Free NHL Betting Predictions March 26
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DAL Stars WinVAN Canucks @ DAL Stars
The Stars enter this game having won 3 straight games and 4 of their last 5. Their current 3 game win streak has come against teams that are all in a playoff spot. Home ice advantage also bodes well for them as they have the NHL’s 7th best home win percentage at .717. They have made their way into the playoff picture with games in hand over the 3 teams below them which include Vancouver. Dallas is playing well and this core would like to make another run while their window is still open. They are a good team that has found their stride in the second half of the season. They will look to keep it rolling and not look back.
Vancouver comes into this game having dropped 4 of their last 5 games and 6 of their last 8. They are mathematically still in the playoff picture but it’s an uphill battle on the outside looking in with T-most games played in the West. When they need to be playing their best, the Canucks have hit a rut. It won’t get any easier against this Stars team that is in good form. The Canucks have a -4 goal differential in their last 5 games and are have scored just 9 goals over that span. Over Dallas’ last 5 games have a +3 goal differential and have scored 18 goals over that span. Dallas is trending upward while Vancouver has been trending downward. The Stars should take care of business in this one.
FLA Panthers WinFLA Panthers @ OTT Senators
While both the Panthers and Senators enter this game from road wins, it’s clear they both won’t be in the same place come the end of the season. Florida has a firm hold on the first place in the Atlantic, while Ottawa is ahead of only the Canadiens in that same division. The Sens were impressive in their last outing with the win against the Jets, but just prior to that were 2 losses in which they scored a total of one goal. The Panthers are far and away the best goalscoring team in the league, so one goal certainly won’t be enough to keep up.
Florida is the only team in the NHL averaging over 4 goals per game, and have only gotten stronger. They made arguably the most significant trade deadline moves acquiring long-time Flyer captain Claude Giroux. It’s clear he will have an impact with the Panthers as he recorded 2 points on 4 shots and over 17 minutes of ice time. It certainly doesn’t hurt when he is now skating along with the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau who leads the entire NHL in assists with 67 assists, and 88 total points, in 63 games. The Senators have Brady Tkachuk who loves firing shots on goal. However they haven’t led to much as Ottawa sits 28th in the league in goal scoring. Florida’s firepower should outlast the Sen’s lack of offensive efficiency.
WAS Capitals WinNJ Devils @ WAS Capitals
Two Metropolitan Division teams face off in D.C on Saturday night, as we see Jack Hughes and the New Jersey Devils take on Alex Ovechkin and his Washington Capitals squad. The season series is split between the two, after matchups in October and January. Washington will be playing their second game in as many nights, after beating the Buffalo Sabres in a 4-3 shootout thriller. A tired Washington team, who didn’t take down the weak Sabres easily, may not be as much of a favourite as everyone thinks, but playing another weak team gives the Capitals a huge opportunity. If they can come out on top, they will have won two straight games, which they desperately need after dropping two straight.
While they’ve been inconsistent, the Capitals should prove victorious in their second straight game. They are the home team here which will assist in any fatigue, and New Jersey is not a team the Capitals should lose to. They will be rolling with their current starter Vitek Vanecek who will be highly motivated, as he looks to end his personal 2-game losing streak. Washington can’t take the Metropolitan’s worst team lightly, as they do have some great young players, and have beaten the New York Rangers in a recent 7-4 blowout. However, I see Washington being up to the task, and taking the win on home ice.
TOR Maple Leafs -1.5TOR Maple Leafs @ MON Canadiens
It’s a Saturday night classic in one of the NHL’s most historic rivalries. The Toronto Maple Leafs head to Quebec to take on the Montreal Canadiens for a matchup in front of a projected sold-out crowd at the Bell Centre. These teams have one win apiece against each other, after we saw Toronto come away with a 2-1 win in October, and Montreal take a 5-2 win in February. Their last game was more than a month ago, but don’t think for one second that the Maple Leafs forgot about the embarrassment of their blowout loss. This could play as a big motivating factor for this dominant team.
Montreal is coming off a respectable performance against the best team in the Eastern Conference. A 4-3 loss to the Florida Panthers, that came after another close game against a great Boston Bruins team, shows Montreal is holding up well. Toronto is still playing at an inconsistent level, so they will need to keep that in mind, or they will leave Montreal with the loss. While possible, I don’t see this happening tonight, as we circle back to the last time these teams played when the Canadiens dominated them. Toronto is the better team up and down the lineup, and even with their goaltending questions, they will be able to show the Canadiens the true playoff-contending team they are.
