FREE NHL Picks: January 19, 2018

Vegas Golden Knights(30-11-3) vs Florida Panthers(18-19-6) 

Vegas is the real deal folks, they have taken season series against the Lightning and Predators this season, two of the best in the league. They are coming off a 4-1 win vs Tampa Bay last night and I don’t think a back to back will even factor into today’s game considering the travel is not far and well Vegas is hungry. They are coming in vs a mediocre Panthers team, that see’s very little scoring(7th worst in the NHL 120 goals for), the Panthers offense runs through basically two guys, while, Barkov and Dadonov produce on some nights and not others. Their defense on paper looks solid, but in reality has not been all that great this year, as they allow the 6th most goals against in the NHL(3.17). Vegas is coming into this game collecting a point in 13 of their last 14 games and 7-2-1 in their last ten. Panthers are coming into this game having not played in 7 days and are 6-3-1 in their last ten. I am going with Vegas, no matter who is in net, whether it be Malcolm Subban or whomever.

Montreal Canadiens(18-21-6) vs Washington Capitals(28-14-4) 

The Capitals are coming off a tough loss in overtime to New Jersey, they still did pick up a point on the road but returning home, picking up two points is vital in this Metropolitan division. The Capitals may go with the backup netminder Phillip Grabeauer tonight as Hotlby did play Thursday night but as of now nothing confirmed(will confirm later). As of now the Capitals are at the top of their division and the NHL, with 60 points and coming into this game are 6-2-2 in their last ten. The first time these two met was back on October 7, 2017, as the Capitals absolutely blew out the Canadiens 6-1. At this the time, the Canadiens were also in a major skid. Cannot say that will happen again tonight. The Canadiens are coming into this game off a 4-1 loss to Boston, Wednesday night. The Canadiens have struggled with an identity this year and have struggled greatly with secondary scoring. They allow 3.07 goals per game(8th worst in the NHL) and score only 114 goals this season(30th in the NHL). They currently are out of the playoff race, rank 6th in the division and are 2-6-2 in their last ten. Tonight I am going Washington, despite the back to back and possibly back up in net.

Los Angeles Kings(24-16-5) vs Anaheim Ducks(21-16-9)

The Kings are coming off yet another loss, this time to the defending Stanley Cup champions, Pittsburgh. The Kings lost Thursday night 3-1 to Pittsburgh and that makes it their fifth straight loss and with that loss and Colorado’s win, the Kings are now tied for a playoff spot. Things continue to look bad for the Kings and as I stated in my NHL: 31 Teams, 31 Thoughts, the Kings are on a ride that has only one direction, down. Another loss tonight puts this team in a pickle, they are 3-6-1 in their last ten and 13-7-2 on the road. No confirmed goalies, but either way both Kings goalies have been solid this year. The Ducks also need a win tonight to stay in the playoff hunt as they currently sit two points out of a playoff spot. They are coming off a win vs Pittsburgh Wednesday night and are 6-3-1 in their last ten with an 11-8-3 home record. These two have met now three times already this season and the Kings hold the series edge at 2-1. But the last time these two met there were three fights that broke out in a matter of four minutes, let’s hope to see that again tonight. Tonight is tough, I am hoping for a Ducks win, but the Kings really need to snap this skid before things get out of hand. A cross-state rival matchup, over on NBCSN, this will be a good one. I am going Ducks.


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