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Washington Capitals right wing T.J. Oshie celebrates his goal with center Nicklas Backstrom during a game against the Ottawa Senators (Nick Wass)
Washington Capitals right wing T.J. Oshie celebrates his goal with center Nicklas Backstrom during a game against the Ottawa Senators (Nick Wass)|Associated Press
NHL

NHL: Dietel picks four for Friday

Flyers @ DEVILS, Capitals @ ISLANDERS, Canadiens @ RANGERS, Penguins @ SABRES

Craig Dietel

Craig Dietel

Flyers (-125) @ DEVILS (+115) 7:00 p.m.
Pick: Flyers (+115)

Tonight the Flyers (30-26-8) head to the Rock to take on the Devils (25-31-8) in what should be an interesting bout. Last night, Philly played up to their competition in the Blue Jackets but ultimately fell to them in overtime. This allowed Columbus to take third in the Metro.

The Flyers sit three spots removed from last in their division but are 10 points ahead of the last place devils. Their run of play as of late has been consistently good with a record of 6-3-1 in their last 10. They’ve got the fire power and enough defensive prowess to take down the Devils tonight.

New Jersey has half of its roster in the emergency room. News broke yesterday that F Taylor Hall received successful surgery on his knee meaning he most likely will not return for the season. However, D Sami Vatanen is back from his concussion so D Damon Severson won’t have to do as much heavy lifting as he has had to down the stretch. All in all, the Devils are still icing the majority of the Binghamton Devils roster so if they manage to pull out a win, it’ll be due to extremely hard work.

Capitals (-102) @ ISLANDERS (-108) 7:00 p.m.
Pick: Islanders (-108)

The Islanders are buzzing! They rocked the Coliseum last night and sent F John Tavares packing with the rest of the Toronto Maple Leafs in a 6-1 victory. This is the type of win fans needed and it surely reinvigorated an already successful New York team for the final stretch of the season. They play Washington tonight as they continue this home stand.

The Capitals (36-21-7) can tie the Islanders in points tonight with a regulation win. They’ve already won two in a row and will look to make it three tonight against the first place Islanders. In their last two wins they put up 6 and 7 points respectively and have been an offensive dynamo.

The Islanders are looking to keep the momentum going after last night and are 6-3-1 in their last 10. They want to widen the cap against the Capitals. New York also has a game in hand which is a nice cushion for them. All in all we think they’ve got a fire brewing deep inside them after last night and will continue to push, even on the latter end of a back-to-back.

Canadiens (-122) @ RANGERS (+112) 7:00 p.m.
Pick: Canadiens (-122)

The Canadiens (34-23-7) will head on to New York to take on the Rangers (27-26-10) at the Garden tonight. Montreal has been struggling last week dropping games to the Leafs as well as the Devils. They bounced back hard on Tuesday against the Red Wings and put up 8 goals showing that they have come out of their funk. They’ve got a surprisingly high amount of weapons for a team that was predicted to finish last in their division by most analysts at the start of the season. Look for them to give the Rangers a lot of trouble tonight at home.

The Rangers on the other hand have dropped their last two matchups against playoff teams but they played up to their competition. They lost to the Capitals 6-5 and to the Lightning, the league’s best team, by a score of 4-3. Don’t be surprised if they play up to the Habs but ultimately drop it in the end. They seem to have a problem finishing what they’ve started.

Penguins @ SABRES 7:00 p.m.
Pick: Over 6.5

The Penguins (33-22-8) are currently out of the playoff running but could bounce right back into it with a win tonight against the Sabres (29-26-8). However we are more concerned with the score of this game.

The Penguins have lit the lamp 197 times and the Sabres have lit it 181. These aren’t the highest totals for teams in the league this year by any stretch but we believe that these two teams match up perfectly for a high scoring event tonight. Obviously the Penguins are loaded up front with their big three in Sydney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel, along with some side characters like Jake Guentzel, they are a goalies worst nightmare.

The other side of the coin features Jack Eichel, Jeff Skinner and defensemen who love to distribute the puck to these guys like Brandon Montour and Rasmus Dahlin. Not to mention Pittsburgh’s goaltending has been questionable at best this season leads us to believe the over is an easy bet tonight.