Despite a season of inconsistency, the Dallas Stars are putting things together at the right time and are in position to climb into the Stanley Cup Playoff conversation. They are a point ahead of Vegas in the second wild card position in the Western Conference, with four games in hand. They lead Winnipeg by three points (and have two games in hand) and lead Vancouver by three (with three games in hand). Having that many games in hand over teams right under them in the standings is a huge advantage heading into their game in Carolina on Thursday night. The Stars have won three of four, while Carolina has lost four of five, and Dallas beat Carolina in Dallas, 4-1, thanks to a Roope Hintz hat trick. A win here would help tremendously as the league enters the last quarter of the regular season. We have a couple of primo online NHL betting picks for action this coming weekend on the ice.
NHL News: Top Betting Games for the Weekend
Friday, March 25
Philadelphia Flyers at Colorado Avalanche (9:00 pm ET, ESPN+)
The Flyers’ latest road trip got off to a sloppy start as Philadelphia was doubled up by the Red Wings in Detroit, 6-3, on Tuesday. This was just the second win for Detroit in their last nine games, but it was Detroit that came out with energy, building a 2-0 lead after they opening period. Carter Hart would stop 25 shots for Philadelphia, and Joel Farabee, Oskar Lindblom and James van Riemsdyk scored for the visitors, but it was not enough to stop the onslaught, as the Flyers played sloppy defense in front of Hart.
Colorado had bounced back from a stretch of four losses in five games with a three-game winning streak, but they lost at home to Vancouver on Wednesday night, 3-1. The game was scoreless until the third period, but when Vancouver got a pair of goals 1:52 apart to start the third, the Avalanche went into desperation mode. They have three third-period comebacks this season, tops in the NHL, and they drew within one on a power-play goal from Nazem Kadri, but despite throwing 33 shots at Jaroslav Halak, the Avs could not break through enough times to get the win. They will come in after a day off to take on a sloppy Philadelphia team and should get back on a new winning streak.
Final Score Prediction: Colorado 5, Philadelphia 2
Saturday, March 26
Edmonton Oilers at Calgary Flames (10:00 pm ET, ESPN+)
After winning five games in a row, Edmonton headed south for a quick two-game road trip but came away short in both contests, losing, 3-2, at Colorado and 5-3 in Dallas. They return home to face the San Jose Sharks on Thursday before going to Calgary Saturday. The loss to the Stars came on Tuesday and marked the first loss by the Oil in a game in which they had scored first, after winning 21 times in that scenario. Dallas got a pair of goals late in the third to rally from a 3-2 deficit and then added an empty-netter. Edmonton got goals from Evander Kane, Leon Draisaitl and Kailer Yamamoto, and two assists from Connor McDavid, who leads the NHL with 93 points.
The Flames have split their last six games, including a 4-3 home loss to San Jose on Tuesday. The Flames were up, 3-2, going into the third period, but they surrendered a pair of goals, 28 seconds apart, and found themselves on the wrong end of the outcome. Johnny Gaudreau, Dillon Dube and Mikael Backlund all lit the lamp for the Flames despite the team’s second regulation home loss in 19 chances. This was also the first time that Calgary lost a game in regulation despite leading after two periods (31-1-2). The Flames should be able to turn things around, with nothing on the slate before Saturday’s game.
Final Score Prediction: Calgary 4, Edmonton 2
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