NHL Game Picks - Free Hockey Predictions March 28
As the NHL regular season continues to wind down, we are starting to see a few teams that appear to be primed for a deep run in this season's Stanley Cup Playoffs. Turning to this Saturday's action, I have come up with a trio of matchups involving a few of these top contenders that clearly fit the bill as this week's "best bets" in the NHL.
New York Rangers vs. Boston Bruins (1 p.m.)
The Rangers hammered Ottawa 5-1 this past Thursday as -110 road favorites to improve to 6-1 in their last seven games on the road. They are now 8-2 in their last 10 games and rolling towards the Metro Division title with a NHL-high 101 points. New York is already ranked third in the league in goals allowed (2.3) and they have dialed things up lately with a goals-against average of 1.4 in its last 10 games.
Boston is tied for fourth in the Atlantic Division with 85 points, but it is mired in a six-game slide following a 3-2 loss to Anaheim as a -135 home favorite this past Thursday. The Bruins have dropped six of their last 10 games on their home ice and during this current six -game losing streak they have been outscored 20-11.
The Bruins have won five of their last six games against the Rangers, but given the current form of both teams, I am sticking with the hot hand with a play on New York as a probable slight road underdog for Saturday's clash.
Florida Panthers vs. Montreal Canadiens (7 p.m.)
Florida is three points behind Boston and Ottawa for that final playoff spot in the Atlantic heading into Saturday's division showdown. It has now won three of its last four games following a 3-2 loss to Montreal on March 17 as a -108 home favorite. The Panthers have been able to ramp things up on offense in their last four games with a total of 12 goals as compared to a 2.4 goals per game average that is ranked 25th in the NHL.
The Canadiens' lead over Tampa Bay in the Atlantic title race is down to just one point and they are coming off back-to-back losses to Nashville and Winnipeg as road underdogs. Montreal returns home where it has won four of its last six games. On the year it is 24-8-5 on its home ice. The Canadiens have had their issues scoring on a consistent basis this season with an average of 2.6 goals a game, but they remain the top team in the NHL in goals allowed (2.1)
It is not all that often that Montreal loses three games in a row and it has won four of its last five games against the Panthers. This should be a great matchup between division rivals, but in the end stick with the Canadiens to win again.
Dallas Stars vs. Vancouver Canucks (10 p.m.)
Dallas brings a four game winning streak into this matchup after doubling-up its opponents by a combined score of 14-7. Despite an 8-2 record in their last 10 games, the Stars are still on the outside looking in as far as the playoffs. They remain one of the most prolific scoring teams in the league with 3.1 goals a game, but on the other end of the ice they are allowing 3.1 goals.
The Canucks have won five of their last seven games while averaging four goals a game in those five victories. They are holding down second place in the Pacific Division with 90 points following a 7-2-1 record in their last 10 games. Vancouver is another team that knows how to find the back of the net with 2.8 goals a game with Daniel Sedin leading the way with 16 goals and 50 assists.
This should be an exciting battle between two teams on a roll lately. I like the Canucks chances to get the win on their home ice, but the top play in this one is on an expected total line of 5.5. The total has gone OVER in six of the last nine meetings and it is going OVER again on Saturday night.