The NHL season is winding down quickly, and all five games on Wednesday night will have some sort of playoff implications. It should an interesting day with the trade deadline at 4:00 PM ET, so keep an eye on the betting lines as players get moved around.
Pittsburgh Penguins @ New York Rangers
The Pens had won 15 in a row before hosting Buffalo on Tuesday but after that streak ended (Pens lost as -230 favorites on the NHL betting lines) they’ll be looking to extend a different streak while racking up their eighth win a row over the Rangers, who are hanging on to the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference by a thread. Pittsburgh is in a state of flux with Sidney Crosby out and trying to integrate Jarome Iginla into the team; if New York wants to end this skid, they have to do it now.
Pick: New York Rangers
Montreal Canadiens @ Philadelphia Flyers
The Habs can still catch up to Pittsburgh in the East if the Pens stumble, but they’ve struggled against the Flyers, losing seven of the last 10 meetings, although they did beat Philly 4-1 at home back in February. The Flyers are four points out of eighth place, and they’re fighting for survival right now. The Canadiens are surprisingly good on the road this season, but the Flyers’ backs-against-the-wall mentality will win out.
Pick: Philadelphia Flyers
Edmonton Oilers @ Calgary Flames
Calgary is playing like a team where everyone is on the trading block before Wednesday’s deadline, and that’s because everyone probably is. The Oilers have won three of the last four meetings and their 4-1 win over the Flames in Edmonton on Monday wasn’t even that close. By Wednesday, the Flames should be more relaxed because the deadline has passed, but they’re still not a good team, while the Oilers are on the way up.
Pick: Edmonton Oilers
Dallas Stars @ Anaheim Ducks
The Stars moved Derek Roy To Vancouver and Jaromir Jagr to Boston, seemingly giving up on the playoffs even though they’re only three games out of eighth place in the West. The Ducks are trying to keep pace with Chicago at the top, and they would have to get the edge in this game because it’s tough to figure out where the collective heads of the Stars are at. The Ducks have won both meetings with the Stars in 2013, and they should be able to make it three in a row unless Dallas pulls the “no one believes in us” card.
Pick: Anadeim Ducks
Minnesota Wild @ San Jose Sharks
Finally, the Wild head to San Jose, where the Sharks have been looking to ship Ryane Clowe out of town but as of Tuesday, they hadn’t found a taker yet. Minnesota has come on in the latter part of the season and they’ve had their way with the Sharks as of late, winning four straight meetings with San Jose, including a 2-0 shutout in Minnesota last month. The Sharks are five points clear of ninth in the West, putting them in sixth place, but they’ll have their hands full with the Wild, who are living up to their offseason potential. Still, the Sharks are almost perfect at home.
Pick: San Jose Sharks