NHL picks: Capitals vs. Bruins, Predators vs. Hurricanes
The NHL postseason rolls on with four games this Wednesday night! Our picks and previews for two of those tilts are below.
First, we’ll dive into a pivotal Game 3 between the Washington Capitals and the Boston Bruins. Then we’ll take a look at Game 2 between the Nashville Predators and the Carolina Hurricanes, with the latter team holding a 1-0 series lead.
Washington Capitals at Boston Bruins, 6:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN
Wed, May 19 2021, 10:30 PM
This Capitals-Bruins quarterfinal series looked evenly-matched from the start, and it’s lived up to the billing with both Game 1 and Game 2 requiring overtime. Boston was able to steal a road victory and tie the series 1-1 on Monday, but Washington may return the favor at a solid price on Wednesday night.
Well, that didn't take long. 😳— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) May 18, 2021
BRAD MARCHAND WITH THE OT WINNER. 🚨 #ItsOn pic.twitter.com/yy4XpycYyj
The Capitals allowed Craig Anderson to face 48 shots in Game 2. That’s simply far too many chances to afford Brad Marchand and the Bruins’ offense, no matter who’s between the pipes. To Anderson’s credit, he sports a .929 save percentage so far this series. Expect the defense to be tightened up by head coach Peter Laviolette for Game 3.
Vitek Vanecek – who began this series in net for Washington before suffering a lower-body injury in Game 1 – was not on the ice for Wednesday’s morning skate, suggesting that Anderson is in line for another start.
The Caps are more than capable of taking their show on the road, as they’ve won 17 of their last 22 away games. Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom have combined for just two assists through the first two games of this series, so they seem overdue for breakout performances.
NHL pick: Capitals +145
Nashville Predators at Carolina Hurricanes, 8:00 p.m. ET, CNBC
Thu, May 20 2021, 12:00 AM
It became clear that the Hurricanes were simply “mailing it in” during their final two regular season games against the Predators – which they lost 5-0 and 3-1, respectively – as they crushed Nashville 5-2 in Game 1 of their quarterfinal clash. Bettors should expect a similar outcome in Game 2.
"JORDAN! JORDAN! JORDAN!"— Bally Sports: Canes (@CanesOnBally) May 18, 2021
"It's good to be back, and the fans are amazing." -Jordan Staal@Canes | #LetsGoCanes pic.twitter.com/YUabygviHN
Prior to that two-game series sweep earlier this month, Carolina had prevailed in nine of their previous 10 meetings with the Predators, winning by an aggregate score of 38-19. Nashville had no answers for Jordan Staal, Andrei Svechnikov and Vincent Trocheck in the 2021 campaign, allowing them a combined 20 points in 20 games. So it wasn’t surprising to see that trio combine for three goals and an assist for the Canes in Game 1.
The Preds’ best chance of competing in this series appeared to be if unproven Carolina netminder Alex Nedeljkovic faltered, but that did not come to pass on Monday, as he turned back 22 of the 24 shots he faced.
NHL pick: Hurricanes -195