The 2021 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs are in full swing! With 3 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.
Pittsburgh Penguins @ New York Islanders (Game 6) – 6.30 PM EDT
After winning the last 2 games straight the Islanders, which finished in fourth place in the East Division, hold a 3-2 series lead over the division champions, and today they get a chance to take down round 1 on home soil.
Following their impressive 4-1 victory in New York over the weekend, the two teams headed back to Pittsburgh for a much tighter game, which took a second overtime period for the Islanders to claim the crucial win.
Optimistic outlook heading into Game 6 tomorrow night.
The puck drops at 6:30 PM. pic.twitter.com/MoM4GlhO1z
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) May 25, 2021
The Islanders took nearly half as many shots as the Penguins (28-50), fortunately, Ilya Sorokin was once again at his best, picking up his 3rd win from 3 starts, saving 48 shots to keep his side in the game.
Tristan Jarry didn’t enjoy the same success at the other end of the ice, the Penguins’ goalie allowed 2 goals from 27 attempts up until the end of the first period of additional time, but less than a minute into the second overtime he made a sloppy pass which was intercepted and buried by Josh Bailey.
The Islanders return to the Nassau Coliseum today, where they have performed a lot better than on the road this series, with the series on the line, and the support of the fans, we like their chances to take the series down today.
Florida Panthers @ Tampa Bay Lightning (Game 6) – 8.00 PM EDT
The Panthers are once again playing to keep their postseason dreams alive following their 4-1 home victory on Monday, which saw the Panthers pull the series score back to 2-3.
After underwhelming performances in net from Sergei Bobrovsky and Chris Dreidger, who conceded 18 goals between them from the opening 4 games, the Panthers took a huge punt by giving rookie goalie Spencer Knight the call up for the crucial elimination game.
Knight had played just 4 games in the NHL all season, and after conceding a goal in the opening minute he would not make another mistake all game, saving 36 shots, many of them extremely crucial, securing a huge win and most likely a second start today.
Mackenzie Weegar and Patric Hornqvist both bagged a goal and an assist, while the Panthers’ top scorers, Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau both added 2 more assists to their post season totals, 7 and 10 respectively.
Having scored a whopping 19 goals over the first four games, the reigning Stanley Cup champions were completely stunned by Knight, and after Ross Colton’s early opener, were unable to beat him.
Today they get to play back in front of the fans, which we have seen make a massive difference in this series so far, and with the chance to wrap the series up on home soil we can’t see them throwing this game away.
Vegas Golden Knights @ Minnesota Wild (Game 6) – 9.00 PM EDT
Having lost the last three games straight the Wild were headed for a game 5 departure against the Golden Knights on Monday, but they shocked the Vegas side on their own ice to keep their postseason alive for another game.
The Wild now welcome the Knights to Minnesota for game 6, where they are so far yet to claim a win from 2 games this series.
Despite the win, it was not the most convincing performance by the Wild, managing a round 1 low, 14 shots while facing 40 in return, it is safe to say that Cam Talbot and Marc-Andre Fleury did not enjoy a similar night at their respective ends of the rink.
“We never quit.” -Cam Talbot
📹 More from Greenway, Talbot, Parise and Cole after the win! pic.twitter.com/w07g8h0ecP
— x – Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) May 25, 2021
Mark Stone opened the scoring with his fourth goal in 3 games midway through the first term, but that would be the last time the Knights held a lead, with the Wild scoring the next 3 unanswered to close out the opening period.
Jordan Greenway and Zach Parise both picked up their first goal of the postseason for the Wild, as did their leading scorer during the regular season, Kirill Kaprizov, a much needed boost for the uber talented Russian, who is playing in his first ever playoffs.
This series has played out quite strangely, with both sides winning a game while being nearly tripled for shooting attempts by their opponent. The Wild did well to claim another win, but they are yet to beat the Knights at home, and it is hard to imagine Flower having another stinker in net.
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.