ALL 30 teams are playing Saturday – enjoy the games, and consider some of these points when placing your friendly wagers…
New Jersey at Philadelphia 4:00 PM EST
This game time was changed to accommodate the World Series and so that Philly residents can go to both games. This is the back end of a home-and-home between these two division rivals. The Devils have been playing well even with big injuries to Rolston and Holik. Philly may be looking for their first win still depending on how they do on Friday night. The Devils have dominated the series and won six of the eight games last season. The Flyers did, however, post a pair of shutouts over the Devils in their 2 wins in 2007-08. The final three contests between the teams last year – two of which were won by the Devils – were decided via overtime or shootout.
New Jersey – V
Atlanta at Boston
This will be a back-to-back game for Atlanta as they played last night in Detroit. Atlanta has a good record against a Northeast division opponent since 2006-07 going 21-17-3 over that period. Boston is coming off a bad loss to Toronto and will be fired up for this game. The depth and physicality of the Bruins will be tough for the Thrashers to contend with.
Boston – H+
Ottawa at Toronto
Ottawa is struggling, they are better than this. The Sens play on Friday against Anaheim and this will be their 3rd game in 4 nights. Toronto is rested yet again. I expect Auld to get the start. The season series was split last year with Ottawa winning the last game on April 3rd by a score of 8-2. Even though the Sens won that game, it essentially eliminated the Sens from the first round of the playoffs because of Mark Bell, the cage-wearing, AHL player who injured Alfredsson and Fisher in that game. If Toronto had anybody that could fight in their lineup, I would say to expect payback.
Ottawa – H
Anaheim at Montreal
The Ducks are playing back-to-back games and this is their final game of a three game trip through Ontario. The Ducks have the best record against the East out of any team from the Western Conference going 15-4-2 since 2006-07. Be wary though, these are not the same Ducks of previous years. Montreal is rested and will be using this game as a gauge to see how they stack up against bigger Western teams. Montreal is 11-8-2 versus the West in the last three years. Anaheim averages 22 minutes in penalties a game which could be trouble against the Habs powerplay.
Montreal – H+
Carolina at NY Islanders
Both teams are rested. The Hurricanes were playing well against Crosby and the Pens on Thursday before a third period meltdown saw them lose their 1-0 lead and eventually the game 4-1. DiPietro has been back for 2 games now, but is winless. The difference in this game may be PIM’s. Carolina averages 12.2 PIM a game, the Isles average 21.5
Carolina – V+
Pittsburgh at NY Rangers
The Rangers won five of their eight meetings against the Penguins in the regular season in 2007-08, including all four at Madison Square Garden, but were eliminated by their Pennsylvania rival in the Eastern Confe