On Thursday, Patrick Marleau became just the 45th player in NHL history to score 500 goals in a career, as the San Jose Sharks stole a game on the road in a 4-1 defeat of the Vancouver Canucks. Of the eight games on Thursday’s slate, the Sharks were one of five road teams to win, as they were joined by the Rangers, Senators, Jets and Blackhawks. The Flyers, Predators and Blues came away as the three home winners.
Friday consists of just five games, before a 13-game slate on Saturday, which will be sure to include some major offensive fireworks. On Friday, a potential first round playoff matchup between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets will take place. Other than that, only two other current playoff teams will be taking the ice (in separate games), as the Anaheim Ducks will play the Florida Panthers, and the Edmonton Oilers will take on the Carolina Hurricanes.
Let’s see what the experts myself (@TheBKing4), Madalyn Heimann (@MHeimannASU), Tyler Rubin (@LAsportsTyler) picked…
Columbus Blue Jackets (70 pts) @ Pittsburgh Penguins (67 pts)
Brendan: Penguins win 4-2.
Madalyn: With the Columbus Blue Jackets holding a two point lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins, this game should be tight. In their first game following the All Star Break, the Blue Jackets beat the Rangers 6-4. Despite the win the Jackets know they need to be better defensively against the NHL goals per game leading Penguins. Blue Jackets win 4-2.
Tyler: In a battle of two of the top three teams in the East, I give a slight advantage to Sidney Crosby and the Penguins. Penguins win 3-2.
New York Islanders (53 pts) @ Detroit Red Wings (49 pts)
Brendan: Red Wings win 4-1.
Madalyn: The Detroit Red Wings know it’s time to start winning games, but in 30 of 50 games they have surrendered the first goal. The New York Islanders head into Joe Louis Arena coming off a win against the Capitals on Tuesday, and have won five of their last six games. The Islanders have the momentum against the Red Wings. Islanders win 3-2.
Tyler: While the Islanders are bad, Detroit is really bad, so the edge here goes to the Islanders. Islanders win 4-1.
Anaheim Ducks (65 pts) @ Florida Panthers (54 pts)
Brendan: Ducks win 2-1 (OT).
Madalyn: The Anaheim Ducks are a veteran team, with Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, and Ryan Kesler leading them to a second place spot in the Pacific Division. On the other side of the ice the Panthers are led by a group of “young guns” which feature Aaron Ekblad, Alex Petrovic, and Reilly Smith. With a cross-country flight and the Panthers being a young and physical team they have the advantage. Panthers win 3-1.
Tyler: Florida is a -20 in goal-differential this season and when the Eastern and Western conferences usually collide, the West comes out on top. Ducks win 3-1.
Calgary Flames (55 pts) @ New Jersey Devils (51 pts)
Brendan: Devils win 3-2 (OT).
Madalyn: Both the Flames and the Devils need to get out of recent losing streaks in order to make a in at the playoffs. New Jersey must find a way to win on home ice, as they are 0-5-1 in their last 6 games at the Prudential Center. Same goes for Calgary, who is 1-4-1 in their last 6 games on the road. This is a make or break game in some respect for the Devils. Devils win 2-1.
Tyler: Another battle of East v. West, and I feel that Calgary is the better team… by a slight margin. Flames win 2-1.
Edmonton Oilers (64 pts) @ Carolina Hurricanes (51 pts)
Brendan: Oilers win 4-3.
Madalyn: The young stars will shine bright when Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers and the Carolina Hurricanes up and coming winger Sebastian Aho, meet in Carolina. Aho is coming off a Tuesday night to remember where he notched his first career hat trick. Could he have a similar performance tonight as they face the Oilers? This Edmonton team will play four games in six days, this game being their third contest of the week. Hurricanes win 5-3.
Tyler: Edmonton has lost two straight and are on the back half of a back-to-back. I don’t think that the NHL leader in points and the Oilers’ captain Connor McDavid will allow it to reach three straight losses. Oilers win 4-2.
- Matt: 9-2 (.818)
- Tyler: 6-2 (.750)
- Aaron: 4-2 (.667)
- Brendan: 7-4 (.636)
- Richard: 7-4 (.636)
- Madalyn: 6-5 (.545)