Montreal Canadiens(26-36-12) vs Buffalo Sabres(23-28-12)
These two teams have been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs and have really nothing to play for besides a solid first round pick. The Sabres have drafted within the top five now for what feels like 100 years. Their two most recent draft picks Jack Eichel and Casey Mittlestadt have yet to improve the program, possibly a Rasmus Dahlin to add won’t hurt. Anyways the Sabres come into this game after losing to Arizona and are currently the worse team in the NHL. The Canadiens come into this game on four-game losing streak dropping 7 of their last ten games. They are currently the 5th worst team in the NHL. Essentially this is the battle of the basement, literally. Two bad teams that struggle to find ways to win or be consistent. Really a toss-up tonight, but I am going to go Buffalo.
New Jersey Devils(37-28-8) vs Pittsburgh Penguins(42-27-5)
This will end the Devils recent six-game road trip and it comes against one of the top teams in their division. The Devils dropped their last road game to San Jose, but come into this game on a three day rest, with a 4-6-0 in their last ten games. The Devils have a little playing room though as the Panthers lost Thursday night, so if they do lose tonight they will be in the same spot as they were before the game started. The only concern is that the Devils play tonight and the Panthers play Saturday vs Arizona. The race is getting tight and not looking too good for the Devils. On the other side of the puck the Penguins, who trail the Capitals by 4 points and are tied with Columbus now at 89 points. The Penguins need this win to have some breathing room from Columbus and also close the gap on Washington for that #1 seed. Tonight I am going to go Penguins, although their goaltending has been very poor lately, and the Devils can do their fair share of scoring. Plus the Devils won the first two meetings between these two and I find it hard ot believe the Penguins drop three straight to the Devils this season. A long road trip is going to hurt the Devils here, going Penguins.
Vancouver Canucks(26-39-9) vs St. Louis Blues(40-28-5)
If you are the Blues this is the one game of the week you are starring at drooling as they play one of the worst teams in the league and a team that has won just twice in their last ten games and is coming off a back to back, the Blues need to bear down and step on their throats here. The Canucks are coming off a win over Chicago and post a 2-7-1 record in their last ten games, they currently rank 29th in the NHL and have zero to play for. If you are the Canucks though, you may getting a little excited you know to play some spoiler hockey, upset the Blues and ruin their playoff chances a little. The Blues sit 3 points behind Anaheim for the last wild-card spot, so every point matters here now. Going Blues tonight.
Anaheim Ducks(38-24-12) vs Winnipeg Jets(44-19-10)
What a bad time to play the Jets for the Ducks, especially in Winnipeg. The Jets are on a three-game win streak, coming off a huge road win vs L.A. and are securely in a playoff spot. It seems as if they will go Connor Hellebyuck tonight as Eric Comrie started last game. The Jets are one of the best teams in the league and the last team a team that is battling or the playoffs want to face. The Ducks come into this game on a four-game win streak and 7-3-0 in their last ten, also coming off a road win vs Calgary. The Ducks have all the tools to get this done and be a playoff team but, they have been a bit inconsistent and streaky lately. All they have to do is hold off the Blues and win their next few games, and if they get in. I’d be worried. For tonight though it sucks because the Blues play a bad team at home and Ducks play a good team on the road. Going to be a tough one and I really think, Anaheim can do it. Go Ducks.
Boston Bruins(45-17-10) bs Dallas Stars(38-28-8)
Definitely does not get easy for the Stars here, as they come off a tough road loss to Washington and have dropped their last two games and are 2-5-3 in their last ten. The loss of Ben Bishop is going to hurt this teams playoff chances a lot. Right now since dropping their recent games they are now four points out of a playoff spot. And this game does not get easier as they face one of the best teams in the NHL and a playoff team. The Stars really need their top guys and role guys to step in and be perfect. The Bruins seem to always pick up a point in every game and are never out of a game. So it will take a lot to take this team down. The starter for Dallas is likely to be Kari Lehtonen, but Mike McKenna may get the start, nothing is confirmed yet. Even with either of them in net, it doesn’t matter their chances to win do not get much better. The Bruins are a clinched playoff team, 6-2-2 in their last ten and coming off two overtime losses. This team never losses it feels like, anyways, I want to go Dallas, just because you know Dallas is home and they need a desperate win here tonight. I am going to go out on a STRETCH here and go Stars tonight.