Top Two NHL Picks of the Week

The National Hockey League recently held the annual All Star Game, and that means there are right around 30 games left in the regular season. Teams are starting to make their final push to the playoffs, and playoff races are heating up across the league. We will look at a pair of games on Thursday night to find our top two NHL Picks of the Week.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Pittsburgh Penguins:

The Eastern Conference has a solid group of four teams at the top of the standings and the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins are among them. Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh will likely meet up at some point in the NHL Playoffs, and this game will be a nice preview.

Tampa Bay is back to scoring goals like crazy, and they average close to 3.6 goals per game. The Lightning are led by Nikita Kucherov who has tallied more than 60 points this season. The Lightning are also terrific on the defensive end of the ice, allowing just 2.7 goals per game. Tampa Bay has some unfinished business from a season ago, and they are starting to get on a roll.

Evgeni Malkin leads the Penguins with 54 points this season, and the Penguins are scoring more than 3.3 goals per game this season. Pittsburgh might not have as much depth as the Lightning, but they can be explosive when they have the puck. The Penguins have been great on special teams this season, and they have loads of talent.

This should be a terrific game between growing rivals, but betting on the Tampa Bay Lightning is the right play in this game.

St. Louis Blues vs. Winnipeg Jets:

The St. Louis Blues are trying to stay atop the Western Conference in the second half of the season, while the Winnipeg Jets are hoping to stay in the playoff race. This game has the feel of a potential first round preview in the Western Conference playoffs, and this game is very important.

The St. Louis Blues are scoring just 3.1 goals per game, while allowing 2.7 goals per game on the defensive side of the ice. Those numbers aren't anywhere close to the best stats in the league, but they are an extremely talented hockey team. David Perron leads the team with 53 points on the season, and goaltender Jordan Binnington has been dominant in net.

Winnipeg is a better offensive team than the St. Louis Blues, but it's not easy to get shots against that defense. Mark Schiefele leads the team with 56 points, but the Jets have struggled on the power play. The Jets are a much better team when playing on their home ice, but they must find a way to win on the road to reach the playoffs. Winnipeg did just beat the Blues by a score of 5-2 last week, but there will be some revenge in this game.

Bet the St. Louis Blues over the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night.