NHL Betting Preview: April 24
The matchups and division races continue to provide excellent entertainment during the 2021 NHL season. Some squads are under double-digit games remaining in the regular season.
Crunch time has set in with teams vying for one of the sixteen slots for a chance to be champions. Let’s discuss this week’s NHL Betting Preview for Saturday.
An enticing matchup between the Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Blues will take place Saturday afternoon. The Blues are looking to secure the fourth seed in the West as Colorado is looking to dethrone Vegas from the top spot.
The Avalanche are top ten in the NHL in power-play percentage, penalty kill percentage, faceoff percentage, goals scored per game, and goals allowed per game. Those immaculate statistics mixed with the drive and determination for home-ice advantage should propel the Avs.
St. Louis only needs to fend off Arizona to secure a playoff berth. The Coyotes have been abysmal as of late, and the two years removed Stanley Cup Champs should be able to fend off the Desert Dogs. A close game at Enterprise Center is in store but look for the visitors to come out victorious.
Play: Colorado Avalanche Moneyline
An East battle between two heavyweights, the Washington Capitals and New York Islanders, will provide emotional and physical fireworks. Battling for the coveted No. 1 seed in the division, the Caps and Isles will throw down for the middle game of a three-part thriller.
Coming into the series with matching 29-13-4 records, these teams have opposite approaches. The Isles represent a well-rounded defensive team that can strike when necessary. Washington is a fast-paced group that thrives off putting pucks behind the opposing netminder.
There is one outlying stat to make notable for this affair. The home team has won the first five meetings. While that plays into New York’s hand, the Islanders are 19-2-2 at home this season. A solid team with the home sweaters over their shoulders are the Islanders; expect them to outlast Washington.
Play: New York Islanders Moneyline
While playing the best hockey of their season, the Vancouver Canucks had to take an extended absence from play due to the coronavirus. Over half of the team became infected as the virus lingered throughout the group.
Now the Canucks have returned to game action picking up right where they left off. After sweeping a two-game set with the North Division-leading Maple Leafs, Vancouver gets a favorable matchup with Ottawa.
The Sens have yet to defeat the Canucks, posting an 0-3-2 record heading into the final four games of the series. Vancouver and Ottawa will battle over the next week in a four-game set as the Canucks are attempting to chase down the Montreal Canadiens for the final seed in the division.
Vancouver has returned to the play style that got them into the second round of the modified version of the playoffs last season. A fast-skating club that finishes checks but has the talent to produce offensively. This series may be the make or break for the Canucks playoff chances.
Play: Vancouver Canucks Moneyline
Two teams ready to make some noise come playoff time this year will go head-to-head in Sunrise, Florida. The Panthers will host the Carolina Hurricanes in what has been a lopsided series this season. The Canes have dominated the Panthers, winning the first five of six.
Successful goaltending may be the root for both of these clubs for this campaign. Sergei Bobrovsky and Chris Driedger have been the anchors the Cats have been searching for the last few years. James Reimer and Alex Nedeljkovic were stellar in the absence of Petr Mrazek due to injury.
The three goalies for Carolina have averaged a 2.05 goals-against average for the entire season. To go along with great goaltending, Carolina has spectacular defense and is playing its best hockey at the right time. One of the best games to watch this weekend is this matchup. Carolina will outlast Florida in a one-goal decision.
Play: Carolina Hurricanes Moneyline
Evan Popalis is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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