The Capitals remain atop of the NHL tables but are closely tailed by the leaders of the Atlantic Division. The Bruins and Lightning are both on 5-game win streaks and 33 and 34 wins, respectively.
Tampa Bay, who is now sitting fifth in the NHL power rankings, is in action on Saturday as they host the Islanders at the Amalie Arena. We also have more from the Maple Leafs, Jets and Blackhawks.
The Atlantic Division to lead the NHL soon?
Anaheim Ducks (4.14) @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1.69)
We have an Eastern vs Western Conference game for our first game of the weekend, as the Anaheim Ducks travel to Toronto. The Ducks lost out 3-2 to the Canadiens in the second stop on their Canadien road trip, putting 22-26-6 for the season overall.
The Ducks are scoring the second-lowest average goals per game for the campaign, only managing to score 2.94, and only better the Red Wings in the tables. In stark contrast to the Maple Leafs are putting up an average of 3.6 goals per game.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have a red-hot Auston Matthews to rely on at the moment. Though they lost the last game 5-3 to the Rangers, Matthews slotted 2 goals away to bring his total to 39 for the season.
The Leafs enter this one looking to snap a two-game losing streak. The Ducks are 5-4-1 in their last ten games, while Toronto goes 4-4-2. This should favour a Ducks win, but with the home crowd behind them and the strength in their roster, we only see this going one way.
Take Toronto Maple Leafs to win.
New York Islanders (3.65) @ Tampa Bay Lightning (1.84)
The Islanders are 31-15-6 for the season in the Atlantic Division and will go to Amalie Arena looking to record a third win on the bounce. Wins over the Stars and Kings puts them in a good position as they go on the road.
Though the Lightning is one of the toughest fixtures in the league right now. They look to complete a sixth consecutive win, scoring 19 goals in their last 5 wins. A resurgent Steven Stamkos has scored 5 in his last 5 games and has 25 goals and 40 assists for the season.
Tampa is 34-15-5 for the season and is second in the NHL scoring tables, putting up an average of 3.6 goals per game. The Islanders and Lightning are both allowing an average of 2.60 goals per game.
Brock Nelson got an assist in the Islanders’ last game against the Kings, taking his total assist to 21 for the season to go alongside his 21 goals. Matthew Barzal continues to lead the team in points on 44, with 18 goals and 26 assists for the 2019/20 campaign.
This is our NHL free pick game of the weekend, as both teams are hot right now and vying for the top spots in the league.
Expect Tampa Bay to win at home.
Chicago Blackhawks (2.10) @ Winnipeg Jets (2.98)
The Winnipeg Jets sit fourth in the Central Division and is 27-23-5 for the season outright. They enter this one having beaten their Division rivals and leaders, the St Louis Blues, 4-2 on the road.
Patrik Laine grabbed a goal against the Blues, taking his total to 20 for the season. While Kyle Connor (25 goals, 27 assists) and Mark Scheifele (23 goals, 34 assists) have been prolific throughout the season.
The Hawks will travel to the Bell MTS Place on Sunday looking to snap a two-game losing skid. They lost 3-2 to their Central Division rivals the Wild, then losing in OT to the Bruins.
Though the Chicago Blackhawks have recorded 6 wins in their last ten games and are looking strong going into this one. The Hawks have been heavily reliant on right-winger Patrick Kane, as he leads the scoring with 25 goals and 41 assists.
The NHL betting odds favour a win for the Chicago Blackhawks, though we feel the Jets are in a rut and they have to one at some point soon.
Take the Jets.