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As fun as the trade deadline is for fans, it’s an unsettling time of year for players and a stressful time for teams. Very few players overall have trade protection in their contract, and really anything can happen if your team goes crazy, and some teams do. Which teams and players can keep their focus through the last couple weeks before the deadline?

Florida Panthers to beat Washington Capitals 

The Panthers have been playing better hockey of late, but everyone around them has games in hand or has been winning at a better rate than they have. The only team they have a reasonable chance to catch to make the playoffs is the Washington Capitals, who have two more points and a game in hand on them.

Florida desperately needs a win here, and the Capitals are vulnerable with Alex Ovechkin out at least one more game after the passing of his father. Things are getting hectic for the Panthers with the Sabres and Red Wings having a handful of games in hand. They need this one.

Carolina Hurricanes to beat Montreal Canadiens 

The Habs may be on a three-game winning streak, but they’re heading into the barn of the hottest team in the NHL, with the Hurricanes going 8-1-1 in their last 10 games, and accumulating the second-most points in the league this year behind Boston.

The Hurricanes play an overwhelming style of puck possession hockey that will likely expose the Canadiens’ young defensive squad and injured roster in general. The Hurricanes are heavy favourites in this one for a reason.

St. Louis Blues to beat New Jersey Devils 

The Devils have started to play better defensively now that John Marino is healthy again, but without Jack Hughes in the lineup the offensive numbers are tanking to season-lows. They’re still ending up on the winning side more often than not, but it’s been more about luck than good performance lately.

The Blues are looking to sell as the trade deadline nears, and have already offloaded Vlad Tarasenko to the Rangers. However the Blues seem intent on not throwing in the towel on the season, shocking the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night in their second-straight win.

Michael Eyssimont (San Jose Sharks) to score anytime vs Vegas Golden Knights 

If you’re not a San Jose Sharks fan, your first reaction might be: “Who?” Well, Michael Eyssimont has been shooting the lights out in San Jose recently, and is top-10 in the NHL in expected goals for over the last several weeks of play.

However despite his 3.81 expected goals, he’s only lit the lamp twice. Eyssimont is one of several long-time AHLers that has been called up recently by their NHL team and is exceling to a ridiculous degree.