NHL Free Picks & Predictions: February 21 - 23

NHL Free Picks & Predictions: February 21 - 23

The Boston Bruins is still atop of the NHL league, with Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh and Washington right on the tail. Ovechkin broke the deadlock last night, picking up a goal in their loss to the Canadiens, as the Capitals continue to struggle.

Pittsburgh was shutout in a 4-0 defeat to the Maple Leafs, and the Golden Knights managed a 5-3 victory over the high-flying Tampa Bay Lightning.

This weekend we kick things off with a tussle for the top spot in the Central Division, as the St Louis blues head to Dallas. As well as that, we have the Hurricanes versus Maple Leafs and Pittsburgh against Ovechkin’s Capitals.

Who will take the points this weekend?

 

St Louis Blues (2.88) @ Dallas Stars (2.19)

This weekend begins with a bang, the Stars and Blues are playing well and this game is sure to be a fiery one. It’s our NHL free pick this week, as the game feels like it could go either way, but we tend to think the Stars will edge it to claim the top spot in the division.

The Blues go 34-17-10 for the season. Wins over the Devils and Coyotes means they’ll feel confident when they step out onto the ice. Ryan O’Reilly picked up the only goal in the win over Arizona, taking his tally to 11 goals and 41 assists for the season.

Dallas has the second-best defensive unit in the league, allowing just 2.37 goals per game on average. Though offensively things are a little more concerning, only scoring an average of 2.7ppg - less than the New Jersey Devils.

But if they can defend as they have been, it makes little difference. Between Anton Khudobin and Ben Bishop, the Stars’ goal is being well-guarded. Expect the Blues to cause them problems, but Stars to snatch the win.

Take the Dallas Stars to win.

Dallas Stars To beat the St Louis Blues
2.19
Spin Palace Sports

 

Carolina Hurricanes (2.85) @ Toronto Maple Leafs (2.18)

The Toronto Maple Leafs are quite a way behind the Atlantic Division leaders now. They are 32-22-8 for the season outright and are 4-5-1 in their last ten, which isn’t good enough as we head towards the end of the regular season.

The Maple Leafs should be looking to challenge for the Stanley Cup in 2020. But they’ll need to change things on the ice if they are to stand a chance. But it’s not all bad for Toronto, they’re putting up the joint-first most goals per game, averaging 3.5gpg.

Toronto also has the mighty Auston Matthews to turn to, who’s managed to score 43 goals and assist another 30 this season. The Hurricanes has their own wizard, in the form of Sebastian Aho, who’s scored 34 and assisted 23 so far.

Carolina is 34-21-4 overall and won 6 of their last ten games. The Hurricanes will travel to the Scotiabank Arena looking to secure their second win in a row. The Maple Leafs are weak in defence, but they’re strength and depth in attack will carry them through.

Pick the Maple Leafs to win.

Toronto Maple Leafs To beat Carolina Hurricanes
2.18
PowerPlay

 

Pittsburgh Penguins (2.87) @ Washington Capitals (2.15)

Both teams will enter this game having lost their previous game, in the case of the Capitals they’ve lost their last three. Washington goes 37-17-6 for the season overall and due to recent form have now lost the top spot in the NHL power rankings.

Ovechkin seemed to have a hit a rut when he reached 698 league goals. But his goal against Montreal will hopefully be the nudge he needs to get back to scoring ways. He’s on 41 goals and 17 assists for the season.

The Penguins don’t have a player on their roster who can put goals away like the big Russian, but they have the likes of Bryan Rust (23g, 25a), Jake Guentzel (20g, 23a) and Malkin Evgeni (18g, 40a), who make up a strong offence.

Pittsburgh also has one of the better defences in the league, allowing an average of just 2.51 goals per game, so they will make it tough for the Capitals. It will be a very close game, let’s see who turns up on Sunday night.

The NHL betting odds favour a win for Washington and we tend to agree. Though their recent form leaves a lot to be desired, they have a solid team and know how to grind out a win when things are tough.

Take the Capitals to win here.

Washington Capitals To beat the Pittsburgh Penguins
2.15
10Bet