NHL Betting Preview: May 1

Story posted May 1, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Evan Popalis

This unprecedented NHL season has not disappointed from a competitive standpoint. Three of the four divisions are jam-packed at the top, with less than ten games remaining in the regular season.

Only two weeks are remaining before the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin. One last time this season, let’s take a look at the NHL Betting Preview for Saturday.

A battle of the New York franchises will occur at Nassau Coliseum as the Islanders host the Rangers. The Rangers seem to be the odd team out of playoff contention in the stacked East Division.

The Islanders have an impeccable 19-3-3 home record in the 2020-21 campaign. This team has been elite on home ice when the fan advantage has been almost non-existent for the entirety of the season.

The Islanders continue to jockey for a top-seed in the division. They will look to control this game from the opening puck drop and play their brand of hockey. Expect a low-scoring affair between the in-state rivals.

Play: Under 5.5 or 6.5 goals

Two teams that have struggled mightily this season are the New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers. These clubs will square off at Wells Fargo Center, sitting sixth and seventh in the East standings.

This season was filled with expectations for Philadelphia, and it has failed to live up to the playoff chatter. Both of these teams have trouble scoring and keeping the puck out of their own goals.

A below-average season for New Jersey and Philadelphia will lead to more building of their rosters in the offseason. A toss-up winner in this game makes the lean towards the Devils covering appetizing.

Play: New Jersey Devils +1.5

A prominent rivalry over the last decade will be present Saturday night as the Pittsburgh Penguins travel to D.C. to battle the Washington Capitals. Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan has done a superb job putting his team in playoff position with a chance to capture the top seed.

The Caps and Penguins both sit inside the top-five in goals scored per game. No stats will blow us away on either side; however, Pittsburgh has become stout on defense over the past month, playing a tight-checking style.

Another game where Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby go head-to-head will undoubtedly entertain. This will be the final meeting of the regular season between these teams. Heading into the two-game set, Pittsburgh leads the series with a record of 4-2.

Play: Pittsburgh Penguins Moneyline

After starting the season in a decent position to compete for a playoff spot, the Columbus Blue Jackets dove off into the deep end. Columbus traded for Patrik Laine, but the relationship between Laine and coach John Tortorella has not come to fruition.

Columbus heads to Raleigh to face the Central-leading Carolina Hurricanes. These squads are trending in opposite directions as the regular season comes to a close.

The Hurricanes are playing their best hockey at the perfect time, while the Blue Jackets cannot wait for this dreaded season to finish. Carolina should cruise to victory in this game and build upon their division lead.

Play: Carolina Hurricanes -1.5

The most dramatic battle for the final seed in a division is between the Dallas Stars and the Nashville Predators in the Central. The Preds host Dallas as they attempt to fend off last season’s Stanley Cup runner-up.

The Stars have made a massive push in the last month to have a chance at the postseason. Dallas has a better roster overall compared to Nashville, but the Predators have the upper hand in the standings.

Dallas is aware of the importance of this game, as it knows how detrimental it will be to its playoff chances with a regulation loss. This game has a massive amount of pressure and weight to it. Expect the more experienced squad to come out on top, and that team is from Texas.

Play: Dallas Stars Moneyline

Evan Popalis is a junior studying broadcast journalism. To contact him, email epopalis83@gmail.com

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About the Contributors

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Evan Popalis

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Evan Popalis is a third-year from Lititz, Pennsylvania, majoring in broadcast journalism. He is a writer, analyst, and play-by-play commentator for the CommRadio sports department. His writings include weekly NHL betting previews along with power rankings for the NHL and NFL. He appears weekly on the NHL Podcast as a host and analyst reviewing the previous week’s action. If you would like to contact him, email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).