Notch is back again with his winners. Maybe his tips will help you with some tough decisions on your Saturday ticket.
Washington at Boston 1:00 PM EST
The last time these two teams faced each other was only five days ago - the score was 10-2 for Washington. Huet is expected to start and if he does, he is 9-2 against Boston in his career. The Capitals will be coming off two full days of rest. Both teams need this game to improve their playoff hopes. The Bruins who were once looking to get home ice in the first round of the playoffs are now just hoping to make them. Boston has played a lot of hockey lately and this will be their fifth game in the last eight days. The season series is split this year, with the home team winning one game apiece.
Washington – V
Dallas at Colorado 3:00 PM EST
This is the first game of a back-to-back, home-and-home series – expect fireworks. This means special teams will be a big factor in this game. Dallas has the best penalty killing in the league at 86.9%. Colorado has the worst powerplay in the league at 13.2%. The Avalanche does however have the second best home record in the league. Colorado has only allowed 7 goals in their last 5 games - all against some tough competition. The season series is split, with the home team winning one game apiece. Marty Turco is 9-5-3 in his career against the Avs.
Dallas – V
Montreal at Los Angeles 4:00 PM EST
Montreal scores on an unbelievable 25% of their powerplay opportunities. Los Angeles can take a bit of solace in the fact that they are not shorthanded very often (5th least in the league). Knowing how dangerous the Canadians are with the man advantage, the Kings will try to keep this game at even strength…where they have a league worst +/-. Ouch, doesn’t look good. Montreal has the third best record in 2008 going 18-9-2. The Habs have also won 8 of their last 11 games against the Kings overall.
Montreal – V+
Ottawa at Phoenix
Ottawa wouldn’t mind leaving their 4-game American West Coast swing with a win. Since February 9th, the Senators haven't beaten a team unless they were from Pennsylvania and the bad news is they don't play Pittsburgh or Philadelphia any more this season. I think Phoenix plays the same style of play as Washington, and Ottawa has lost all 4 games to the Capitals this year if you believe in comparisons.
Phoenix – H
New Jersey at Toronto
New Jersey has the fourth best record in 2008 going 17-9-3. The Devils has won all three meetings against Toronto this year outscoring them 10-5. This will be the eighth time this year that Toronto will play an opponent who had to play the previous night, while they sat home and rested. Surprisingly though, Toronto is only 3-4 in those previous 7 games, but have outscored the opposition 23-20.
New Jersey – V
NY Islanders at Philadelphia
Philly is leading this series four games to one this year outscoring the Islanders 18-11. This is the first game of a four game road trip for Long Island. Teams that start a road trip of 4 or more games this year win 57.6% of the time in the first game. Dipietro will probably see his first action since his Grandma’s death - expect a big game from him. The Flyers are back in the playoff picture after turning around a brutal stretch that saw them lose 10 in a row at one point.
NY Islanders in a shootout – T
Buffalo at Carolina
The season series is one game apiece with the home team winning both times by blowout. First was a 6-2 Carolina win, followed by an 8-1 Buffalo victory. Ryan Miller is 5-2-1 in his career against the Hurricanes. Buffalo has struggled of late and are facing the second hottest team in the league over the last 10 games in Carolina who are 7-2-1.
Carolina – H
Atlanta at Florida
I’m not to sure if Atlanta feels like they have a shot at Stamkos or not but they must think they do. The Thrashers have quietly lost their last 8 games and if it wasn’t for the Lightning they would have a solid hold on last place in the Conference. Florida has won three in a row and continue to play in one goal games. 42 of their 70 games this year have been decided by only one goal with another 8 having the 2 goal margin scored into an empty net. Craig Anderson is hot and will probably start again.
Florida – H
St. Louis at Vancouver
St. Louis is the worst team in the league percentage wise in the year 2008 with a record of 10-14-6 (doesn’t seem that bad) (that’s parity for you – force fed or not). The season series is sitting at a 2 games to one lead for Vancouver with both of the Canucks wins coming by way of a shootout. Vancouver is coming off a 6 goal outburst against Nashville, but in the process they lost another defenseman in Aaron Miller.
St. Louis in a shootout - T