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NHL Picks – Friday April 2nd Rundown

Posted by Don Melrose on 4/1/2010 3:15:56 PM

Chicago Blackhawks @ New Jersey Devils

The Devils are once again in one of those offense funks that NHL betting fans are used to seeing. The addition of Ilya Kovalchuk at the trade deadline has helped at times, but not quite enough. They are just 2-2-3 in their last seven games. Points are crucial for the Devils right now as a win gets them up to the No. 2 or No. 3 seed in the East, which means better home-ice advantage and a worse first-round opponent.

Meanwhile, the Blackhawks are fading down the stretch in a big way. Sure, they have another 100-point season but their 16-point lead in the Central is down to just seven. Nashville won’t catch them, but it gives you an idea of which way the Blackhawks are heading. Goaltending is an issue for them but not for the Devils. That will be the difference on Friday.

Pick: Devils

Montreal Canadiens @ Philadelphia Flyers

The Canadiens and Flyers have been opposites in their last 10 games. The Flyers are 3-5-2 while the Canadiens are 5-3-2. Worse yet, the Flyers have just one win in their last six and they are struggling with the injuries mounting. With Jeff Carter, Michael Leighton and Ray Emery out, the Flyers have been extremely shorthanded.

Online betting fans should expect the Canadiens to take advantage and improve their playoff standing.

Pick: Canadiens

New York Rangers @ Tampa Bay Lightning

The Rangers are just four points out of a playoff spot but they may have to face the music with just six games remaining. Goal scoring is still the main issue for the Rangers as they can’t get much fire power outside of Marian Gaborik.

The Tampa Bay Lighting have just three wins in their last 10 but they’ll be up for the spoiler role at home.

Pick: Lightning

San Jose Sharks @ Minnesota Wild

The Sharks are just 4-6 in their last 10 and they’d like to get a little hotter than that before the playoffs considering their history. That shouldn’t be a problem against the 13th-place Wild.

The Sharks were again embarrassed by the Dallas Stars this week and will be looking for a bounce-back. Joe Thornton is banged up and may miss this contest. Sports betting sharps know he’s a key cog, but it won’t matter against Minnesota.

Pick: Sharks

Edmonton Oilers @ Dallas Stars

This is pretty much a nothing game as the Oilers are the worst team in the West while the Stars are not much better. The key difference is that the Stars are a very good home team (21-10-7) while the Oilers have just eight road wins all year long. You do the math.

Pick: Stars

Calgary Flames @ Colorado Avalanche

This will be the most important game of the evening as the ninth-place Calgary Flames are trying to catch the eighth-place Colorado Avalanche. Two points separate the teams but their recent streaks might be the difference. The Flames have won two straight while the Avalanche have lost three in a row.

Hard to trust either of these teams in the sportsbook right now but look for the Flames to eke this one out.

Pick: Flames

Vancouver Canucks @ Anaheim Ducks

The Canucks are entrenched as the No. 3 seed in the West and this game isn’t all too important for them. Even so, the Ducks have even less to play for. But sometimes that’s all it takes as the Ducks are 7-3 in their last 10 games and have played well with the playoffs virtually out of the question.

The Ducks should be able to take advantage of the fatigued Canucks, who will have played in Los Angeles the night before.

Pick: Ducks



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