Dec 19, 2013; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Florida Panthers goalie Scott Clemmensen (30) makes a save on a shot from the Ottawa Senators in the third period at the Canadian Tire Centre. The Panthers defeated the Senators 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Nardone's Picks: December 20th


The Friday before Christmas witnesses five games in the NHL. This week for Nardone’s Picks, I will go through each matchup and determine a winner. Last week I was 2 for 3, so hopefully I can get 100% this week. Let’s get this started.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2013:

Dec 15, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Anaheim Ducks right wing Teemu Selanne (8) celebrates with his team after scoring a goal against the Edmonton Oilers during the second period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

ANAHEIM DUCKS at NEW JERSEY DEVILS-7:00 PM (PRIME, MSG PLUS)

The New Jersey Devils (14-15-6) try to defeat the Anaheim Ducks (24-7-5) for the second time this season in their final meeting. Their last game was November 20th where the Devils handed the Ducks one of their two home losses this season in overtime. The Ducks are 13-0-2 at home. Big matchups between elder stars Jaromir Jagr and Teemu Selanne highlight tonight’s match. The Devils will play hard, but I think the Ducks will be able to win and get their third straight victory. PREDICTION: Anaheim 4 – New Jersey 2.

NEW YORK ISLANDERS at NEW YORK RANGERS-7:00 PM (MSG PLUS 2, MSG)

Dec 5, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Ryan Callahan (24) during the game against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Sparks fly tonight between the two rivals of New York. The Rangers (16-17-2) look to keep the Islanders (9-19-7) down in the dumps, who have recorded 1-5-4 in their last 10 games. This is their second meeting out of five. The first meeting ended in a 3-2 victory for the Rangers as Benoit Pouliot scored with 6:14 left in the game. This will be a nice chance for the Islanders to put the Rangers in their place. I think the Islanders will win this big matchup on the road. PREDICTION: Islanders 6 – Rangers 3.

WASHINGTON CAPITALS at CAROLINA HURRICANES-7:00 PM (CSN-DC, FS-CR)

Dec 15, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals right wing Alex Ovechkin (8) celebrates with Capitals defenseman Mike Green (52) after scoring the game-tying goal in the third period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Verizon Center. The Capitals won 5-4 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Capitals (18-13-3) look to defeat the Hurricanes (14-13-7) for the first time this year in their third meeting. The big story of this game tonight is Alex Ovechkin. He is one goal away from reaching 400 career goals. Can he do it? I think so. Not only do I think he will score his 400th career goal, I think he is going to lead the team past the Hurricanes. PREDICTION: Washington 5 – Hurricanes 2.

VANCOUVER CANUCKS at CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS-8:00 PM (TSN, NHLN-US, CSN-CH, RDS2)

Dec 17, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; Nashville Predators goalie Carter Hutton (30) stops a wrap around shot by Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) during the second period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mike Strasinger-USA TODAY Sports

A strong matchup between the Canucks (20-11-6) and the Blackhawks (25-7-5) as the Canucks look to get revenge after a 2-1 loss to Chicago in late November. This is Vancouver’s first trip to the United Center this season. The Blackhawks haven’t played since their victory over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday, while Vancouver lost last night 4-1 to the Dallas Stars. The Canucks will be too tired to get a win tonight. PREDICTION: Chicago 3 – Vancouver 1.

FLORIDA PANTHERS at WINNIPEG JETS-8:00 PM (TSN-JETS, FS-F)

The Panthers (14-17-5) and the Jets (15-16-5) are both struggling this season, but Florida is on a bit of a hot streak right now. They are 7-3-0 in their last 10, while Winnipeg is just 4-5-1. A big boost for Winnipeg is Zach Bogosian. The defenseman has been out since November 15th with a groin injury. The Jets have lost ten of the 15 games that Bogosian missed. Even though Bogosian will be back, I don’t think he will be on top of his game. PREDICTION: Florida 4 – Winnipeg 2.

Thanks for checking out my picks for tonight’s games. Check back daily for the best news around the league and check back next Friday for the next installment of Nardone’s Picks.

Tags: Anaheim Ducks Carolina Hurricanes Chicago Blackhawks Florida Panthers New Jersey Devils New York Islanders New York Rangers Vancouver Canucks Washington Capitals Winnipeg Jets