CAR Hurricanes WinCAR Hurricanes @ STL Blues
The Carolina Hurricanes travel to St. Louis to take on the Blues for the second time this season. Carolina won their first matchup by the score of 3-2 in November and are hoping to do the same tonight. St. Louis has struggled over their last 10 games and are going to want to turn things around to keep up in the playoff race.
Carolina is 1st in goals against per game, but St. Louis is 5th in goals per game. When a good goalie faces a good offense, the tendency is to side with the goalie. Frederik Andersen has been nothing short of elite this season and he is the key to his team winning this contest. Outside of that, both teams are solid upfront and have a good defense. The Blues may elect to go with Jordan Binnington in this game, and he’s been really bad in his last 10 starts, posting a 3.46 GAA and a .888 SV%. St. Louis is 3-4-3 in their last 10, so this is an uphill battle for them. Carolina should be able to come away with the win tonight.
MIN Wild -1.5CLB Blue Jackets @ MIN Wild
The matchup between the Jackets and Wild will truly be the epitome of rest and home advantage. Columbus was just in Winnipeg to play the Jets last night, and travel to Minnesota for this one. Meanwhile, the Wild have been at home for the past 2 weeks, and will remain there the entire rest of March. They’ve enjoyed their homestand having won their past 4 straight, scoring at least 3 goals in each of those games. Those numbers are no surprise the Wild have climbed to 4th in the league in goal scoring at 3.65 per game. That value only increases with their 2nd place home goal per game average with 4.o3/game.
On the flip side, the Blue Jackets have allowed the 3rd most goals in the league with an average of 3.7/game. To make things worse, that number increases to 3.83 goals allowed per game when on the road. Just this month alone, they have allowed 5 or more goals 5 times; this includes a 6-0 loss to the Islanders and a 7-2 loss to the Capitals. Surprisingly, one of their few wins as of late was in fact against the Wild in a close shootout win just 2 weeks ago. Minnesota is sure to have that one in mind for some added motivation towards hanging on to the second place standing in the Central division.
EDM Oilers +1.5EDM Oilers @ CAL Flames
One of the most electrifying matchups we can possibly have this season comes between the Oilers and Flames. As if oil and fire wasn’t explosive enough, these are 2 teams burning with all-star talent. With names like Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and Johnny Gaudreau, we are in for an all star game 2.0. The Oilers are on a mission to prove their doubters wrong, and did so in their last outing, drowning the Sharks in a 5-2 victory. The concern for the doubters has been Edmonton’s goaltending. They began the year starting Mikko Koskinen in net, but have since been using Mike Smith more frequently — he was in net in that win against the Sharks.
The Flames, on the other hand, have had stellar goaltending from Jakob Markstrom. Unfortunately for Calgary fans, he was in net last night against the Coyotes. I’ll admit I expected them to save him for this matchup and start backup Dan Vladar last night against a weaker Arizona team. However, that is not the case — which provides the value towards the Oilers. Both the Flames moneyline and Oilers puck line are priced equally. With two teams that can both put up ridiculous offensive numbers, we should lean towards the team with the top 2 point-scorers in the league facing the backup goaltender.
SJ SharksANA Ducks @ SJ Sharks
The Anaheim Ducks travel to San Jose to take on the Sharks for the third time this season. Anaheim has won both matchups so far, but things could be very different tonight. The Ducks have lost 8 games in a row and are 1-7-2 in their last 10 games. San Jose isn’t a great team, but they are better on paper heading into this game.
The last time Anaheim won a game was in overtime against the Sharks on home ice. Since then, it’s been a steady dose of losses. The Ducks continue to get poor goaltending from John Gibson and have completely fallen out of the playoff picture. The Sharks don’t have the best goaltending in the world, but they do have some really skilled players in the lineup who can score goals, and that’s all we need to worry about. Whoever starts for the Ducks isn’t going to be able to keep the puck out of their own net, so all the Sharks have to do is score one more than their opponent. That’s not an impossible task to complete. San Jose should be able to take care of business in regulation.
