The Philadelphia Flyers have run out of gas after a spirited attempt for a playoff spot and will be at the upstart and playoff bound Carolina Hurricanes. The Washington Capitals are at the Tampa Bay Lighting in a replay of last year’s Eastern Conference Final that could also serve as a playoff preview for this spring. The Columbus Blue Jackets face a do or die game at the Nashville Predators. And the Anaheim Ducks are at the Edmonton Oilers in a matchup of two teams playing out the string. The Let’s take a look at the best bets for Saturday in the NHL!
Philadelphia Flyers vs. Carolina Hurricanes, 1:30 p.m. ET
The big question for the Flyers and their fans is if interim head coach Scott Gordon has done enough to get the full-time gig. Carolina head coach Rod Brind’Amour is a top tier candidate for the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year. Carolina has become a strong home team with a record of 22-12-2-2 and has good momentum with six wins in their last nine games. the Hurricanes rank seventh in the NHL for goals against and eighth for the penalty kill. The Flyers have lost three of their last five as their back end continues to be an eyesore. Philadelphia ranks 25th in the NHL for goals against and 21st for the penalty kill. Offensively the Flyers have also slipped into mediocrity with rankings of 15th for goal scoring and 22nd for the power play.
Washington Capitals vs. Tampa Bay Lighting, 7 p.m. ET, NHL Network
The Caps defeated the Bolts in a seven-game series en route to their first ever Stanley Cup championship last spring. Washington has slipped defensively this year which does not bode well for their Stanley Cup prospects. Tampa Bay head coach Jon Cooper has just been extended as added fuel for what is expected to be a Stanley Cup run this year. Tampa Bay will be handed the Presidents Trophy as the best regular season team and is looking primed for a big run. Tampa Bay has won five of the last seven in this head to head series including the only two meetings this year. The Capitals rank a disturbing 20th in the NHL for goals against and 24th for the penalty kill. Tampa Bay has been a cash cow at home with a record of 32-6-1-1 and ranks first in the NHL for goal scoring and the power play. Nearly as impressive are NHL ranks of fifth for goals against and first for the penalty kill by the Bolts.
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Nashville Predators, 8 p.m. ET
The Columbus Blue Jackets can’t afford a single loss the rest of the way if they want to overcome the Montreal Canadiens for the final Eastern Conference Playoff spot. Nashville is among the favorites to win the Western Conference and will be in playoff prep mode here. Nashville has won four of their last six and is 23-13-1-1 at home. The Predators rank fourth in the NHL for goals against. Columbus has lost three of their last five.
Anaheim Ducks vs. Edmonton Oilers, 10 p.m. ET
The long run of success for Ryan Getzlaf and the Ducks as a top shelf playoff contender is all over. Anaheim is finishing out the year before an offseason of uncertainty and potential big changes loom. Edmonton is in the final stages of a very disappointing season that will also bring changes in the offseason. Edmonton has won three of their last five and hosts an Anaheim team ranked 31st in the NHL for goal scoring. The Ducks are a subpar 15-22-1-1 on the road. Connor McDavid has scored 39 goals with 73 assists to lead the Oil.
Saturday NHL Best Bets: Carolina Hurricanes, Tampa Bay Lightning, Nashville Predators, Edmonton Oilers
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