We can forget about a tough day yesterday where both of the teams we picked completely laid an egg and move onto Friday. There are 5 games in the NHL tonight with the most intriguing matchup taking place in Tampa Bay. The 9th place Carolina Hurricanes take on the 5th place Tampa Bay Lightning in the 1st game of a home and home. Anytime teams play against each other on back to back nights the atmosphere and intensity amplifies. Tonight we have 3 picks.
Tonight’s NHL Picks:
Carolina Hurricanes vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
The Carolina Hurricanes look to continue their playoff push with a win in Tampa Bay tonight. Currently sitting in 9th place, 3 points back of the Buffalo Sabres (who are in action tonight against the Florida Panthers), Carolina can ill afford any kind of a letdown now. The Hurricanes have won 3 of 4 and will be relying on Cam Ward to help them pick up another big win. One of the best goalies in the world Cam Ward seems to come up big in big games. Look for him to do it tonight against a Lightning team who have been struggling as of late. Tampa has lost 9 of their last 11 and has really struggled to score. In those 11 games the Lightning has been held to 2 goals or fewer in 8 of them. The Lightning have taken 2 of 3 from the Canes so far this season, but I look for Carolina to pick up a big victory tonight in Tampa.
PICK = Carolina (+130)
New Jersey Devils vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
The Devils made a run and a half at the playoffs but it appears now they will come up short. With only 9 games left in the season the Devils sit 9 points back of the 8th place Buffalo Sabres. Losing 3 of their last 4 games really hurt the Devils chances of making the playoffs. The Penguins on the other hand just continue to pick up wins while missing stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Pittsburgh has won 6 of their last 8 and currently sits in 4th place, just 4 points back of 1st place Philly. This series has been about as close of a battle as you can get. In 4 games so far this season these teams have COMBINED for 12 goals (with each team winning two). The under has also hit in 14 of the last 17 matchups and is 10-2-1 in Pittsburgh’s last 13 home games. We will go with history and say tonight is another goaltenders duel.
PICK = NJ/PIT Under 5 (-125)
Vancouver Canucks vs. Atlanta Thrashers
Two teams that are very unfamiliar with each other face off in Atlanta tonight. Since 1999 these two teams have only played 10 games against each other and at this point Atlanta would probably rather not see the Canucks. Vancouver is in cruise control towards a President’s Trophy and has won 8 of their past 9 games. Atlanta currently sits in 11th place in the Eastern Conference and is 7 points back from Buffalo for 8th. They are on the outside looking in but appear to be fighting right to the end. Tonight will be a tall order for the Thrashers though. Roberto Luongo is the confirmed starter and the Sedin brothers have been on a tear of late. Look for the Canucks to win yet another road game and crush the Thrashers slim hopes of a playoff berth tonight.
PICK = Vancouver to win in Regulation (-110)
Good luck to all our picks tonight.