Check out the Betway Insider's NHL picks and predictions page for best bets throughout the 2021-22 NHL season.

Lightning to beat Senators 

It’s always tough to play the Lightning, but it’s even tougher when they’re coming off of a tough OT loss where they lost a late lead. That’s what Ottawa will have to deal with on Saturday night, though.

The Senators have struggled at the start of the season, with a 3-6-1 record and have allowed five or more goals in four of their last five games. They haven’t gotten the defending or the goaltending they need to stay competitive.

Now they’ll have to contend with a Lightning squad that is dealing with some injuries, but still has a litany of offensive weapons at their disposal. The Maple Leafs halted Tampa’s three-game winning streak, but prior to that the Bolts had key wins over Pittsburgh and Washington.

Though the Lightning have been wildly inconsistent this season, they’ve got the depth and scoring talent to overtake a Senators squad that just hasn’t quite figured themselves out this season.

Maple Leafs to beat Bruins 

The Bruins are coming off of their best win of the season during which captain Patrice Bergeron scored four goals as Boston rolled over Detroit 5-1. Meanwhile, the Maple Leafs are coming off of a come-from-behind win over the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning.

Boston has had a pretty solid start to the season, but they’ve lost three of four on the road, while Toronto has looked more and more comfortable at home and are in the midst of a four-game winning streak where the Maple Leafs’ biggest stars are starting to make big contributions.

Looking at the two rosters, the Maple Leafs seem to have more of their offensive players going right now. Boston is still looking for more from David Pastrnak and Bergeron’s four-goal game against Detroit represented his first goals of the season to date. Meanwhile, Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews have seemingly broken from their early-season slump, while William Nylander and John Tavares have been more consistent sources of scoring.

With the Leafs at home and on a roll right now, you know they’re going to be motivated for this rivalry matchup, which gives them the edge in my view.

Canadiens to beat Golden Knights 

The Golden Knights have a depleted roster, but easily handled the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night. They’re still a threat despite missing a gigantic chunk of their roster, including their recent blockbuster addition of Jack Eichel, who is expected to undergo surgery soon. Still, the optimism around the Golden Knights remains high despite the tough start to the season.

Montreal, meanwhile, is coming off of a drubbing at the hands of the New York Islanders. The Habs have struggled mightily this season with a bunch of missing pieces from the team that went to the Cup final last season. It’s been really difficult to find many bright spots. They’ve really struggled to score with any level of consistency, but the same can be said for Vegas.

That’s why I’m playing more of a hunch than any great feeling about either team. The Habs are at home, they’re playing a team that’s very short on scoring and if they can’t right this ship soon, they’ve got a one-way ticket to the basement of the Eastern Conference. Desperation should be setting in if it hasn’t already.

Flames to beat Rangers 

The Flames have lost two straight after really cooking along there for a little bit. Both of those losses came in overtime to teams they probably should not have lost to. They’re now 1-0-2 on their current home stand and will welcome a solid Rangers squad that is in the middle of a Western road trip. On top of that, New York had to contend with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl all night Friday.

The Flames, meanwhile, are on a day’s rest and will be looking to take advantage of a team on the second leg of a back-to-back on the road. I’m almost always going to lean with the home team when the road club is on a back-to-back, but especially so when it’s at the tail end of a four-game road trip across the continent.

The Rangers have a lot of weapons at their disposal and have had some road success early this season, but I don’t think the schedule was their friend on this one. Unless they get clutch goaltending, which is certainly possible, I don’t think they will have enough juice to get past a Flames team that’s feeling the burn of back-to-back close losses.

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