It took until there were just two days remaining in the NHL regular season to complete the Stanley Cup Playoff picture — a shootout loss by the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday officially eliminating them from contention.
The 16 teams are set and the only thing left to do is decipher the seeding of each team, leaving little to play for across the slate of nine games tonight.
It’s made betting on this week’s NHL games all the more difficult as teams prepping for postseason runs are more focused on staying healthy rather than going all out in meaningless games.
That being said, if you do make picks for the last two nights of the regular season, tread lightly.
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NHL odds, picks: April 28
Buffalo Sabres at Boston Bruins, 7 p.m. ET
With two games left, the Bruins are three points back of the Tampa Bay Lightning for the No. 3 spot in the Atlantic Division. Should they catch them, they’ll avoid the East’s No. 1 seed, the Carolina Hurricanes, and face the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round, instead. Both the Bruins and Sabres are 6-4-0 in their last 10 games. Boston is 32-48 against the spread (ATS) this season and 35-38 on the over/under (O/U). Buffalo is 47-33 ATS and 40-33 on the O/U.
New Jersey Devils at Carolina Hurricanes, 7 p.m.
The Hurricanes have first place in the Metropolitan Division all wrapped up having defeated the Rangers on Tuesday night. They are 7-3-0 in their last 10 games with a 40-41 mark ATS and 36-41 on the O/U. The Devils are 3-4-3 in their last 10 games with a 39-41 record ATS and a 44-32 mark on the O/U.
Florida Panthers at Ottawa Senators, 7 p.m.
The Eastern Conference’s No. 1 overall seed and the NHL’s best club hasn’t taken its foot off the gas. The Panthers are 8-2-0 in their last 10 games to finish off a season in which they’ve gone 41-39 ATS and 43-29 on the O/U. The Senators are improving down the stretch despite missing the playoffs. They’re 6-3-1 in their last 10 with an ATS record this season of 44-36. On the O/U, Ottawa is 33-43.
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Tampa Bay Lightning at Columbus Blue Jackets, 7 p.m.
The Lightning needs to keep playing at their current pace to hold on to that No. 3 seed in the Atlantic Division above the Bruins. Tampa is 7-2-1 in its last 10 with an ATS record this season of 37-43. On the O/U, it is 42-36. Columbus is 4-5-1 in its last 10 with an ATS record of 46-34 and an O/U mark of 46-29.
Washington Capitals at New York Islanders, 7 p.m.
The Capitals have two games remaining and with 100 points (the last seed in the East), they have a game in hand on the Penguins, who sit just one point ahead of them. If Washingotn can pass Pittsburgh, it avoids the high-powered Panthers and draw the Rangers instead. The Caps are coming off a Tuesday loss against the Islanders but are still 6-2-2 in their last 10. Washington is 42-38 ATS and 45-31 on the O/U. The Islanders snapped a five-game losing streak on Tuesday and are 3-6-1 in their last 10. ATS, New York is 37-43 this season with an O/U mark of 37-39.
Calgary Flames at Minnesota Wild, 8 p.m.
The Flames have the top spot in the Pacific Division wrapped up with a 10-point cushion over the second-place Edmonton Oilers. The Wild have more to play for, though, as they are tied for second in the Central with the St. Louis Blues at 109 points apiece with a game in hand. Whoever finishes the season with more points gets home-ice advantage in their first-round playoff series.
Both Calgary and Minnesota are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games. Calgary has an ATS record of 44-36 and an O/U mark of 40-33. The Wild’s ATS record is 39-41 this season with an O/U mark of 46-31.
San Jose Sharks at Edmonton Oilers, 9 p.m.
The Oilers, with a game in hand, are two points ahead of the LA Kings for the No. 2 spot in the Pacific Division, thus earning home-ice advantage when the two face off in the first round.
They face a Sharks team that is 3-4-3 in their last 10 with an ATS record of 41-39 and an O/U mark of 32-46. Edmonton is 39-41 ATS and 41-36 on the O/U.
Nashville Predators at Colorado Avalanche, 9 p.m.
The Predators are one point behind the Dallas Stars with a game in hand for the first wild card spot in the West. If they remain where they are, they’ll meet these very same Avalanche — the best team in the West — in the first round of the playoffs.
Colorado has slowed a bit as of late, going 6-4-0 in its last 10. Nashville has been even worse with a 3-4-3 mark.
The Avalanche are 39-41 ATS this season with an O/U mark of 41-34. The Predators are 43-37 ATS and 47-33 on the O/U.
Los Angeles Kings at Vancouver Canucks, 10 p.m.
The Kings need a win to at least put some sort of pressure on the Oilers as they wrap up their regular season tonight. They are 6-4-0 in their last 10, facing a Canucks team that is 7-2-1 during that same stretch.
ATS this season, both Los Angeles and Vancouver are 48-32. On the O/U, the Kings are 34-43 and the Canucks are 40-36.
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