It is the last weekend of the NHL Betting Regular Season and almost every game has its share of intrigue. Races are coming down to the wire and playoff positioning is still certainly up in the air.
Tampa Bay at Carolina 7:00 PM ET
The Carolina Hurricanes are the most desperate team in the Eastern Conference, while the Lightning appear to have fifth place in the East all but locked up. Carolina heads into the weekend chasing a Rangers team that certainly hasn’t been all that inspiring.
Carolina has the one player that can make a difference in this game – Cam Ward whose play has almost singly handedly kept the Canes in the race. Tampa’s offense has been heating up recently but Ward has been absolutely insane down the stretch. If Carolina takes out Atlanta on Friday night, they should be in the driver’s seat toward the playoffs.
I love Carolina`s intensity and their solid defensive play to emerge in this one.
NHL Betting Pick: Carolina Hurricanes
Buffalo at Columbus 7:00 PM ET
Heading into the weekend, the Buffalo Sabres finally look safe in their quest toward the post season while for the Columbus Blue Jackets, its back to the drawing board… again! The Sabres as of Friday morning have a three point lead on ninth place Carolina have the task of playing Philadelphia on Friday night.
Buffalo has been hot down the stretch and most recently has been getting it done with Jhonas Enroth between the pipes. There is no word yet on Ryan Miller`s availability but either way, I expect the Sabres and their hot offense to ride into the playoffs. Saturday will be the last game of Columbus`s disappointing season – chances are they will have already mentally started their holiday!
NHL Betting Pick: Buffalo Sabres
Anaheim at Los Angeles 10:30 PM ET
This is the most intriguing battle on the Saturday NHL Betting schedule. Both teams appear destined for the postseason (LA has already clinched) but playoff seeding is still way up in the air. The reality is that either of these teams could finish fourth and either could finish eighth in the West – nobody wants to finish eighth and face the Canucks!
Anaheim has been the hotter of the two teams with Corey Perry leading the way with 50 goals on the season. Goaltender Ray Emery left Anaheim`s last game with an apparent injury and there is no word yet on his Saturday availability. Emery is seriously outplaying Jonathan Quick at the moment which gives Anaheim a huge edge in this game.
Look for the hot offense of the Ducks to overwhelm a LA team that will be without Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams again. The Wheels have to fall off the Kings don`t they?
NHL Betting Pick: Anaheim Ducks
Phoenix at San Jose 10:30 PM ET
Both the Phoenix Coyotes and the San Jose Sharks both have a lot to play for on Saturday night in the Shark tank. The Coyotes have a good shot at fourth place in West and of hosting a first round playoff series while the Sharks will be looking to hold off the Detroit Red Wings for second in the West.
The Coyotes have been playing good hockey as of late but the Sharks have been the hottest team in the second half of the NHL season. Both teams have been good offensively and both have been getting good goaltending. I expect a goaltending duel between Ilya Bryzgalov and Antti Niemi to take center stage in this one with the hotter of the two prevailing.
San Jose is safe, the Coyotes are still battling – the Sharks may just take the foot off the gas just a little bit in the final two games!
NHL Betting Pick: Phoenix Coyotes
Be sure to check the Sportsbook for the NHL Betting Lines on these games and others