New York Rangers to beat Washington Capitals

All eyes are going to be on this game because the NHL decided not to suspend Tom Wilson for injuring Artemi Panarin but fined him for his unnecessary roughing on Pavel Buchnevich.

Tensions are going to be high, especially after the Rangers sent out a statement essentially saying the league’s Department of Player Safety head George Parros didn’t do his job and should be fired as a result.

The Rangers aren’t likely to be a team to have someone try and go after Wilson. However, that’s not to say there aren’t a few Rangers who won’t be willing to take matters in their own hands. I’m expecting New York to play this game with a lot of passion even though their playoff hopes are dead.

Without Panarin in the lineup, it’s going to be tough for the Rangers to win, but this is one of those games where I think one team is going to have a little extra juice.

On top of that, New York has played Washington tough all season, winning four of the seven contests between the two teams. Even though Washington rolled in the last game, expect the rangers to come out flying.

Also, keep a close eye on penalty minutes over-unders and consider playing the over in this one. It could get nasty.

Montreal Canadiens to beat Ottawa Senators

Montreal has a little winning streak going with three straight wins including two in overtime, with the game-winning goal coming off the stick of highly anticipated rookie Cole Caufield.

The Habs are suddenly in position to overtake Winnipeg for third place in the division and set up a playoff series with the Edmonton Oilers.

The Senators, however, are also playing really good hockey right now as many young players have stepped into their lineup and given them a boost. They also have a 5-3-1 record in the season series against Montreal. The last game between the two clubs went to overtime and this one will probably be tight, too.

Sometimes in this case I’ll just like the hot hand, and with wins in four of their last five games I like Montreal to keep this run going and enter the playoffs on a high note.

Tampa Bay Lightning to beat Dallas Stars

The Stars’ playoff hopes are hanging by a thread and the team that beat them for the Stanley Cup last season might be the team to put them out of contention for the last spot in the Central Division.

Dallas is currently four points behind Nashville with a game in hand. They’re in desperate need of a win, but Tampa has not been a good team to find one against for them.

The Lightning are 5-1-0 in the season series against the Stars to date and have outscored them 19-8 over those six games.

The Stars are looking like they’ve run out of gas, too. They’ve lost four straight games including a pair of tough overtime losses to Nashville and Florida where they left it all on the line.

With two games left against the Lightning, Dallas might just have too tall a hill to climb to get back to the postseason.

Winnipeg Jets to beat Calgary Flames

The Jets have lost seven straight games and allowed Montreal into the hunt to overtake them. They’re limping into the postseason and need to find a way to stop the bleeding to keep their third-place status.

It’s not looking good at the moment. However, Winnipeg goes into Calgary Wednesday night and they’ve had a lot of success against the Flames this season.

The Jets are 5-2-1 against Calgary so far this season and won two of their previous four road contests against the Flames. The last time the two teams met, Winnipeg rolled over the Flames in a 5-1 victory. This is Winnipeg’s best shot to stop their slide and maintain their hold on third place in the North Division.

The Flames essentially have nothing to play for but will be well rested as they’ve had three days between games, which is unfamiliar territory for them. They’ve only had six games this season where there were three or more days between games, and they’re 3-2-1 in those, so there’s not much to go off there.

With Winnipeg having more to play for, expect that intensity to put them over the top.