FREE NHL Picks: March 25, 2018

Philadelphia Flyers(38-25-12) vs Pittsburgh Penguins(42-27-6)

This game comes at a crucial time for both teams, as the Flyers and Penguins are nearly head to head right now in the standings, the playoffs are on the line and the season is coming to an end soon. The Flyers come into this game off a win vs the Rangers Thursday night, not a pretty one but the Flyers have done a fine job of securing some necessary points lately. As the Penguins come into this game off a win vs Montreal. These two teams are separated by one point, so essentially the Flyers win they take the Penguins spot. To this point, the Penguins have 7 games left in the season as the Flyers have six. This game is going to have all the intentions and likelihood of looking like a playoff game. The Penguins and Flyers have met three times prior to this, and the Penguins have won all three. The last two the Penguins have slotted 5 goals, beating the Flyers 5-1 and 5-2. The Flyers certainly have had difficulty with the Penguins this year and the last meeting of the year comes on Penguins home ice. With the Flyers confirming Alex Lyon will start, we can expect the Penguins to throw everything on this young goaltender. Lyon is 4-2-1, 2.49 GAA and .914 save percentage. This will be his second straight start. The Penguins will not have such an easy time like they have in the past with this team, this game is going to be a battle. A 12:30 p.m. (EST) puck drop on NBC, leaving us all entrained this Sunday afternoon. Today I am going Pittsburgh.

Nashville Predators(48-16-10) vs Winnipeg Jets(45-19-10)

The two top teams in the Central and the favorites to come out of the Western Conference for sure. The Predators and Jets have met four times prior to this game and this will be the final of the five-game series. On the year the series is tied 2-2, during this series Winnipeg has played on home ice just one time, in which they lost 6-5, to end the season series it now heads back to Winnipeg, for an absolute tilt. The Predators are coming into this game on a back to back, and a loss to Minnesota Saturday night and a loss to Toronto this week as well, currently on a two-game losing streak and 7-2-1 in their last ten. As Winnipeg, comes into this game on a days rest and a win over Anaheim Friday night, the Jets are 7-2-1 in their last ten, with a 28-7-2 home record. This game does not mean as much as we think it would in terms of standings and rankings but, with the history of these two this season and the way they have been playing, this game is going to be one of the toughest games to take tonight. The positive for the Jets is they may face Juuse Saros as Pekka Rinne got the start Saturday night, and Connor Hellebuyck gets the nod tonight for Winnipeg, their go-to this season. The Predators come into this game on a two-game skid, not looking too offensively driven the last few games and struggling a tad, going to be tough to see this team get knocked down three times in a row, but anything is possible going Jets.

Boston Bruins(46-17-10) vs Minnesota Wild(42-24-8)

The Bruins and Wild face off on NBCSN tonight at 7:30 p.m. which is going to make for another great NBCSN matchup and a great playoff type game. Unfortunately, the only way these two will meet in the playoffs is if they see each other in the Cup. The Wild and Bruins this season have only met one other time, that came 3.5 months ago, the Bruins won 5-3 in Boston, so it’s only fair the Wild get home ice advantage here. The Wild are coming off a huge home win over Nashville, but the back to back will be detrimental to them here. The Bruins come in off a days rest and a win over Dallas. Going to have to assume Tuukka Rask gets the nod here, but right now this does not mean so much for the Bruins as they are securely in a playoff spot not moving anytime soon. The Bruins come into this game 6-2-2 in their last ten with a 21-10-5 away record, and the Wild come in 6-3-1 in their last ten with a 25-6-7 home record. It is certainly going to be tough to knock off this Wild team on home ice but the back to back and Alex Stalock probably getting the start may be the reason the Bruins can take this. On the season Stalock is 10-10-2 in 26 starts with 2.79 goals against and .912 save percentage. Stalock will for sure have a busy night with this Bruins offense. Tonight, I am going to go Bruins here, tough choice but Wild are not going to be ready for this team’s relentless play.

Anaheim Ducks(38-24-13) vs Edmonton Oilers(34-36-5)

The Ducks can not take this game lightly the Oilers have been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs but as of late, they are on a three-game win streak and 7-2-1 in their last ten. The move of Ty Rattie next to Connor McDavid has been paying off dividends but the team woke up a tad too late. The Ducks come into this game 6-3-1 in their last ten and coming off an overtime loss to Winnipeg Friday night. The Ducks on the road have not been spectacular but at this point in the season with two points on the line and three teams battling for a playoff spot the Ducks need a big road win here tonight.I would expect John Gibson to get the nod tonight as he has started the six games, securing a win in four of them. When Gibson is healthy and the Ducks blue line is healthy this team is about as deep and scary as any team in the league. This game is tough because coming in against a hot team and a pissed off at that too is tough for Anaheim, we can expect to see catfight in this game with Edmonton not going down easy. But I am going Ducks here. 

Other game on tonight, did not feel wasting breathe on it, the Canucks vs Stars. Going to go Stars, who knows. 


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