in overtime to level the series score at 2-2.
The Canes pulled back ahead in game 5 with another tight match, which once again went to overtime, however, it only required 2 minutes to determine the winner, with Jordan Staal coming up clutch with the decisive goal.
Defended home ice 😤 pic.twitter.com/tVvFDZBkrp
— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) May 26, 2021
Staal’s goal marked his fourth of the series, the trusty captain leads the Canes for points during the postseason with 5, tied with Sebastian Aho, who took a break from the scoring in game 5.
Martin Necas was responsible for scoring the Canes’ 2 goals in regulation time, both of which levelled the score up after the Predators scored a goal of their own.
In a familiar scenario, the Hurricanes outshot the Predators, but despite another solid performance from Juuse Saros in net, he was unable to keep the highly offensive Canes out.
The Predators reclaim the hosting duties in this crucial game 6, and while they are yet to lose at home this series, their success will once again rely on Juuse Saros in net, which makes it hard to back them.
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.