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Saturday Slate Preview

We’ve got a great slate of Saturday games in the NHL this weekend!

We’re now less than a month away from the end of the NHL regular season! While for some teams, this means the conclusion to a miserable eight months of hockey, others will be fighting for positioning in the postseason until the bitter end of the schedule. Heading into this Saturday slate of games, both conferences are full of squads with so much still to play for. If you’re looking for the best and biggest matchups to watch this Saturday, we’ve got you covered here. Plan your day of hockey watching with us! 

2:00pm ET – St. Louis at Minnesota

Both of these teams have been playing some good hockey recently, but they’ve still got lots of work to do if they want to make the playoffs. Heading into the Saturday slate, both St. Louis and Minnesota sit behind Vegas with two more games played. To make that ground up on the Golden Knights, one of these teams will need to be great in their last twelve contests, and it starts here. With the way the West is looking currently, it’s extremely unlikely that both the Wild and Blues will get into the postseason. Honestly, it’s pretty unlikely that even one of them will. Because of this, both teams should be playing with a ‘do or die’ attitude on Saturday.

If there’s one recipe we know that makes for a great regular season game, it’s two division rivals battling it out with their playoff hopes dwindling, in desperate search of a win. This game should be an afternoon treat. With a few days off before this one, though, I’d take the home side Wild to get the job done.  

5:00pm ET – Dallas at Nashville

These teams have been going in different directions recently, but both Nashville and Detroit currently find themselves in a wild card spot of their respective conferences. With a sixteen-game point streak, the Preds have built themselves a bit of a cushion in the West’s first wild card spot. Heading into the Saturday slate, they sit five points ahead of Vegas with one more game played. Detroit, on the other hand, has had a tougher go of it recently. Their 3-8-0 record in the last eleven games has brought a lot of teams in the East back into the playoff race. Thankfully, the return of captain Dylan Larkin could not have come at a better time. In his first game back in three weeks on Thursday, he scored twice in Detroit’s 6-3 win against the Islanders.

Tonight is a big night for both teams. The Wings still control their own destiny, but they’ve certainly made things a lot more stressful for themselves with this stretch of bad play. Although the Predators do have that cushion, it’s hard to feel safe when the Vegas Golden Knights are the team trying to catch you. Every win for Detroit and Nashville at this point of the season is a step towards securing a playoff spot. Every loss, though, pushes them closer and closer to the teams trying to overtake them. The Red Wings may be a little more desperate, but I’d take the hottest team in the league to stay that way at home – we’ve got the Preds in this one.

8:00pm ET – Florida at New York

Two of the league’s top teams battling it out on a Saturday night at Madison Square Garden? We’ll be watching. This game may not have the appeal of teams fighting for a spot in the playoffs, but the Rangers and Panthers still have a lot to play for in the marquee matchup of the Saturday slate. Both squads are very close to the Eastern Conference’s overall top seed, with the Rangers just two points ahead of Florida with one more game played. Not only are they playing for that, but they’re also playing for the top spot in each of their conferences. New York is currently two points ahead of Carolina, while Florida trails Boston by three with two games in hand. 

Not only will we be watching two of the best teams in the NHL go at it, we’ll also be watching some of the league’s best players. Goaltenders Igor Shesterkin and Sergei Bobrovsky have been two of the best in the world recently, but they’ll need to be sharp in this one. Guys like Artemi Panarin, Adam Fox, Matt Tkachuk and Sam Reinhart will be looking to get on the score sheet, something they’ve all done a lot this season. This one should be an absolute battle and we can’t wait to watch it. Making a pick isn’t easy, but after Florida’s loss to the Predators on Thursday, we’ll take them to bounce back and spoil the party in the Big Apple. 

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