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Top NHL Betting Picks of the Week (March 28th, 2022)

By Hank Blaine

The Montreal Canadiens surprisingly reached the Stanley Cup Final last season. This year has been an utter disaster and the Habs were eliminated from playoff contention over the weekend. It’s the second time in the NHL’s modern era (since 1967 expansion) that the Canadiens have missed the playoffs the season after reaching the Stanley Cup Final. Montreal won the Cup in 1969 and finished fifth in the six-team East Division and out of the playoffs in 1969-70. Here’s a look at two intriguing early-week matchups around the NHL.

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NHL Betting Picks of the Week (March 28th to April 3rd)

READ MORE: 2022 Stanley Cup Odds Update (March)

Carolina Hurricanes vs. Washington Capitals

  • When: Monday, March 28th, 2022. 7:00pm ET
  • Where: Centre Bell, Montreal, QB
  • Radio: 99.9 The Fan FM (Hurricanes) // WJFK 106.7 FM (Capitals)
  • Live Stream: NHL Live
  • NHL Betting Odds: TBA

This could be an Eastern Conference playoff preview. Carolina sure looked like a potential Stanley Cup team when it won 7-2 at a very good St. Louis club on Saturday. Andrei Svechnikov was the No. 1 star on his 22nd birthday with two goals. He beat Ville Husso in the second and third periods. The latter of those goals essentially iced the contest, putting Carolina up 5-2 on the scoreboard with under five minutes remaining in regulation. Overall this season, Svechnikov has now notched career-high 25 goals and 57 points across 62 games played.

Antti Raanta was in net but it should be Frederik Andersen for this one. Andersen allowed three goals on 15 shots during last Thursday’s 4-3 shootout loss to the Dallas Stars. Andersen has dropped four of his last five decisions. He now has a 31-10-3 record with a 2.07 goals-against-average and a .926 save percentage this season.

Carolina is the No. 3 team in the league and improved to 44-15-7, good for 93 points and first place in the Metropolitan Division. The Hurricanes had won just one of their past six games (1-3-2) before the victory.

Washington comes off a 4-3 home win over New Jersey on Saturday. Alex Ovechkin notched the game-winning goal Saturday on the power play. It was yet another milestone night for the Russian. Ovechkin tied Jari Kurri of the Edmonton Oilers for 21st in NHL history with 1,398 points, and he tied Gordie Howe for second in game-winning goals (121), behind only Jaromir Jagr (135). The goal was Ovie’s 42nd of the year, which puts him fourth on the Rocket Richard list behind Auston Matthews, Leon Draisaitl and Chris Kreider.

Vitek Vanecek stopped 35-of-38 shots and should start here, although Vanecek has now let in at least three goals in six of his last seven appearances.

The Caps are 3-0 vs. the Hurricanes this season. They last played March 18 in North Carolina and the Caps prevailed 4-3 in a shootout. Ovechkin tied the game late in the third period and scored the winner in a shootout. Ovechkin was the last Washington shooter and put the puck past goalie Antti Raanta. Ilya Samsonov made 16 saves before denying all three Carolina tries in the tiebreaker.

NHL Betting Pick: Hurricanes

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Boston Bruins

  • When: Tuesday, March 29th, 2022. 7:00pm ET
  • Where: TD Garden, Boston, MA
  • Radio: Sportsnet 590 The FAN (Toronto) // 98.5 The Sports Hub (Boston)
  • Live Stream: NHL Live
  • NHL Betting Odds: TBA

Another potential Eastern Conference playoff preview and an Original Six matchup. Nick Abruzzese will join the Leafs when the team travels to Boston. Abruzzese signed a two-year, entry-level contract with Toronto on Saturday following his sophomore season with Harvard University. He generated 77 points in 59 games during his collegiate career. The Leafs selected the 22-year-old forward in the fourth round 124th overall) of the 2019 NHL Draft. He could debut here.

No. 1 goaltender Jack Campbell (rib) is expected to travel with the team to Boston to continue to skate. Campbell’s first full practice since going on the sidelines with a rib injury could come on Wednesday. Coach Sheldon Keefe said that Campbell had “a very good” skate again on Sunday. The Leafs netminder has been out since March 8 due to a rib injury.

Boston won its fourth straight game Saturday, 6-3 over the Islanders. David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand each had a goal and an assist during a four-goal second period for the Bruins.

Boston captain Patrice Bergeron played in his 1,200th game. He became the 120th player in NHL history to reach that milestone. He returned to the lineup Saturday after missing the previous four games with an elbow infection.

Erik Haula and Jake DeBrusk each had a second-period goal after Craig Smith and Taylor Hall scored in the first for Boston, which earned its 14th win in 17 games (14-2-1). Erik Haula and Jake DeBrusk each had a second-period goal after Craig Smith and Taylor Hall scored in the first for Boston, which earned its 14th win in 17 games (14-2-1).

“I think every night we expect a win,” said Hall, who notched three points (goal, two assists). “It doesn’t matter who we’re playing, where we’re playing. It’s a really fun feeling to have. Every line’s contributing, I think you’ve seen a lot of balance with the four lines.”

After an uneven start to the season, the Bruins began to hit their stride after returning from their pandemic-related hiatus on Jan. 1 and have been picking up more and more steam as the stretch run intensifies.

NHL Betting Pick: Bruins

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READ MORE: Top NHL Betting Picks of the Week (April 4th, 2022)