FREE NHL Picks: December 29, 2017

New York Rangers(20-13-4) vs Detroit Red Wings(13-16-7):

The Rangers are coming off a days rest, as the Red Wings are too. The Rangers last game Ondrej Pavelec posted a shutout, and the Red Wings lost 3-1 to the Devils. The Red Wings face another top team in the Metropolitan and have found themselves struggling to string together some wins. Whether it is lack of goaltending, goal scoring or depth at the blue line the Red Wings are just not a playoff team, to say the least, definitely, a competitive team that can steal a game any night and their best chance come tonight as they return home. The Rangers slot Henrik Lundqvist in the net but are without Chris Kreider tonight as he is said to be out indefinitely with a blood clot in his arm. The Rangers continue to lose some key forwards to their line up but the next man up policy seems to be working for them. Another two points is integral to this team’s future success. This is the last game for the Rangers until Monday for the Winter Classic. Tonight I am going Rangers.

Philadelphia Flyers(15-14-8) vs Tampa Bay Lightning(27-7-2):

The Flyers are going back to back but the travel difference is not major as they head from Sunrise, Florida to Tampa Bay Florida, therefore the travel won’t kill them but a tough loss to Panthers is going to burn. Going down early the Flyers weren’t able to climb out of the hole and nothing will get easy as they head to versus the best team in the NHL. The Lightning are rolling right now, coming off a big win vs Montreal Thursday night, and will continue to roll tonight. Both are going back to back so that’s a positive for the Flyers, but the Lightning will handle their own, unless Petr Budaj is in net, then this game will be closer than we think. Still going Tampa Bay tonight.

Pittsburgh Penguins(19-16-3) vs Carolina Hurricanes(17-12-7):

The Hurricanes and Penguins are closer than we all expected to be in the standings right now. Both are coming off a big win and the Penguins finally get a well-deserved win vs a Metropolitan team. The Penguins have been struggling lately and right now a shake-up is possibly happening, a lot of chatter among the Penguins could be affecting the team. But again Matt Murray is out and goaltending and defense have certainly been an issue. Hurricanes rolling right now, and they are three points out of a wild-card spot, a win tonight would be huge for the Canes. And honestly tonight I am going, Carolina.

Nashville Predators(22-9-5) vs Minnesota Wild(19-15-3):

Another NBCSN game for the NHL, and it is a great one as the Predators try to stay atop the NHL with a win over the Wild. Both teams are in a playoff spot right now, Predators more comfortably than the Wild but this game will definitely be a close game and low scoring. The Predators depth and goal scoring will be a major test for the Wild’s defense and Alex Stalock in net. These two met a month or so ago in Minnesota and the Wild won 6-4. Won’t happen again and I’m going, Predators.

St. Louis Blues(23-14-2) vs Dallas Stars(20-15-3):

The Blues are struggling immensely right now and things do not look great from them as they have dropped now to the three spot in the division and sit just five points behind the Stars. The Stars have looked the opposite as they have been playing much better, scoring depth has picked up, Ben Bishop has been much better in net and tonight at home, vs a division rival, could be a good chance for the Stars to inch up even more in the standings. Tonight I am going Stars.

Other games on tonight...

CANADA VS USA: VERY biased pick, I apologize, do not take my word on this one. USA. 

Sabres vs Devils: Devils

Blue Jackets vs Senators: Bleu Jackets

Islanders vs Jets: Jets

Leafs vs Avalanche: Leafs

Blackhawks vs Oilers: Blackhawks

Flames vs Ducks: Ducks


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