There are six games on the ice on Friday and we’ve finished crunching the numbers on all of the games. Here’s our best three NHL picks for Friday night.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Islanders
dds: Islanders -135
While the Isles are playing well, this looks like a spot to go against them. They’re back home for the first time after a seven-game road trip and teams tend to be a bit flat in their first game at home after a long journey, so consider this when looking over the NHL odds. Friday’s opponent is going to be a pretty tough one as they face the Pittsburgh Penguins, who are second in the East and just one point back of the top-seeded Isles. The Pens have won four of their last five and six of eight at Long Island. Although this is a different Islanders team these days, the Pens have still thrived against quality opponents this season, going 11-4 against teams above .500.
This is mostly a play on the scenario with the Isles finally back home. And we’re getting the Pens as a road dog here, which is also enticing.
NHL Pick: Penguins +115 at Pinnacle
Washington Capitals vs. Nashville Predators
The Washington Capitals are worth a look on Friday for a couple of reasons. For starters, this is Barry Trotz’ return to Nashville, a team that he coached for 15 seasons. He was let go at the end of last season and has helped turn around the Capitals. Secondly, the Capitals will catch a break as they won’t have to face Pekka Rinne as the Preds stellar netminder is out with an injury. On the season, Nashville is 29-6-2 when Rinne is in net and they’ve lost all five games that backup Carter Hutton has started. There’s a big difference in their goals-against averages and save percentages as Rinne is at 1.96 and .931 while Hutton is at 2.60 and .905. Beyond that, the Caps are on a roll these days, going 14-2-4 in their last 19 games. Braden Holtby has been fantastic between the pipes for them, posting a 1.88 GAA in that span. Add it all up and it’s a spot where we’ll take a shot with the Capitals with our NHL picks.
NHL Pick: Capitals at 5Dimes
Vancouver Canucks vs. Carolina Hurricanes
Odds: Canucks -115
The Carolina Hurricanes have played stellar defensively for a few weeks now, so we’ll look for that to continue and hit an under with them on Friday. The Hurricanes have allowed just 25 goals in their last 13 games, which is an average of 1.92 goals per game and among the best in the NHL over that span. Add in the fact that Carolina on scores 2.20 goals per game at home – the third-lowest number – and they should be able to lead the way to a low-scoring affair here.
The under is 6-1 in Hurricanes home games where the total is set at 5 or less and it’s 12-3 when the ‘Canes play a team with a winning record. These teams don’t square off often but none of the last three meetings have seen more than five goals (two unders).
NHL Pick: Under 5 at Bodog