The New York Islanders are a surprise playoff team that will be at a Philadelphia Flyers squad running out of runway towards a playoff spot. The Nashville Predators and the Winnipeg Jets will meet in a 2018 playoff rematch that could also serve as a preview for the Central Division title. The powerful Boston Bruins will face a pesky and at times dangerous Florida Panthers team while the Dallas Stars and Pittsburgh Penguins will meet with little margin for error. Let’s take a look at the best bets for Saturday in the NHL!
New York Islanders vs. Philadelphia Flyers 1 p.m. ET, NHL Network
The Islanders may have lost long time captain and top weapon John Tavares but they gained a Stanley Cup winning coach in Barry Trotz. As it turned out Trotz may be more valuable. The Isles rank best in the NHL for goals against which has covered for their less impressive mark of 20th in the NHL for goals scored. New York has been one of the top road teams in the league with a mark of 20-12-1-2 and have won five of their last eight games. The Flyers have played winning and spirited hockey for new head coach Scott Gordon but it has proven to be a case of being too little and too late. Philadelphia is also fading with three losses in their last four outings. The Flyers are less than reliable at home with a mark of 18-15-3-1 and rank 27th for goals allowed.
Nashville Predators vs. Winnipeg Jets 7 p.m. ET
The Predators are three points behind first place Winnipeg in the Central Division and are in good form with five payouts in their last seven games. As usual Nashville is a strong defensive team that ranks fifth in the NHL for goals against. But goal scoring has become a concern for the Preds playoff chances as they rank 17th overall for lighting the lamp and a dreadful 30th for the power play. Winnipeg is one of the top home teams in the NHL with a record of 24-9-3-1 and ranks sixth in the NHL for goal scoring while ranking fourth for the power play. The Jets remain a reliable bet as shown by their seven wins in their last 10 games. Center Mark Scheifele impresses with a Jets best 35 goals to go with 45 assists and a plus 14.
Boston Bruins vs. Florida Panthers, 7 p.m. ET
Boston has been one of the most profitable teams on the board in the season’s second half and remains reliable with seven payouts in their last 10 games. The Bruins veteran goaltending tandem of Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak has propelled them to rank third in the NHL for goals against. To their credit Florida has not thrown in the towel and has paid in four of their last six games. The Panthers are also a respectable 18-12-5-1 at home compared to Boston’s road mark of just 16-13-4-2. The Panthers have won three in a row over the B’s at home. Florida ranks ninth in the NHL for goal scoring and will get a big price here.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Dallas Stars, 8 p.m. ET
Pittsburgh has lost three of their last four and ranks a subpar 15th in the NHL for goals against. Dallas has been a good home team with a record of 22-12-2-1 and ranks second in the NHL for goals against. The Stars have also won seven of their last 10 games. The home team has won five in a row in this head to head series. Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn have each scored 27 goals to pace the Stars and should find opportunities against the Penguins thin back end.
Saturday NHL Best Bets: Dallas Stars, Florida Panthers, Winnipeg Jets, New York Islanders
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