4 picks and predictions for Saturday
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Vegas Golden Knights to beat Colorado Avalanche
Although the Golden Knights took one on the chin Thursday evening, shedding 5-1 to the Avalanche, neither of those two groups have managed to comb the opposite in two prior collection.
The highest two groups within the West Division even have the Minnesota Wild gaining on them quickly, so that is going to really feel like a reasonably large recreation for each golf equipment to realize somewhat floor on the opposite and put some separation between themselves and the Wild.
There’s additionally an excellent likelihood the Golden Knights go along with Robin Lehner on this one. He’s received each of his begins since coming back from harm and has not but confronted the Avs but this season. He’s additionally been on lengthy relaxation together with his final look approaching March 22. He’s 5-1-1 in seven appearances up to now this season regardless of a .898 save proportion, however was sharp in these final two appearances.
Colorado has been rolling, although, with wins in eight of their final 9 video games. They’ve additionally scored 4 or extra objectives in seven consecutive contests. Choosing towards them is dangerous to make certain, particularly on residence ice the place they’ve been comfy.
What I maintain coming again to is that Vegas had not been crushed as badly as they had been on Thursday at any level this season. That leads me to consider they’re going to have a big-time response.
Additionally of observe, Vegas is 3-0-0 in afternoon video games up to now this season in case you exclude the Lake Tahoe out of doors recreation, which began within the afternoon however didn’t finish till later at evening on account of a climate delay.
Toronto Maple Leafs to beat Edmonton Oilers
The Oilers are going to be properly rested, having had the final week of video games off on account of a number of postponements of their collection towards the Montreal Canadiens.
Nevertheless, the Maple Leafs have received every of their final two video games and have been getting some stellar performances from backup Jack Campbell, who very quickly could take over the Toronto web long-term.
The Maple Leafs netminder, who has battled harm this yr, is 5-0-0 up to now with a sterling .958 save proportion, 1.18 goals-against common and two shutouts. Assuming he does get the beginning towards Edmonton, it will likely be his second head-to-head matchup with the Oilers. Campbell made 30 saves in that begin to shut out one of the vital dynamic offensive groups within the league.
In the meantime, Toronto has simply had Edmonton’s quantity this yr. The Leafs are 5-1-1 in seven contests to this point whereas out-scoring the Oilers 25-13. Despite the fact that Edmonton ought to are available recent, the Leafs have merely been higher in most head-to-heads with their Albertan guests.
Winnipeg Jets to beat Calgary Flames
In Friday evening’s matchup, Winnipeg picked up a good win the place each groups used their No. 1 goaltender. Connor Hellebuyck made 25 saves for the Jets, whereas Jacob Markstrom made 26 stops for the Flames. With each No. 1 goaltenders unlikely to start out two straight video games, Saturday’s contest will probably be a battle of backups.
If that’s certainly the case, Winnipeg’s Laurent Brossoit has been higher on a extra constant foundation than David Rittich of Calgary. Brossoit has not had a lot of a workload this yr, with eight appearances up to now, however he owns a .920 save proportion and has gone 5-2-0 in his seven begins. He’s earned a bit extra belief at this level than Rittich, who has a .908 save proportion in 12 appearances.
On high of that, Winnipeg is simply beginning to hit their stride once more. Friday’s win marked three straight on their highway journey via Western Canada. That win additionally drew Winnipeg even with Toronto for the highest spot within the North Division.
It’s actually onerous to win the second recreation of a back-to-back after profitable the primary, however the Jets have merely been higher than Calgary in most cases this season, regardless that each recreation has been fairly tight – they’re 3-1-1 within the season collection to this point.
Carolina Hurricanes to beat Tampa Bay Lightning
This ought to be one of many premier matchups of Saturday evening within the NHL.
The Lightning are atop the Central Division with 50 factors in 33 video games, whereas Carolina has 47 in 32 video games. Each golf equipment have confirmed to be among the many class groups within the league.
Tampa has received three of the earlier 5 matchups between the 2 squads, however Carolina has been among the many greatest groups within the league over the month of March.
Carolina has seemingly discovered its footing once more after dropping three straight video games to the Purple Wings and Blue Jackets, all of which had been tight affairs. It’s been greater than a month because the Hurricanes performed Tampa in a four-game set that noticed Carolina win the primary of these video games on residence ice. The Hurricanes have received two of the three video games of their constructing.
The Lightning shall be enjoying their fifth recreation in seven days on Saturday, with the sport towards Carolina being the finale of a three-game highway swing. Tampa additionally misplaced a good contest towards Dallas on Thursday the place among the cracks of fatigue confirmed.
You’ll be able to by no means financial institution on the NHL schedule costing a staff a recreation, however given the circumstances of Tampa’s latest schedule, I feel the Hurricanes make plenty of sense on this marquee matchup.
Vegas, Toronto and Winnipeg all to win
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