Top NHL Betting Picks for the Final Week of Regular Season: Two Great Matches With Playoffs Implications

The top two games with playoff implications on Thursday night involve Eastern Conference teams. These teams have already clinched a playoff berth, but these teams still have the chance of moving up in the playoff standings.  

As we’re just a few days away from the end of the NHL regular season, we still have some jockeying amongst playoff teams.  Let’s take a look at those two games so you can bet against their NHL Odds, and we’ll tell everyone how a win or a loss can affect their playoff outlook.

Must Bet Games of the Final Week of the 2022 Regular Season | NHL Betting

Washington Capitals @ New York Islanders

While the Capitals have already clinched a playoff spot, they’re currently sitting in the eighth and final playoff spot, and they would face the top-seeded Florida Panthers if the playoffs started today. Washington didn’t do themselves any favors, as they lost 4-1 to the Islanders on Tuesday night.

In the second game of their home-and-home, there will be a lot riding on the line. With the Penguins sitting at 101 points, and the Caps having 100, Washington can’t afford to lose another one to the Islanders. 

Washington scored the first goal of the game, but then gave up four unanswered goals on Tuesday night. Future hall-of-famer Alex Ovechkin didn’t play on Tuesday due to an injury. We’ll see if the Capitals can even the score on Thursday night.

The Capitals could’ve capitalized on a Pittsburgh loss on Tuesday night, but instead they’ll go into Thursday night’s game knowing that a loss will all but seal their fate in the race for the 7th seed. Now that the Islanders have broken their five-game losing streak, we’ll see if they can continue their momentum, or if the Caps can win their second matchup in three days.

Tampa Bay Lightning @ Columbus Blue Jackets

Why is this game important you might ask? Well, for starters we know that the Lightning are one of the best teams in the league and have already clinched a playoff berth. However, they’re currently tied with the New York Rangers with 108 points and neither team wants to end up with the #4 seed. 

Tampa Bay defeated Columbus by a score of 4-1 on Tuesday night. Steven Stamkos had a huge night for the Lightning, as he scored two goals and assisted on another to lead Tampa Bay to victory. The red-hot Nikita Kucherov has scored nine points in the last two games, so Tampa is hoping that he’ll continue to play well on Thursday night. 

Even though they’re headed to Columbus, Tampa Bay knows that they have the Blue Jackets number. The Lightning have won their last five matchups against the Blue Jackets, and they’re hoping that they’ll get #6 on Thursday. If Columbus wins, that’ll have Tampa Bay scoreboard-watching and hoping that the New York Rangers suffer another loss.

The Lightning always tend to come up big come playoff time, so we see them heading into Columbus and continuing their dominance over the Blue Jackets. Thursday night’s game will be huge for the Lightning, and we’ll see if they’re up to the challenge.

  

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