Florida Panthers(38-28-7) vs New York Islanders(31-34-10)
The Panthers had a major scare Saturday night with a come from behind win vs Arizona, now they hit the road and face off against another non-playoff team that is struggling a decent amount. The Panthers are three points out of a wild-card spot, two points is a must here tonight. It seems as if Roberto Luongo may be day to day right now and his availability is game time. The Panthers are 6-3-1 in their last ten and are just playing decent enough hockey to stay in this race, they need to win games like this to be a playoff team. When push comes to shove and the Panthers are battling for a playoff spot until the end of the year, games like this are the ones they mark off as a must win. The Islanders come into this game 2-5-3 in their last ten, coming off a loss to Chicago and on a two-game losing streak. Islanders have given the reign to Chris Gibson and will probably let him ride the rest of the year out. Islanders at home, especially with their recent performances, does not worry me. Going with a desperate Panthers team tonight.
Arizona Coyotes(25-39-11) vs Tampa Bay Lightning(51-20-4)
The Coyotes have been playing some of their best hockey as of late, and like most teams in the league they hit a hot spot and ran with it. They come into this game off a loss to Florida but are 5-5-0 in their last ten, going into a game that literally means nothing for the Lightning. The Lightning still need to show up and play, with Nikita Kucherov now having to chase Connor McDavid for the scoring title, I’m sure Kucherov sees this game as an opportunity to slate two to three points. The Lighting coming into this game clinched in a playoff spot but also off a loss to New Jersey on the road. Going back home and a team that wants to gain some confidence and momentum running into the playoffs, going Lighting tonight.
San Jose Sharks(43-23-9) vs Chicago Blackhawks(31-36-9)
The Sharks have been the hottest team in the NHL over the last two weeks, currently riding a 7-game win streak, at this time this is huge for the Sharks. As they approach the playoffs a win streak like this is a major confidence booster. The addition of Evander Kane has been paying off greatly for the Sharks and their offense. We cannot overlook this team now in the first round and the way it seems this team is performing like a top three team in the West. The Sharks come into this game 8-2-0 in their last ten, with a 19-12-6 away record vs, one of the more struggling teams in the NHL. Although the Blackhawks are coming off a win vs the Islanders, they are officially out of the playoffs and are 3-6-1 in their last ten, with a 17-17-4 home record. I don’t think the Sharks freight too much over this game, they handle the Blackhawks with ease and their win streak continues here for sure. Going Sharks.
Colorado Avalanche(41-26-8) vs Vegas Golden Knights(47-21-7)
The Avalanche and Golden Knights played two days ago a matter of fact. The Avalanche won in a shootout 2-1, and this was in Colorado so the series goes back to Vegas, where at the beginning of the year Vegas won 7-0. The Golden Knights on home ice are lethal and they are definitely not going to let the Av’s come into their home barn and beat them back to back times in just a matter of two days. The Avalanche really need all the points they can get as they are one point in a playoff spot with a hot Blues team on their back and two very veterans rostered teams on their back as well. The Avalanche are 6-2-2 in their last ten and their last win came against Vegas. Vegas is 5-3-2 in their last ten. Since Anaheim didn’t beat Edmonton Sunday night, Vegas has yet to clinch the playoffs so with either one or two points Vegas clinches a spot and I think that is a major factor in this game. I could see this game going into overtime, but at the end of the day, Vegas comes out on top here.
Other games on tonight…
Capitals vs Rangers: Preview ??
Sabres vs Leafs: Leafs
Senators vs Hurricanes: Who cares, stay away from this game not worth it.
Red Wings vs Canadiens: Same as above but go Montreal tonight if you want.
Flames vs Kings: Kings a million percent.