NHL Picks & Pucklines Tonight
Will St. Louis Lose Last Playoff Spot?
The road to the western conference playoffs took a strange turn over the last couple of weeks. Instead of accelerating into the post season, St. Louis and Colorado have endured losing streaks, mimicking the Dallas Stars fall to near-elimination.
St. Louis travels to Chicago after the Blackhawks shocked the Blues with a late regulation win a couple of days ago, opening the playoff window for the Avalanche and the Stars. Chicago broadcast their intent to play spoilers against their Central Division rivals, and another regulation loss for the Blues would hand Colorado a chance to control their own destiny.
NHL Straight Up Picks & Puckline Predictions
NHL Odds Courtesy Of Sports Interaction
- Ottawa at Pittsburgh: Bet Penguins Puckline (-1.5, +100)
- St. Louis at Chicago: Bet Blackhawks SU (+135)
- Buffalo at Tampa Bay: Bet Lightning Puckline (-1.5, -120)
- Minnesota at Anaheim: Bet Ducks SU (-180)
NHL Lines: Lighting The Lamp
Sabres at Lightning – Bet Tampa Bay Puckline (-1.5, -120)
Other than an injury to Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay will not rest veterans yet because the Boston Bruins chase the Lightning for first overall in the eastern conference. Buffalo recently secured last place in the NHL, giving them the best odds to pick Rasmus Dahlin in the 2018 NHL draft.
The Sabres have a strong core of prospects who might grow into a contender over the next couple of years, occasionally stunning top teams like Tampa. Nonetheless, Tampa doesn’t want to drop their third game against Buffalo. Expect a puckline win for the Lightning.
Senators at Penguins – Bet Pittsburgh Puckline (-1.5, +100)
Pittsburgh finishes their regular season a day early, giving them an extra 24 hours of rest before the playoffs begin. As such, it appears that the Penguins won’t sit veterans this evening against the Ottawa Senators, especially with Columbus attempting to climb into second place in the Metro. The Senators have lost eight of their last ten games, while Pittsburgh’s defeated the Senators by two or more goals twice this season. Bet on the Penguins puckline to increase the payout from -270 to +100.
Blues at Blackhawks – Bet Chicago SU (+135)
There’s no doubt that Chicago’s displeased about missing the playoffs, and they’ll attempt to take their frustration out on St. Louis by playing spoilers for their Central Division rivals. A couple of days ago, Duncan Keith netted a shocking game winner in the waning seconds of the third period to hand St. Louis a devastating regulation loss. Tonight’s runback takes place in Chicago, where the Blackhawks tend to play a bit better. St. Louis will be desperate for points, but the ‘Hawks have what it takes to pull off another moneyline upset win with a decent +135 payout.
Wild at Ducks – Bet Anaheim SU (-180)
Minnesota looked like a solid dark horse candidate as the playoffs neared because of their superb defense, lead by Ryan Suter. Suter’s done for the rest of the year with a broken leg, removing the lynchpin of Minnesota’s rearguard. Anaheim dealt with most of their injury issues earlier in the season, surging into the playoffs with an excellent second half.
Starting goalie John Gibson will nurse an upper body injury, but Ryan Miller’s a superb veteran goaltender, capable of defeating any team in the league. Minny’s lost two in a row against the Ducks, including a 3-1 loss a couple of days ago. As such, wager on a straight up win for the Ducks.
Dirty Dangle Of The Night
Anaheim Ducks Beat Puckline Against Minnesota Wild (-1.5, +160)
Ryan Suter had the second highest average TOI before falling to injury, spending more than 26 minutes per game on ice, playing in all scenarios. Barring a sudden rise of a Wild defenseman to stardom, there’s no way Minnesota will be able to replace Ryan’s contributions from the blue line. The Ducks beat the puckline against the Wild a couple of days ago, so Anaheim’s a good bet to repeat the feat on their own pond.
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