FREE NHL PLAYOFF Picks: April 18, 2018

Pittsburgh Penguins vs Philadelphia Flyers

The Penguins have a chance to go up 3-1 and head back to Pittsburgh for a series win. The Flyers last time losing to Pittsburgh in game one bounced back for a big win. A lot of fans expect that to happen today, but the Penguins will come out much better tonight as they did in game two. The Flyers may be without Sean Couturier after a collision in practice with Radko Gudas. A lot of people are saying it was intentional or Gudas is a scumbag and if you are one of those people, don’t speak hockey. Freak accident and the two paths happen to cross at the same time, either way, Couts is a game-time decision not the greatest news for the Flyers. The Penguins come into this game with higher hopes than last game. After losing 5-1 at home, they luckily stay at home where they hope the home crowd can rally behind them and give them some momentum. It is evident the Flyers need to get off to a quick start, each time Pittsburgh has scored first they have won. The key for Philadelphia is to play a full 60-minutes and take no shifts off, get one early and put the Penguins on their heels. Tonight I am going with Philadelphia though.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs New Jersey Devils

After a wild game three and an eventful ending, the Devils have definitely got the attention of the Lightning now. After Sergachev almost ripped off Brian Boyle’s head and Victor Hedman almost left Nico Hischier needing pelvic surgery this series is going to shape up to be a good one. The home crowd was electric in game three and Taylor Hall mentioned it after the game as he said the home crowd really have them that push they needed. The Devils capitalized on the power plays they got and that was the deciding factor. Corey Schneider played well in between pipes and looks to be the starter for the remainder of this series. Tampa Bay continues to see production from all across the board but it is only a matter of time until Kucherov and Stamkos take control this series. Going to be yet another eventful game for game four. The Devils at home have been solid this season and these New Jersey have been dying for playoff hockey, see a similar outcome from game three in terms of intensity, and I think Devils take this one here tonight also.

Nashville Predators vs Colorado Avalanche

The Avalanche put the hammer down on Nashville in game three leading 4-0 at one point, the Avalanche were not giving up without a fight. And that came from the stick and leadership of Hart candidate Nathan MacKinnon. The Avalanche are not going to make it easy for Nashville all series but I doubt we see another five-goal game from the Av’s and the Predators trailing like that again. The Predators will for sure come out much better, but a key for Colorado to not go behind 3-1 in this series is to again get off to a quick start, score the first one and continue from there. The Predators have the opportunity to come out here tonight with a win and heading back to Nashville where they have been lights out at home in the playoffs(last season) and regular season. The Predators know what is at stake and I cannot see this team losing two in Colorado, they want to get out of this series as quickly as possible especially with Winnipeg up 3-1 now. I’m going Preds tonight.

San Jose Sharks vs Anaheim Ducks 

This series has been all Sharks after the Sharks pounded the Ducks 8-1 last game and every Shark forward recorded a point they now head back to San Jose for a possible sweep scenario. That would be terrible to see this Anaheim team get swept with the talent and hopes many had for them. The Ducks are in a do die situation, tonight will show the true colors of Anaheim. A team that has been lacking offensive production this playoff run, going up against a team that has been all offense is a tough situation. There is not much to say, it is put up or shut up time for Anaheim. Going San Jose though.



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