We have arrived at the final night of the NHL’s 2023-24 regular season, and while all 16 playoff spots have already been clinched, some final seedings have yet to be determined. Although the Nos. 1 through 8 spots are locked down in the Eastern Conference, the Western Conference could see some movement because the Los Angeles Kings and Vegas Golden Knights might swap spots by the end of Thursday night.

Both an outright and overtime loss by the Golden Knights would enable the Kings to leapfrog them in the standings with either a regulation victory or by getting their own game to overtime. If the Kings win and the Knights lose, then Los Angeles would finish third in the Pacific Division, while Vegas would claim the second wild-card spot. If some other scenario involving overtime ends up with the teams tied at 99 points, the Kings would also move into third because they own the tiebreaker.

Best NHL Parlays – Thursday, April 18, 4-Leg Parlay Picks (+498) Seattle Kraken vs. Minnesota Wild Prediction and Pick

The Seattle Kraken and Minnesota Wild will both be playing their final game of the 2023-24 season on Thursday, and both non-playoff teams will be looking to go out on a high note by winning it. This is the first time since the 2018-19 season that the Wild have missed the playoffs, but they continue to play hard and come into this matchup on a two-game winning streak. One of those victories came against the Los Angeles Kings, when the Wild damaged L.A.’s hope of moving up in the playoff seeding. In two previous meetings this season, the Wild dominated the Kraken both times -- winning 3-0 and 5-2. I expect nothing to change in this one because the Wild will finish their season strong in front of their home crowd.

Leg 1 Parlay Pick: Minnesota Wild ML (-160)
Edmonton Oilers vs. Colorado Avalanche Prediction and Pick

Both these playoff-bound teams have nothing to play for on Thursday other than bragging rights. As a result, this matchup between the Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche could have an All-Star Game feel to it. Yes, the stars for both teams will be on the ice on Thursday night, but their minds are set on the postseason, and nobody wants to risk getting hurt in this one.

To minimize their injury risk, the Oilers have called forwards Adam Erne and Sam Gagner up from the AHL. Both players were great with the Bakersfield Condors this season, and they will look to capitalize on the opportunity for some NHL action against Colorado. Edmonton star Connor McDavid played in Arizona on Wednesday night, and the Oilers captain is expected to play again on Thursday. Since both McDavid and Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon should get playing time in this game, one has to lean toward the over here. In a game that doesn’t mean much, expect to see plenty of scoring.

Leg 2 Parlay Pick: Over 6.5 (-125)

Anaheim Ducks vs. Vegas Golden Knights Prediction and Pick

The Vegas Golden Knights’ title defense hasn’t gone as planned this season. Injuries have made it very difficult for Vegas to get its footing in 2023-24, but despite their problems, the Golden Knights still have a chance to claim the Pacific Division’s No. 3 playoff seed by beating the Anaheim Ducks in regulation on Thursday night. An overtime victory would make their playoff seeding a bit trickier, since it would leave them in a tie with Los Angeles if the Kings win on Thursday, and L.A. currently holds the tiebreaker over Vegas.

The Ducks have played Vegas tough in 2023-24 and actually lead the regular-season series 2-1 heading into Thursday night’s matchup. The Golden Knights are still missing injured regulars Mark Stone and William Carrier, and it looks like they’ll be giving some added rest to a few other key players, who might sit out this game.

Regardless of who might get a night off, this team’s roster still includes Jack Eichel, Jonathan Marchessault, Tomas Hertl, William Karlsson, and several other talented players, so the Golden Knights should still have enough to pick up a win on Thursday night. Vegas has been very inconsistent this season due mainly to injuries, and even though the team will be shorthanded on Thursday night, look for the Golden Knights to get this done in regulation.

Leg 3 Parlay Pick: Vegas Golden Knights win/draw/win (-240)
Chicago Blackhawks vs. LA Kings Prediction and Pick

The Los Angeles Kings will be nearly at full strength when they take the ice against the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night. They have already clinched a postseason berth, of course, but the Kings have a chance to steal the Pacific Division’s No. 3 seed away from Vegas on Thursday. As mentioned above, Los Angeles will pass the Golden Knights in the standings with a win if Vegas either loses outright or is forced to go to overtime.

The No. 3 door is still slightly open for the Kings, who will be going all out in their regular-season finale in front of their home fans. Chicago clearly has a bright future ahead of it with Connor Bedard leading the way, but the Kings have too much firepower. Just as they did in their previous 2023-24 games against the Blackhawks, the Kings will take care of business on Thursday while likely keeping a close eye on the Golden Knights’ score in between periods. That should provide extra motivation for the Los Angeles players, who will be rooting for Anaheim to upset Vegas just one more time.

Leg 4 Parlay Pick: LA Kings win/draw/win (-225)

Odds are subject to change*

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