Playoff preparation is on the mind of the best NHL teams that are headed to post season. Among those teams getting ready for a Stanley Cup run are the St. Louis Blues who are hosting the Vancouver Canucks. The inconsistent Pittsburgh Penguins are looking to get playoff sharp and will host the New York Rangers. The Minnesota Wild are at the playoff bound Dallas Stars as Wild coach Bruce Boudreau could be facing the firing squad in a few days. The Vegas Golden Knights are determined to make another Stanley Cup run and are at the down and out Los Angeles Kings. The Let’s take a look at the best bets for Saturday in the NHL!
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Vancouver Canucks vs. St. Louis Blues, 4 p.m. ET, NHL Network
When Craig Berube took over as head coach of the Blues, they were written off for dead not just because of their record but because of their lackluster efforts and lack of competitive fire. Berube has turned that around in a remarkable fashion with a record of 36-19-5 behind the St. Louis bench. In fact, the Blues have made a spirited push to win the Central Division title itself. The major difference for St. Louis has been goaltender Jordan Binnington. Binnington has a .928 save percentage and a 1.85 goals against average with five shutouts. He has posted wins in six of his last seven games. Thanks to Binnington’s efforts the Blues rank sixth in the NHL for team goals against average. The Blues remain hot and have won six of their last eight games. Vancouver has lost four of their last five visits to St. Louis.
New York Rangers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins 7 p.m. ET
Pittsburgh has won four of their last six and is 22-14-3 at home. The rebuilding New York Rangers were something of a tease in the first couple of months of the season but ran out of gas as the grueling schedule took its toll on the young roster. While Pittsburgh is still a public betting favorite, the fact remains their actual Stanley Cup prospects are dim and based on a very thin blue line. Top defenseman Kris Letang is sorely missed on the Penguin back end. New York has won only 13 out of 40 away games this season and ranks 23rd for goal scoring with a mark of 24th for goals against. The Rangers have lost seven of their last ten games. The Broadway Blueshirts have lost two in a row at Pittsburgh.
Minnesota Wild vs. Dallas Stars 8 p.m. ET
Minnesota head coach Bruce Boudreau is known for playoff heartbreaks but at least he got his teams to the playoffs. That is looking very unlikely this year and the irony of it all is that the Wild lack goal scoring, which is usually the least problematic issue on a Boudreau coached team. Minnesota ranks 27th in the NHL for goal scoring and has lost five of their last eight games. Dallas is a solid 23-14-2-1 at home and ranks second in the NHL for goals against, which is not a good sign for the Wild. The Stars have won four of their last five games and could be a tricky team for their playoff opponents.
Vegas Golden Knights vs. Los Angeles Kings, 10:30 p.m. ET
The elephant in the room for an otherwise strong Vegas team is the lower body injury to goaltender Marc Andre Fleury that has kept him out of the lineup since March 15. The Golden Knights have lost five of their last nine since Fleury was sidelined. Los Angeles ranks a dismal 30th in the NHL for goal scoring and are just 16-21-2-1 at home. Vegas has won three of their last four at LA.
Saturday NHL Best Bets:Vegas Golden Knights, Dallas Stars, Pittsburgh Penguins, St. Louis Blues
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