Chicago Blackhawks vs Boston Bruins
The Chicago Blackhawks are looking to continue their streak as they head to Boston. The Hawks are on a 7-game win streak and 7-2-1 in their last ten games and looking to continue their push for the playoffs. As the Bruins look to continue their own win streak although not as large, they have won their last two games are 5-2-3 in their last ten games and have a 20-7-3 record at home this season. The Bruins will be without David Pastrnak tonight due to thumb surgery, therefore that either bumps Jake DeBrusk up or Danton Heinen. Either way the absence of Pastrnak will be felt for the Bruins. The Bruins go with Tuukka Rask tonight who has won four of his five starts allowing 10 goals in those starts. Colin Delia is going tonight for the Hawks the recently 3-year, $1 million dollar a year goaltender looks to continue his great play. Delia is 3-1-1 in his last five starts but has won his last three starts. Delia has allowed 18 goals in five starts though (3.6 goals per game). Tonight is a big one for Chicago, Delia has been giving the Blackhawks what they need, not excellent but solid. Tuukka clearly out plays him, but with Pasta out and the Blackhawks rolling this could go either way. Going unpopular like always and taking Blackhawks.
New York Islanders vs Buffalo Sabres
The Islanders look to continue their tear coming off a win vs the Wild, they get a days rest and head to Buffalo vs a playoff hungry Sabres team. With the way the Sabres have been playing defensively and the amount of shots they allow per game this could be a lopsided game with the way the Islanders offense has been playing. The Sabres are going with Linus Ullmark who is 2-2-1 in his last five starts allowing 17 goals in that span. The Islanders go with Robin Lehner who will look to pick up his 4th win in his last six starts. In his last five games though he is 3-1-1 allowing 9 goals in that span. The Sabres struggle defensively therefore they are going to need to either (A) out perform and possess the Islanders defensively, (B) take away second chances for the Islanders or (C) out-score the Islanders. All three choices are going to be tough with the way the Islanders posses the puck offensively and have been playing excellent on both sides of the puck. Therefore, I am going Islanders tonight.
Washington Capitals vs Columbus Blue Jackets
The Capitals go back to back here, coming off a 6-4 win vs the Kings Monday night it will be a quick turn around to Columbus now. The Capitals did save Braden Holtby for the Blue Jackets tonight which makes me more confident. The Blue Jackets give Bobrovsky the nod as well. Holtby is 2-2-1 in his last five starts allowing 16 goals in that span. While Bobrovsky is 3-2-0 winning his last three starts allowing 17 goals in that span. The Capitals are 4-4-2 in their last ten and the Blue Jackets are 5-5-0, the two are separated by four points. The Blue Jackets could use these two points and it helps they are at home. I like the Blue Jackets at home here tonight, Capitals coming off a back to back game, on the road. Columbus is fresh and needing a win. Also the last time these two played was exactly a month ago and the Blue Jackets won 2-1. Except a 3-2 game here in Columbus’s favor.
Calgary Flames vs Tampa Bay Lightning
The two best teams in the NHL go at it for the final time this season. These two have played each other just one time, the Lightning ended up winning in a shootout 5-4. The Lightning were on the road for the first game and are home for this one vs Calgary now. The Flames are on a two-game losing streak but still 6-2-2 in their last ten with a 17-10-1 record on the road. As the Lightning are 6-2-2 in their last ten, on a two-game win streak and 21-5-2 at home. The Lightning go with their obvious number one and Vezina candidate, Andrei Vasilevskiy. Vasilevskiy is 2-1-2 in his last five games, allowing 11 goals in that span. As the Flames go with their number one David Rittich. Rittich is 3-0-2 in his last five starts coming off an over time loss to Vancouver. Rittich has lost just four games all year and currently posts a 20-4-5 record. The Lightning have been the best team in the NHL since day one and they are currently showing why they are number one and cup favorites. They are 4-0-2 in their last six, having allowed two or fewer goals in four of six games. The Flames were riding a 8-0-1 streak just before their last four games in which they have lost two of their last four and now are one point behind the Sharks for first place in the Pacific division. This is going to be a great game, probably a 3-2 game in my opinion. I like the Flames here but it is tough to go against Tampa at home. I am going unpopular again and going Flames. Except a big one from Rittich.
New Jersey Devils vs St. Louis Blues
The Devils are coming off a win vs the Hurricanes their third win in their last ten games. The Devils are 3-6-1 in their last ten, 7-17-3 on the road. These two have yet to meet this season and know relatively nothing about each other. Which could be beneficial for the Devils. The Blues though are looking to extend their six-game win streak to seven games and Jordan Binnington looks to continue his tremendous play and build off his first star of the week honor. Binnington is 9-1-1 on the year with a 1.72 GAA, he is 5-0-0 in his last five starts allowing just seven goals in those 5 games. The Devils go with Keith Kinkaid who is having a mediocre season due to the circumstances he has faced. In his last five he is 2-3-0 allowing 18 goals in that span. The Blues are 7-2-1 in their last ten games and 10-2-1 in their last 13 games. The Blues have held opponents to two or fewer goals in 10 of the last 13 games. The Blues have everything going for them right now and with the playoff talk back in business and the wild card spot in place right now for St. Louis I cannot see them dropping this game to the Devils at home. Going Blues for sure.
Recap of picks: