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NHL expert Chris Wassel's picks for today's hockey action

The NHL went a bit crazy on Saturday night with a multitude of injuries. Sunday returns with some unrested teams and others looking to get back on track. The four-game night slate is our focus. Let’s get it!

Here are Today’s NHL Picks:

Philadelphia Flyers @ Boston Bruins

- Boston has won ten straight games against the Metropolitan Division and six of those were at home. (Statschecker).

This is a matchup that screams too high of a projection. It was a bit of a surprise as to why Vegas went 6 here with the Over/Under. Yes, Philadelphia is coming off of a tough road test against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Now, they come right back against a ticked off Boston Bruins team.

The problem is Boston lost on the road to the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night by a score of 4-2. Maybe they read the press clippings, but the Bruins got caught looking ahead. Detroit scored twice on the power play and never looked back.  

Furthermore, the top line looked anything but like it for the Bruins on Friday. They were repeatedly hemmed in their defensive zone for vast stretches and Tuukka Rask gave up a couple goals he probably would not have normally. It was truly a lost night in every sense of the word.

Philadelphia will start Carter Hart (after Brian Elliott played last night) while Boston counters with Jaroslav Halak. Expect Boston to adjust its special teams. Also, their 5-on-5 play with their top-six should be able to wear down the Flyers. Take Boston and the -1.5 goals here.

1u –Boston Bruins -1.5 goals @ +120

Edmonton Oilers @ Anaheim Ducks

- Anaheim is 6-2-1 when earmarked this season as the favorite in games this season. That includes a 4-1-1 mark at home.

It appears likely that Mike Smith will start on Sunday but wait until confirmation to be sure of this. Oddly, that does make a difference on this night with so few games.

Anaheim has endured an odd road of sorts this season which probably feels more like an up and down roller coaster. Overall, they are 9-7-1 on the year but are a much better 6-2-1 at Honda Center even winning a few Sunday night games like this scenario.

The question becomes how Anaheim responds after a sloppy 4-2 home loss to the Minnesota Wild on Friday night. Anaheim struggled in all phases and looked more like the road team than the Wild. The Ducks were worked hard in practice on Saturday by Dallas Eakins and the expectation is a better performance on Sunday night.

Edmonton is 5-3-1 on the road while Anaheim has won six of nine like previously mentioned. These are both teams who do not score or give up a ton of goals. Both score under three goals and allow less than three goals per contest.

This could be a big night for Anaheim’s middle-six against an Oilers team that will occasionally get beat by speed out wide. That is the one thing the Ducks possess with their younger forwards. It will be interesting to see how that plays out. One thing is for certain. Anaheim will try not to come out as flat as they did versus Minnesota. Take the Ducks on a lower than usual moneyline.

1u –Anaheim Ducks ML @ -115

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By Chris Wassel

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