There will be a small spattering of NHL games on Sunday, highlighted by the second game of the weekend to be played at Lake Tahoe. With picturesque scenery and near-perfect weather conditions, outdoor hockey has never looked better!
In the second of the Lake Tahoe games, the Philadelphia Flyers (8-3-3) and Boston Bruins (10-3-2) should continue an excellent weekend of hockey. Both clubs were among the top teams in the Eastern Conference a year ago and are battling at the top of the East Division standings this year. Puck drop is at 7 pm ET.
Philadelphia started the season strong but has struggled in recent weeks, losing three of its past four games, including two against Boston. All three were one-goal losses, one each in regulation, overtime, and a shootout.
Making matters worse, the Flyers saw four games postponed after a COVID-19 outbreak hit the club.
Meanwhile, Boston has hit a few hiccups recently as well. The Bruins have lost their last two games, suffering defeats against the New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils. However, Boston had won nine of its previous 10 games before that.
Playing outdoors adds another element of randomness and variety to the game. With how goaltender Carter Hart (5-2-3, .902 save percentage, 3.31) has looked shaky in net over the first quarter of the season, you should feel comfortable taking Boston to win this game.
The Montreal Canadiens (9-4-2) and Ottawa Senators (4-14-1) will meet for the third time this season on Sunday. Ottawa took the first game with a 3-2 upset, while Montreal won 2-1 two days later. Puck drop for this game is at 7 pm ET.
Montreal has the better lineup top to bottom. However, the Canadiens have struggled with consistency from game to game. Defenseman Jeff Petry (six goals, nine assists) and winger Tyler Toffoli (10 goals, five assists) lead the team in points.
Ottawa has been one of the league’s worst teams this season, but it has also shown a more competitive side in recent weeks, including a remarkable comeback from a 5-1 deficit to stun the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-5 in overtime. Rookie Tim Stützle (five goals, four assists) has been a big part of that turnaround.
However, the Canadiens should come away with the win, especially if Carey Price returns to form. Take Montreal on Sunday night.
The biggest reason the Vancouver Canucks (8-12-1) are favored against the Winnipeg Jets (10-6-1) despite having a worse record is the health of center Pierre-Luc Dubois. The Jets brought in Dubois via trade with Columbus in January. However, after just two games with his new team, Dubois suffered a lower-body injury.
Dubois may return for Winnipeg Sunday, and if he does, the odds should swing back in the Jets’ favor. That said, if Dubois is out, Winnipeg lacks center depth, which the Canucks could capitalize on. This game could go either way, but for now, I’m taking Vancouver.
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