LA Kings WinSEA Kraken @ LA Kings
What a season it has been for the LA Kings! Across the NHL many did not see a playoff run for this team when the season began in October, but here we are, and the Kings are in 2nd place in the Pacific Division. Outside of their place in the standings the Kings have been a tough team to pin down as they have won 5 of their past 10 games and some of them are head scratchers. They lost to the Blackhawks post trade deadline at home and then took care of the Predators in the game previous, there is no method to their form! I am banking on them overcoming a inferior Seattle team tonight though, as they have sold many of their players at the deadline and they weren’t very good to start with. The Kings will also hold a significant edge in Corsi tonight as they rank 4th in the NHL in Corsi For at 54.6%.
On the roadside of this matchup are the Seattle Kraken and as mentioned above they are more looking forward for the seasons ahead. The Kraken traded off a bunch of players at the trade deadline this week and the depth is hurting because of it. In addition, the Kraken are one of the worst road teams on the season at a record of 9-20-3! The offense averages just 2.59 goals per game, which is the 4th lowest mark in the NHL and will go up against a Kings team that is in the top 10 in terms of goals against average. The Kings don’t score a ton of goals though, so the Puck Line is out of play for me this evening, which leaves us with the Money Line on the home team tonight.
BOS BruinsNY Islanders @ BOS Bruins
The Bruins have jumped ahead of the Lightning to claim third place in the Atlantic Division standings, which seemed a near impossible feat following their early season struggles. They now look to continue their impressive stretch of hockey against the New York Islanders, who have also started playing very good hockey lately after a rough start to the season.
The Bruins have been dominating opponents since the new year and it’s been all about their defense. The Bruins are suffocating opponents on the defensive end of the ice, allowing the third fewest shots per game and sixth fewest goals per game. Even more impressive is the fact they rank first in expected goals against per 60 minutes, where they are the only team in the league to give up less than two goals in that category. A major part of this success is due to their elite goaltending tandem of Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman, who give them two spectacular options in net on any given night. Similarly, the Islanders also possess a great goaltending tandem between Ilya Sorokin and Semyon Varlamov and have been a great defensive team as well, ranking fifth in goals against per game.
However, the Islanders are much weaker offensively in this matchup, and it’s hard to see them going into Boston and beating a scorching hot Bruins team. The Bruins aren’t overpowering offensively either, but they have a dangerous group of forwards led by Brad Marchand who dominate puck possession and are always a threat. They may also get back captain Patrice Bergeron for this game, which would provide a huge boost to their lineup. Take the Bruins to continue their winning ways on home ice.
TB LightningTB Lightning @ DET Red Wings
The reigning champions have been in a major slump over the past two weeks, as the Tampa Bay Lightning have now lost three straight games and six of their last eight. This recent stretch has dropped Tampa into the wild card spot in the Eastern Conference standings, which is an unusual position for this team that has been a top seed in the playoffs for the past three seasons. Nonetheless, the Bolts have a great opportunity to get back on track against a young Red Wings team that won’t be able to match the Lightning’s star power.
During this recent cold stretch for the Lightning, their stars have been severely underperforming, which is affecting the flow of the team. Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, and Brayden Point have tallied just one goal each in the past eight games, and although this team prides itself on its depth, they simply need their core players to produce in order to see better results. A good sign for the Lightning is that tonight will be the most favorable matchup they’ve had over the past few weeks, as the Red Wings allow the second most goals per game and have given up the fourth most high danger scoring chances to opponents this season. This should be a relief for Tampa, as they have faced some of the toughest defensive teams recently including Boston and Carolina earlier this week. Detroit has been much better at home this season and have some talented young players including Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi, but they are still a far inferior team on both ends of the ice. On top of their talent advantage, the Lightning will also be looking to take out their frustration on the Red Wings which is a dangerous sign for the home team. Take the Bolts to get back on track.
VGS Golden Knights -1.5CHI Blackhawks @ VGS Golden Knights
After trading away starting goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and rising forward Brandon Hagel, you could’ve blamed the Hawks if they had just laid down and quit after those demoralizing Trade Deadline moves. Instead, the Hawks have won both of their Southern California games against the Ducks and the Kings, and will look to play spoiler against a Knights team fighting for their playoff lives. Vegas is in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time in their short franchise history, but have still looked good recently at home, outscoring their opponents 16-5 in their last 3 home games (all wins). Vegas is still an elite team in spite of their injuries, and going against a Hawks team that is still bottom of the NHL in expected goals scored and without Fleury is a good recipe for a Knights win. Take the Knights to cover the puck line.
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NHL Under-Over Picks
Over 6.0VAN Canucks @ DAL Stars
Over 6.5TOR Maple Leafs @ MON Canadiens
Over 6.5CLB Blue Jackets @ MIN Wild