NHL Tonight

JJ’S NHL PICKS OF THE NIGHT: COOLER OUT EAST

New York Islanders(2-3-1) vs New York Rangers(1-5-1)

Both teams have a storied history so let’s put records and past play behind us here for this game. Whenever these two meet it turns out to be a Stanley Cup matchup feel. The Islanders have had the Rangers number over the last few years, and have managed to take the last four of five meetings. Jaroslav Halak is in tonight, and he seems to play exceptionally well when he see’s the Rangers on the schedule. While Henrik Lundqvist will get the start, Hank has been slow to start but a rivalry matchup may set the tone for the veteran goaltender. Don’t expect much offense from these two. Rangers, 3-2.

Vancouver Canucks(2-2-1) vs Boston Bruins(2-3-0)

The Bruins have recently lost Ryan Spooner for 4-6 weeks as well as Tuukka Rask who collided with a teammate during Wednesday’s practice. Rask’s health is unsure but he is still listed as the #1 on the Bruins depth chart. As Jacob Markstrom will get the start for Vancouver, Markstrom has posted respectable numbers and give the Canucks the best chance to win. Canucks rookie Brock Boeser who was said to be in and out of the line up earlier in the year leads the team in goals and points. Bruins will need to see their two forward threats take command tonight and help aid the Bruins back in the win column. Bruins, 4-3.

Nashville Predators(3-2-1) vs Philadelphia Flyers(4-2-0)

These two met a week and two days from today, where Nashville took a come from behind win in a dramatic late-game fashion. The Flyers since then have been on a tear, the offense has combined for thirteen goals in two games and has walked over there two last opponents. Shane Ghostisbehere has awakened from his last season slump tallying 10 points in six games. The Predators have seen the usual suspects chip in and do the work, Filip Forsberg leads the team with 9 points and five goals. But the key tonight is the Flyers depth and recent success, the Flyers have seen players like Travis Konecny, Nolan Patrick and Valtteri Filppula chip including Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux’s success. It will be difficult to knock these guys off their mojo especially on home ice. Flyers, 4-3.

Tampa Bay Lightning(5-1-0) vs Columbus Blue Jackets(5-1-0)

The story coming into tonight is quite obvious can Nikita Kucherov extend his streak to eight games? Against another 5-1 opponent and the Nationwide arena’s fifth line, it will be no easy feat. The Blue Jackets and Lightning look to be two favorites coming out of the Eastern Conference. With Steven Stamkos back, the Lightning forwards depth, they have the tools for another deep run. While the Blue Jackets newly acquired Artemi Panarin and their top six, this will be a fun offensive game in the making. Both teams have sure fire power plays and can score goals, it will not be a goalies night, let’s just say that. Lightning, 3-2.

New Jersey Devils(5-1-0) vs Ottawa Senators(3-1-2)

The most surprising 5-1 team in the league right now and after beating a top in the league the Devils are flying high. Entering Ottawa will not be an easy matchup though, despite Ottawa’s blunder of a loss Monday night vs Vancouver, the Senators offense has been clicking as of late and seeing support from Craig Anderson may pay dividends to this team’s success tonight. New Jersey has seen contribution from up and down the lineup, it can come from lines one through four on any given night, while Corey Schneider has stood tall in net helping shut down opposing offenses. Senators, 4-3.

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