Notch is back again with his winners. Maybe his tips will help you with some tough decisions on your Saturday ticket.
Atlanta at Boston 1:00 PM EST
This is the 4th and final game of the season series with Boston leading 2 games to 1. All the games have been won by 2 goals or more with the average win coming by 3.33 goals. These teams have already played at 1:00 PM in Boston this year where the Bruins won 5-2. This will be the 7th early afternoon game for the Bruins this year compared to only the 2nd for the struggling Thrashers. The Bruins are the hottest team in the East and look to go perfect on their 3-game homestand after beating Ottawa and Pittsburgh by a combined 8 goals. Tim Thomas is white-hot and should get the start. Have a look at the Northeast standings and see how close Boston is to quietly leading that division.
Boston – H+
Philadelphia at NY Islanders 2:00 PM EST
Philly has won 3 of 4 so far against Long Island this year. Overall, the Flyers may have righted the ship after winning their last 2 games before being losers of 10 in a row and falling out the playoff picture temporarily. The Islanders are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games and with a win can tie Philly with 71 points for a share of 8th in the East. Dipietro has a career record of 7-9-0 against the Flyers with a 2.88 GAA. Philadelphia is a better team on the road, but the Islanders are just as strong at home. This will be the 7th game in a row for the Islanders where they have had to travel between home and away games (H-V-H-V-H-V-H).
Philadelphia – V
Pittsburgh at Ottawa 3:00 PM EST
This has been an exciting series so far with Ottawa winning 2 of 3. The visiting team has won all 3 games – 2 of them have gone past 60 minutes. Pittsburgh will be very depleted after giving up 2 roster players to get Hossa, only to have him injure his knee in his first game with his new club. Marc-Andre Fleury will probably start in goal even though he is 2-4 with a 4.97 GAA against the Sens in his short career. Ottawa needs to make a statement against this potential 1st round matchup (4 versus 5).
Ottawa – H+
New Jersey at Montreal
Season series is tied at one game apiece. This will be the first game in Montreal. Something has to give here as each team has remarkable records when playing against teams in each others division (New Jersey is 10-4 against the Northeast, Montreal is 11-5-1 against the Atlantic). The Devils are hot despite losing their last game – they had points in their last 9 games, winning 7 of those. In Carey Prices’ first game against Brodeur earlier this year he lost 4-0, stopping only 25 of 29 shots. Both teams played last night.
New Jersey – V
Toronto at Washington
Toronto will be playing one of their Eastern Conference low 13th back-to-back games – this will be their 11th of those 13. They had to get out of their cushy schedule of playing every Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday by playing Friday night against Tampa. The 14 other Eastern teams average 15.85 back-to-back games a yea