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NHL handicapper Pete Truszkowski looks to finish strong on Friday with with picks for the day's games

New York Islanders vs. Florida Panthers

BET: New York Islanders Moneyline @ -125

New York probably should have eliminated Florida on Wednesday, but an inability to stay disciplined and kill off penalties has forced a game four. Florida has scored 4 goals in the last two games. Three of these goals were scored while the Panthers had a man advantage, and the other was scored four seconds after a penalty expired, before the penalized player was able to re-enter the play. The Islanders and their stingy defensive system has given the Panthers absolutely nothing at even-strength.

The Islanders had over 60% of shot attempts in Game 3. This is a team that normally doesn’t control the possession game and usually relies on limiting dangerous chances and playing solid defense. The fact that the Islanders are the team that is pushing the pace and controlling play is surprising.

Nevertheless, the Islanders have been the better team in this series, and with a day off to reflect on their mistakes and figure out some things on the penalty kill, I expect the veteran laden team to take care of business in Game 4. Florida has shown absolutely nothing that would make you think they are ready to turn the corner and make this series a real brawl.

Nashville Predators vs. Arizona Coyotes

BET: Nashville Predators Moneyline @ -140

I’ve literally picked Nashville in all three games of this series so far. I’ve been wrong twice. Process over results. When a team dominates a game and loses, there’s not much you can do.

Even when you adjust for score effects, Nashville has had the following percentage of shot attempts in their first three games: 54.4% in game 1, 55.5% in game 2, and 58.1% in game 3.

In game 3, Nashville had 64.4% of the expected goals. They had a high danger scoring chances advantage of 16.4 to 7.8. At one point in the first period, Nashville had 13 shots compared to Arizona’s one. The score? 1-0 Arizona. This game should have been a blowout win for Nashville but the scoreline reflected differently.

Nashville has controlled play in this series, they are the more talented team offensively, they have more playoff experience and I really do think in an elimination game, they’ll be able to stave off the Arizona Coyotes.

I might end up looking stupid at the end of this, but we’re going back to the well and we are going with Nashville……...again.

Edmonton Oilers vs. Chicago Blackhawks

BET: Over 6.5 Goals @ +100

When you see this series on the schedule, bet the over. Oh, and if you don’t watch hockey normally, watch this series. Seriously. 3 for 3 in this series. Some of the NHL’s best talent flying around the ice, putting up goals in a period of time where the rest of the league is struggling to score.

Chicago’s 4-3 win was the closest call we’ve had in regards to the total, but watching the game you never really were worried about it. There were scoring opportunities back and forth, teams were struggling defensively and goaltending looked shaky.

In this game, Edmonton is facing elimination. Edmonton is the much higher ranked team as the 5 seed. You know the Oilers are going to rely on their strengths to help extend their season, and their strength is their offense and unleashing Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. This is a team that thinks they can outscore you and doesn’t believe in any defense.

In the gambling world, they always say to follow the streak. Don’t fade the streak. Ride the wave while times are easy. Don’t try and be the genius who figures out when the wave breaks. MORE. GOALS.

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

BET: Columbus Blue Jackets Moneyline @ +125

Columbus leads this series 2 games to 1. Toronto is on the brink. The Maple Leafs are in trouble.

Toronto had a 3-0 lead in game three on Thursday night. Columbus made a goalie change, scored 3 unanswered goals and forced overtime. In overtime, Toronto’s captain, John Tavares, turned the puck over and Pierre-Luc Dubois scored on a breakaway to shatter the Leafs’ hearts.

Anytime your team loses a game they had a 3 goal lead in, it takes a toll. Now, imagine you had to play basically a 4th period as the game went deep into the first overtime session. Your next game? 20 and a half hours later. Your opponent is feeling the exact opposite of you. They are on top of the world. They just did the impossible.

And to top this all off? Columbus came in a sizable underdog. All the pressure is on Toronto. They’re the team paying star players massive dollars and on the verge of disappointing their fans, again.

Will Toronto go with their backup goalie? I don’t think it matters.

There are times where you ignore the stats and numbers and just have to analyze the situation. I love this situation for Columbus. Toronto is on the ropes. Columbus wants to end it right here.

Firday's NHL Leans

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Montreal Canadiens: LEAN - Pittsburgh -1.5 @ +175

Vancouver Cannucks vs. Minnesota Wild: LEAN - Minnesota ML -120


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