NHL betting tips: 4 picks and predictions for Saturday
Our expert has picked out four teams to back on the moneyline in the NHL on Saturday.
Check out the Betway Insider's NHL predictions page for best bets throughout the 2020-21 NHL season.
New York Rangers to beat New Jersey Devils
Over the first two games of this series of four straight, the Rangers have picked up back-to-back shutouts against the anaemic offense of the Devils. Outscoring their local rivals 7-0 over those two games allowed the Rangers to take a 4-2-0 series lead.
After selling off some pieces at the trade deadline like veterans Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac, the Devils’ spiral has only intensified. They’ve lost 10 of their last 12 games, often giving up four or more goals in the process. On top of that, New Jersey has not had a lot of success in afternoon games this season. They’re 3-7-2 in games beginning at 3 p.m. or earlier.
The Rangers could also go back to Igor Shesterkin for his third straight start against the Devils. The rookie goaltender has a .925 save percentage overall this season and has really come into his own now that he’s been healthy for a stretch. Against the Devils, he has a .958 save percentage, allowing just five goals over the five appearances he’s had against them this season.
Washington Capitals to beat Philadelphia Flyers
After absolutely rolling through their previous two games, the Capitals ran into a wall in the form of the… Buffalo Sabres? Washington lost 5-2 to the last-place Sabres, which seem to be turning things around after consecutive wins over Boston and Philadelphia by scores of 8-1 and 6-1, respectively. That same night, the Flyers gutted out a 2-1 shootout win on the road at Pittsburgh after overcoming consecutive losses to the Sabres and Capitals.
That last game very well could have been a confidence booster for embattled Flyers goaltender Carter Hart, who made 31 saves in the shootout win over the Penguins. The Capitals, however, have had Hart’s number this season. He is 1-2-0 with nine goal against and an .884 save percentage against Washington, so the challenge is a big one if Hart wants to sustain some success after his bounce-back performance against the Penguins.
Making matters more challenging for the Flyers, the Caps have gotten an instant impact from new trade deadline acquisition Anthony Mantha, who has a goal in each of his first two games with the club. Adding him to a group that already includes high-flying offensive performers like Nicklas Backstrom, Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov and T.J. Oshie just makes the Caps even tougher.
On top of that, Alex Ovechkin has owned the Flyers this season with six goals and three assists over his five appearances against Philadelphia this season.
Despite the fact that the Flyers have been one of the NHL’s best matinee teams with a 5-2-0 record in afternoon games this season, the Caps might have a little too much this time around.
Montreal Canadiens to beat Ottawa Senators
This has been one of the closer series in the North Division all season. The Habs actually have lost four of their seven meetings against the Senators to date, with two of those losses coming in overtime.
Montreal has brought in some reinforcements though, in the form of some trade deadline acquisitions, and they may even activate top prospect Cole Caufield, who was the top player in collegiate hockey this season and a deadly goal scorer.
Montreal may also get Carey Price back in net after his absence due to injury. He hasn’t had as much success against the Sens.
One thing that could benefit the Habs if Price starts is that this is the second half of a back-to-back - they are coming off of a tight win over the Calgary Flames on Friday night.
The Senators, meanwhile, are on a few days rest and had a really strong performance against the Winnipeg Jets, earning a split in the two-game set at home. The Sens are filtering more of their young players into the lineup, too, with college star Shane Pinto expected to make his NHL debut Saturday night.
This is a tight game, but I’ve been picking against the team on a second half of back-to-backs a lot lately and it hasn’t worked out as well as I’d hoped, so let’s see if I picked the right team to collect wins on consecutive nights.
Winnipeg Jets to beat Edmonton Oilers
The Jets are returning from a fruitful road trip where they won four of five games away from home. A dominant effort against the division-leading Maple Leafs on Thursday night should provide a nice boost as the return to Winnipeg.
The Oilers, however, are coming off of six days between games, their last being a disappointing 5-0 loss to the Flames on April 10. This game could be a chance for Edmonton to pick up some ground on Winnipeg, which remains five points ahead of them in the standings, though the Oilers have two games in hand.
The Jets, however, are still chasing down the Maple Leafs for the top spot in the Division, trailing Toronto by just three points. So, this game is going to be a big one for both squads, as all will be among the top three teams in the North.
Edmonton has done well in the season series against Winnipeg, with four wins against two losses, but are 1-1 as the away side. Each of the next three games against the Jets will be played in Winnipeg, which slightly favors the Jets in what has been a very entertaining series to date.
Montreal Canadiens, Winnipeg Jets and Carolina Hurricanes all to win
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