Notch's NHL picks for Saturday, November 14th.
New York Rangers at Ottawa 2:00 PM EST
Both teams are struggling of later going 2-3-0 in their last five. The Rangers in their last 10 games are 3-6-1 while the Sens are 4-4-2 over their last 10. Whoever scores first may have the best chance to win this game as the Rangers are 8-2-1 when getting the first goal and the Sens also sport a respectable 5-2-1 when they are first to bulge the twine. The goaltending matchup looks to be Lundqvist versus Leclaire. The Sens have not looked good ever since Volchenkov got injured and I like the Rangers to squeak out a win in this one.
New York Rangers – Visitor Win – V (ProLine)
Calgary at Toronto 7:00 PM EST
After having their winning streak stopped by Ryan Miller and the Sabres, the Flames look to get back on track on National television against the Leafs. The Flames are one of the hottest teams in the league going 7-2-1 in their last 10 and have been grinding out wins while being led by their captain. Toronto will be without Komisarek, which may or may not be a good thing. I think the Flames offensive depth will be too much for the 29th worst team defense in the Leafs.
Calgary by 2 or more – Visitor plus win – V+ (ProLine)
Washington at New Jersey 7:00 PM EST
The two hottest teams in the East are clashing here. Ovechkin is a possibility for this game, but I think that may just be lip service. I don’t expect him to play. These teams have already played against each other twice this season with the Devils winning both by the same 3-2 score. Theodore versus Brodeur is the likely goaltending matchup. These teams are so evenly matched. Everywhere I look the numbers are so close. Knuble has been huge for the Capitals, we will see how they play with out him.
New Jersey in a shootout – Tie – T (ProLine)
Buffalo at Philadelphia 7:00 PM EST
Wow. There are some awesome and meaningful games on this Saturday. The Sabres are 20-42-13 all-time in Philly. This is the second game of Buffalo’s fourth back-to-back set, the Sabres are fine in the first game going 3-1-0, but they are 0-3-0 in the second contest – interesting, considering they only have 4 losses on the year. On the current five-game winning streak, the Flyers have outscored the opposition 23 to 7 (not including shootout goals) including 6-0 in the first period and 15-4 through the first two periods.
Flyers by 2 or more – Home plus win – H+ (ProLine)
New York Islanders at Florida 7:00 PM EST
The Islanders will be playing their 3rd game in 4 nights. The surprising Islanders have been playing well of late as they sit 7th in the East. The Islanders all-time record against Florida is 27-30-9, but in Florida, the Isles record is 9-21-2. In Florida, Reinprecht has scored 9 goals in has last 10 games. Vokoun has also been red-hot posting shutouts in three of his last four games played, turning away 40 shots on Nov. 12 in the Panthers 1-0 shootout win over the Boston, 32 shots in the Panthers 3-0 win over the Carolina on Nov. 4 and 34 shots in a 4-0 win over the St. Louis on Oct. 31. Over his last four games he has posted a .977 save percentage and 0.734 GAA. In addition, he ranks tied for first in the NHL with three shutouts.
Florida – Home Win – H (ProLine)
Anaheim at Detroit 7:00 PM EST
Here we have two teams heading in opposite directions -- the Wings have won five of their last six to climb into a playoff spot, while the Ducks have lost four of their last six to slip to 14th in the Western Conference. This is the first of four meetings between the teams this season. Last season, the Red Wings won three of the four games, including a pair of one-goal wins. Datsyuk and Zetterberg love to play the Ducks as each had 3 goals and 3 assists in the four games last year. Anaheim played last night as well and may be tired, which will lead to lazy penalties and Detroit PP opportunities.
Detroit – Home Win – H (Proline)
Boston at Pittsburgh 7:30 PM EST
The best bet in this game is the under. This is a rematch of a game only 5 days ago where the Bruins won 3-0 on home ice. Pittsburgh is banged up badly, but may have the reigning scoring champ back. Malkin will take the pregame skate and make a decision from there. I think he will play. The Bruins are 5-1 on Saturdays this season.
Pittsburgh – Home Win – H
Los Angeles at Tampa Bay 7:30 PM EST
This game right here will tell us a lot about the Kings. After being embarrassed by the Thrashers last night, how will the Kings respond 24 hours later? If you think the Kings are for real, pick them. If not, take the Lightning. The Bolts meanwhile have not lost in regulation in their last 8 home games – that is tops in the league tied with San Jose. The Lighting are coming off a late comeback win over the Wild on Thursday and those comebacks tend to take a lot out of teams. There is a lot of opposite forces going against each other in this game and it will be an interesting game and result. I am interested in this game to see which trend continues.
Los Angeles – Visitor Win – V (Proline)
Montreal at Nashville 8:00 PM EST
Montreal visits Nashville for the first time since Feb. 22, 2007 tonight, the 13th all-time meeting between the Canadiens and Predators. The last four games the clubs have played against one another have been decided by one goal dating back to Dec. 18, 2003, and of those four, three have needed a shootout or overtime to determine a winner. Nashville has had two different seasons for far in 2009. Nashville has posted a 6-3-0 record in its last nine games, scoring an average of 2.78 goals per game. In the first eight games of the season, the Predators went 2-5-1 while averaging 1.5 goals per game… All eight of Nashville’s wins have been decided by two goals or fewer.
Montreal in a shootout – Tie – T (Proline)
Vancouver at Colorado 10:00 PM EST
They have played each other twice already this season, splitting the season series so far with the home team winning each time by identical 3-0 scores. The Canucks are finishing up there 5 game road trip and will want to come home on a high after struggling in the first 4 games going 1-3-0. They may get lucky as for the first time all season the Avalanche armor looks like it might actually be showing a few cracks, although opening the month of November with a .500 record is hardly a cause for concern. The Avs are winless in their last two games and are missing offensive leaders in Hejduk and Liles.
Vancouver – Visitor Win – V (Proline)