Like many of you, I've had a rough go with my picks in recent weeks. Games have been highly unpredictable from the standpoints of both results and goal totals. That being said, I'm feeling good about my picks this week. Let's turn this around together!
New York Rangers @ Tampa Bay Lightning (Over/under 5.5) – Pick: Under
We've got arguably the league's best two goalkeepers facing each other tonight. On one end, Igor Shesterkin has recently had some abnormally mediocre performances, and I don't see him keeping this up for long. I predict him allowing two goals max on 35+ shots tonight. Especially after a low-scoring loss to the Islanders a few nights ago, the Russian stopper will want to keep his team in the game for as long as possible against the current Stanley Cup champions.
On the other end, Andrei Vasilevskiy has also had a small slump recently. Between March 3 and March 10, he played four games in which he only put up save percentages below .900, allowing a total of 16 goals in those tallies. He recently picked it up by only giving up one goal in each of his last two games, and he'll keep that momentum rolling against the Rangers tonight to solidify his team's place in the division's top three.
Calgary Flames @ Vancouver Canucks – Pick: Flames
It's safe to say at this point that the Flames are a legit team. They're sixth in goals for, second in shots on goal, second in goals against, sixth in SOG allowed and fourth in penalty killing. Looking at those stats, I find it hard to believe that they're not even higher in the standings. It can't be emphasized enough how important their offensive output is for them to win games. Elias Lindholm and Johnny Gaudreau ranking second and third respectively in +/- differential in the league portrays perfectly that their defensive unit can still be an issue.
Luckily for them, Jacob Markstrom has found his groove from two seasons ago back and is keeping them afloat defensively. This devastating attack who may count on the services of newcomer Calle Jarnkrok tonight was kept scoreless by the Buffalo Sabres and Dustin Tokarski's acrobatic abilities last night and look to rebound in a big way against their Canadian rivals tonight. They're also clearly on Lady Injury's good side at the moment as they have no such scratches, whereas Vancouver will not be able to count on Tucker Poolman, Jason Dickinson and Nils Hoglander, taking away some already lacking depth for both the Canucks' offense and defense.