Nardone’s Picks: March 26

March 19, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Mark Eaton (4) moves the puck behind the Penguins net against the Washington Capitals during the third period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Pittsburgh Penguins won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

There are nine games in the NHL tonight, and every game is a crucial game due to every team having almost identical points as everyone else. Two big games tonight include the first place Pittsburgh Penguins and the second place Montreal Canadiens and the Washington Capitals against the New York Islanders.

Edmonton Oilers at St. Louis Blues

The Oilers, who sit in 13th place in the Western Conference, look to end their two-game losing streak against the Blues. Players to look for in the game are Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Sam Gagner. Blues players who are looking to strike are David Perron and T.J. Oshie. Final Pick: St. Louis wins 4-2.

 

Montreal Canadiens at Pittsburgh Penguins

The Canadiens sit in second behind the Pens, with a five point difference. The Canadiens have been playing rather well, but can they stop the 12-game winning streak the Penguins have going? Montreal will use P.K. Subban, Carey Price, and Max Pacioretty to try to penetrate the Pens. With Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang being game-time decisions, this could be a great opportunity for Brenden Morrow to shine in his first game as a Penguin. Look for Sidney Crosby, Chris Kunitz, and James Neal to shine tonight. The last matchup between these two ended in a wicked 7-6 OT win by Pittsburgh. Final Pick: Montreal wins 5-4 in OT.

 

Calgary Flames at Chicago Blackhawks

Chicago leads the entire league in points, even though they are one point ahead of Pittsburgh. After losing two straight, Chicago is looking to turn it around and beat

March 20, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) moves the puck against the Anaheim Ducks during the third period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

the 14th place Flames. Blackhawks players to look for are Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, and Victor Stalberg. Flames are going to be coming hard with Jarome Iginla, Alex Tanguay, and Jiri Hudler. Final Pick: Chicago 4-3 in OT.

Florida Panthers at Toronto Maple Leafs

Toronto has been one of the biggest stories all year, overcoming almost everybody to shock the league. Their big players tonight will include Nazem Kadri, James Van Riemsdyk, and Tyler Bozak. Florida faces many injuries, including goaltender Jose Theodore and Stephen Weiss. They have nine players injured, so it’s going to be tough to win tonight. Look for Tomas Fleischmann to make a play or two tonight. Final Pick: Toronto Maple Leafs win it 5-2.

New York Islanders at Washington Capitals

This game should prove to be interesting. Both teams have 31 points. The two teams are listed 10th and 11th, and a win will put them into ninth place, tying the Rangers in points. Islanders players to watch out for are John Tavares and Matt Moulson. Washington have Alexander Ovechkin and Mike Ribeiro attacking in the offense. Final Pick: New York Islanders win 4-3 in OT.

Winnipeg Jets at Carolina Hurricanes

Mar 24, 2013; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Winnipeg Jets celebrate a goal by defenseman Dustin Byfuglien (33) during the second period against the Tampa Bay Lightning at the MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

Winnipeg’s Dustin Byfuglien is the one to watch out for, along with Andrew Ladd and Evander Kane. Carolina has been looking a little sloppy recently, but expect to see Jordan Staal, Eric Staal, and Alexander Semin play hard. Final Pick: Winnipeg wins it 4-3.

New York Rangers at Philadelphia Flyers

The Rangers are still missing star defenseman Marc Staal, but they have a good chance to show Philadelphia they aren’t out of the run yet. Rick Nash and Marian Gaborik are the ones to make the plays tonight. For the Flyers, with Daniel Briere and Ty McGinn injured, they will have some fighting to put up with. Claude Giroux will lead the Flyers along with Scott Hartnell and Jakub Voracek. Final Pick: Philadelphia wins 3-1.

Buffalo Sabres at Tampa Bay Lightning

This game marks the first game with Jon Cooper behind the Lightning bench. With Anders Lindback and Vincent Lecavalier out with injuries, it’s going to be tough to defeat the Sabres. Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis will be able to do something

Mar 23 2013; Ottawa, ON, CAN; Tampa Bay Lightning centre Steven Stamkos (91) during wamup prior to game against the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

for the Lightning tonight. The Sabres will use Thomas Vanek and Steve Ott to try to win. Final Pick: Tampa Bay wins first game with Jon Cooper by a 2-0 score.

Columbus Blue Jackets at Vancouver Canucks

Columbus’ season has been almost like Toronto’s, unexpected. They battle the injuries with James Wisniewski and Brandon Dubinsky out, the top players to watch are Vinny Prospal, RJ Umberger, and Artem Anisimov. Vancouver looks to extend their winning streak to five games, with Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin playing together in harmony. With Ryan Kesler out with a broken foot, it’s merely a mini speed bump in Vancouver’s path. Final Pick: Vancouver extends win streak with a 5-2 win over Columbus.

 

 

Topics: Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Edmonton Oilers, Evgeni Malkin, FanSided, Florida Panthers, Jarome Iginla, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, NHL, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Sidney Crosby, St.Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals, Winnipeg Jets

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