Saturday’s NHL Predictions Parlay: Playoff Race Edition!
The top NHL teams in the Eastern and Western Conferences have already claimed their spots in the 2018 NHL playoffs. However, there are still a handful of clubs that are vying for spots for the post-season. One of the races to focus in on as we approach the final week of the NHL regular season comes in the East, where the Florida Panthers still have a chance of locking up a playoff berth.
Heading into action on Saturday night, the Panthers are 39-29-8 — three points behind the New Jersey Devils for the second and final wild-card spot. Despite having a game in hand, the road gets a little tougher for Bob Boughner and the Panthers, who take on the red-hot Boston Bruins.
It’s all or nothing for the Panthers, who must win on Saturday to keep their playoff dreams alive.
Here are some of the top lines for Saturday NHL action, with odds courtesy of Bodog.
Boston Bruins (-170) vs. Florida Panthers (+150)
The Panthers have dropped two straight games heading into their must-win game against the Boston Bruins Saturday night at TD Garden. The Bruins, who are in a race of their own, trying to win the Atlantic Division and guaranteeing themselves home-ice throughout the first three rounds, head into the contest as the -170 underdogs. However, they’ll take on a desperate Panthers team that never seems to go away. The head-to-head history doesn’t bode well for the Panthers, who are 2-8-0 against the Bruins over their last 10 meetings. Expect a tight match, that may even need overtime to resolve a winner, but it’ll be the hometown Bruins that prevail in the end.
Pick: Boston Bruins (-170)
St. Louis Blues (-140) vs. Arizona Coyotes (+120)
Clinging on to the final wild-card berth spot, the St. Louis Blues can add a little separation from teams chasing them in the Western Conference playoff race. The Blues, who have won 8 of their last 10 games, will travel to Glendale, Ariz. To face the Coyotes in a crucial Saturday night match. St. Louis has 92 points — just 1 ahead of the Colorado Avalanche, who are chasing them for a wild-card berth. The Coyotes are the league’s worst team but have been playing spoilers over the last couple weeks. The Blues, who also come in as a -140 favourite, can also inch closer to a third-place spot in the Central Division with a victory.
Pick: St. Louis Blues (-140)
New Jersey Devils (-235) vs. New York Islanders (+195)
The New Jersey Devils can virtually clinch a post-season berth with a win Saturday, coupled with a Florida Panthers loss to the Boston Bruins. However, New Jersey must focus at the task at hand as the hard-working New York Islanders come to town. The Devils enter Saturday’s contest as the -235 favourites despite having dropped 7 of their last 10 meetings against the Isles. With New Jersey 3 points ahead of the Panthers for the final playoff spot, a win over New York would mathematically cripple Florida’s post-season chances. But the Isles always seem to give New Jersey fits. Expect the same outcome on Saturday night.
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