NHL Picks & Preview: Canucks vs Golden Knights, Bruins vs Predators Games Tonight

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NHL Picks & Preview: Canucks vs Golden Knights, Bruins vs Predators Games Tonight

Bruins Look to Build on Atlantic Division Lead

With a 6-4 loss to the Maple Leafs last night in Toronto, a game the Leafs dominated, except for a blip in the third period when the Panthers closed a 5-1 gap to 5-4, the Florida Panthers (47-23-5-99) have dropped to second in the Atlantic Division, two points behind the Boston Bruins (43-17-15-101).

They’re looking to bounce back tonight in Montreal against the Canadiens. The Bruins meanwhile have an opportunity to build on their lead, in the night’s must-watch game, in Nashville against the Predators (43-27-4-90, 4th in the Central Division).

For your Canadian flavour, the Vancouver Canucks (46-20-8-100, 1st in the Pacific Division) are in Las Vegas to take on the streaking Golden Knights (41-25-8-90, 3rd in the Pacific). 

NHL Schedule: Game Details

 DateTimeLocationHow to Watch
Canucks vs. Golden KnightsApr 2, 202410:00 p.m. ESTT-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NVStream on Sportsnet+
Bruins vs. PredatorsApr 2, 20248:00 p.m. ESTBridgestone Arena, Nashville, TNStream on Sportsnet+

Game 1: Canucks vs. Golden Knights Insights

Who do you like when looking at the Stanley Cup chances for the Canadian teams that are playoff bound? Two weeks ago, I would have told you the Winnipeg Jets. Now I am not too sure. The Canucks have been elite all season, are 6-3-1 in their last ten, 14-7-0 against Pacific Division teams. The Canucks are coming off a 3-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks.

Who would have predicted this level of production from C JT Miller (35 goals, 59 assists, 94 points), tenth in league scoring, coming into this season? Miller has five goals and 12 points in his last 12 games. RW Brock Boeser too. We reluctantly took Boeser in a hockey pool this season and he has pleasantly surprised (38-31-69, 34th in NHL scoring).

The Canucks have been averaging 2.9 goals, giving up 1.9 per game, in their last ten. Listed as likely to start in net tonight is Casey DeSmith (11-7-6, 3 shutouts, 2.67 GAA, .901 SV%). DeSmith gave up just two goals on 33 shots Thursday in a 3-1 loss to the Dallas Stars, his most recent start.

The Golden Knights have been interesting to follow of late. At the trade deadline, the defending Stanley Cup champs were on the edge of being out of a playoff spot, then they made some major trades – boldly dealing for D Noah Hanifin, RW Anthony Mantha, then a jaw-dropper, RW Tomas Hertl, in a deal with San Jose. When Hertl comes back soon from a knee injury, the Golden Knights will be stacked with their top 9 forwards (they’re 8-3 since the March 8 trade deadline).

🏒 Bet on Canucks vs. Golden Knights at DraftKings 🏒

RW Jonathan Marchessault has been the story on offence – 40 goals, 23 assists, 53rd in NHL scoring. Hands up if you thought C Jack Eichel would be their leading scorer at this point? Eichel has been hampered by injuries, has played 55 games this season, but he’s been hot of late, six goals and 13 points in his last 13 games.

Vegas has been averaging 3.1 goals, giving up 2.3 goals in their past ten. Logan Thompson has been the story in goal all season (22-12-5 1 SO, 2.63 GAA, .911 SV%) but he got shelled Saturday night in Buffalo, allowing all seven goals in a 7-2 loss.

Injuries? Mark Stone and Hertl are out. LW William Carrier is day-to-day. For the Canucks, C Elias Lindholm is day-to-day, while G Thatcher Demko was placed on long-term injured reserve last week.

Canucks vs. Golden Knights Player Props

According to DraftKings today, Eichel Over 3.5 Shots on Goal (1.83), Filip Hronek Under 0.5 Points (1.71), and Shea Theodore Over 0.5 Assists (2.65) are most bet player props.

Game 2: Bruins vs. Predators Insights

This is the game of the night. The Predators, while losers of two straight, are still 7-2-1 in their last ten games, and currently hold the first wildcard spot in the Western Conference (six points up on the St. Louis Blues, with a game in hand). 

LW Filip Forsberg has been one of those players flying under the radar this season – leading the Preds with 41 goals and 43 assists, 13th in NHL scoring. He’s been piping hot of late – 12 goals and 23 points in his last 13 games, three of those goals on the PP.

Juuse Saros is one of the best goalies in the league (32-22-4 3 SOs, 2.81 GAA, .907 SV%), and he’s confirmed as starter for Nashville tonight. According to AP, the Preds have averaged 3.8 goals, giving up 2.6, in their last ten games.  D Alexandre Carrier is listed as day to day on the injury front.

🏒 Bet on Bruins vs. Predators at FanDuel 🏒

Linus Ullmark (19-9-7-2 SOs, 2.58 GAA, .915 SV%) is listed as the likely starter in net for the Bruins tonight. The Bruins are a mighty 20-8-9 on the road, 6-4-0 in their last ten, averaging 3.1 goals, giving up 2.6.  The Bruins remain relatively healthy – just LW Pat Maroon listed as out, as is D Derek Forbort.

C Pavel Zacha has three goals and eight assists in his last ten games – he’s someone to keep an eye on. RW David Pastrnak has been a beast all season long – 45-57-102, 5th in league scoring. Is LW Brad Marchand going to heat up more now that the games are getting more important and the playoffs approach? He has one goal in his last 14 games. 

Bruins vs. Predators Player Props

On NHL betting front, at DraftKings, most bet player props are Pastrnak Anytime Goalscorer (1.87) and First Goalscorer (7.00), Marchand Anytime Goalscorer (3.40) and First Goalscorer (11.00), Zacha Over 0.5 Assists (2.50), and Gustav Nyquist Over 0.5 Points (1.69).

Our NHL Picks Today

On the Canadian sports betting front, the Canucks have allowed three or fewer goals in seven straight games and are 21-11-4 on the road. That’s good value, so take the Canucks on the moneyline at FanDuel.

We’re going Predators ATS at BetMGM in the other game – with Saros between the pipes, despite that Bruins’ offence, you can’t argue with the way Nashville has been outplaying their opponents of late, plus they’re at home, and motivated to hold on to that wildcard spot.

FanDuelCanucks 2.18, Golden Knights 1.70Canucks +1.5 (1.47), Golden Knights -1.5 (2.76)5.5; Over 1.88; Under 1.94
BetMGMBruins 1.87, Predators 1.95Bruins -1.5 (3.00), Predators +1.5 (1.40)5.5; Over 1.83; Under 2.00