Friday NHL Picks: Tonight's Playoff Predictions

Swinging Johnson

Friday, May 9, 2014 1:18 PM GMT

Another night of second-round NHL action gets underway as the Penguins host the Rangers and Minnesota looks for a sweep at home against Chicago as we look to cash in our NHL picks for Friday night.

Swinger's 2014 NHL Playoff Record (16-17-1, -2.05 units)
It was another night of kissing our sister as we went 1-1-1 on Thursday night and if I keep smoochin’ on my lovely sibling I’m afraid I just might get to like it. We had an easy winner with the Bruins as I just knew that a tight checking, low scoring affair was due and sure enough, it was as the Bruins won 1-0 in overtime in a game that went exactly as scripted. 

However, the second leg of this doubleheader fell flat as the Kings got crowned at home by the Ducks who suddenly awakened from their slumber and cut LA’s series lead to 2-1.  We also got a push in Under 5 (-105) in NHL odds that looked distinctly like a winner until LA’s Mike Richards lit the lamp with under a minute remaining to make the final score 3-2 in favor of the road underdog Anaheim Ducks. 

So we are back at it tonight as we’ve got a twin bill and I am determined to peruse these NHL odds and come out a few units ahead on the evening.  Let’s do this!


Rangers vs. Penguins
The Pens are coming alive and Crosby has been invigorated with the addition of Evegeni Malkin on the top line.  But the production of Jussi Jokinen has lit the flame under Pittsburgh’s sluggish offense and he did it again in their last game with what proved to be the game winner.

The Rangers are tired and overmatched now that Pittsburgh has come alive.  While I’m still concerned about Marc Andre Fleury between the postseason pipes for Pittsburgh and amazed that the Penguins didn’t address this in the offseason, if you’re outshooting your opponent almost two-to-one as they did in the last game then you don’t have much to worry about. 

Pittsburgh closes out the series tonight and we feel they are an outstanding NHL pick on Friday night. 

Free NHL Pick: Play Pittsburgh -175 at Bet365.com and don’t be shy about laying the lumber.

[gameodds]7/284949/?r-1=19-43-349/us[/gameodds]

 

Blackhawks vs. Wild
No one was more surprised than I when the Wild trounced the sizzling Hawks on Tuesday night to the tune of 4-0. It was deadlocked after two periods, but the third proved to be fast and furious as Minnesota sent the crowd wild when they tallied four times in the final frame. Corey Crawford was not at his best, but he had plenty of company in that department as his teammates sort of wandered through the game without any real sense of purpose.

Just how the hell is this one going to turn out tonight? Do the Hawks get back on track or have the Wild found comfort and confidence in the friendly confines of the Xcel Center? Well, your guess is as good as mine, but one thing I do see is a bit of stability in net for Minnesota. Ilya Bryzgalov rung up a shutout, and though he only faced 19 shots it had to be a confidence booster for not only him but the entire team. 

With the knowledge that this series is suddenly up for grabs, and the fact that we are now unsure whether the Blackhawks had an ephemeral hiccup, or the Wild has suddenly cracked the code (Jonathan Quick), we shall recuse ourselves from selecting one team over another. 

What I do feel strongly about is the Wild’s sudden ability to limit the Chicago offensive machine and the confidence that Bryzgalov must have after his solid performance on Tuesday night.  We know what Corey Crawford is capable of, and it stands to reason that he will return to his elite self tonight. That all adds up to a low scoring game

Free NHL Pick: Play 'under' 5 (-105) at WilliamHill.com.

[gameodds]7/284950/?r-1=19-43-349/us[/gameodds]