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Best NHL Bets Today | NHL Picks, February 20

Written by: Michael Hanich
Published February 20, 2024
8 min read
New Jersey Devils left wing Jesper Bratt shoots against Philadelphia Flyers goaltender

Yesterday was an exciting day in the NHL, with some great matchups happening earlier than usual. These games showed just how thrilling the rest of the season could be. There have been games that have had NHL fans and sports bettors come off solid betting winnings. Today is another day for fans and bettors to earn some significant winnings through game outcomes through DraftKings.

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New Jersey Devils vs. Washington Capitols

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My Pick: New Jersey Devils (NJD)

Kicking off another busy night in the NHL is a Metropolitan Divisional matchup set for the New Jersey Devils (28-22-4), going on the road to take on the Washington Capitals (24-21-8). This matchup will be the fourth and final time that these two will meet on the ice.

Washington took down New Jersey in late October and early November in high-scoring matchups. In those games, the Capitals outscored the Devils 10-6, as it was a statement that the Capitals were able to show they could score consistently. Throughout the season, that hasn’t been the case, as the Capitals have shown their scoring has dropped tremendously.

The last time these two teams met on the ice, the Devils took down the Capitals with a 6-3 score on the road. New Jersey scored two goals in each of the three periods, while Washington scored only three goals in the first two periods.

The Devils are coming into this game with the eighth-ranked scoring offense, as they average 3.39 goals per game. They have great young talent that can take a game over and still get better as the experience continues to grow. It has been the defense of the Devils that has limited their deep playoff potential, as they allow an average of 3.41 goals per game (26th in the league).

The Capitals are on a similar level, but on the opposite side of the ice. Their defense has been elite through most of the season, as they were stout and hard to score against. What has made the Capitals fall is their inability to develop offensively. The Capitals are ranked 30th in the league in goals per game (2.42). Their defense is much better than their ranking of 15th in the NHL in goals allowed per game (3.08), but their offense is so terrible that it has caused them to shift differently throughout the game.

Minnesota Wild vs. Winnipeg Jets

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My Pick: Winnipeg Jets (WPG)

Among the many teams that are playing back-to-back after the wild day in the NHL are the Minnesota Wild (26-23-6) and the Winnipeg Jets (33-15-5). Tonight, the Jets will host their Central Division rival for the third time this season.

The last time these two teams met, the Jets defeated the Wild in a back-to-back home-and-home series on December 30 and 31. The Jets outscored the Wild 7-4 in those games as multiple players found their way to make a significant impact.

Winnipeg had its three-game winning streak snapped on Monday as they fell to the Calgary Flames with a 6-3 score. Despite three goals from Jets center Sean Monahan, Winnipeg was lifeless on both sides of the ice.

Minnesota has found an incredible stretch of life as it won eight of its 11 games before suffering a tough 3-2 overtime loss at home to the Buffalo Sabres this past Saturday. The Wild came into Monday’s matchup at home against the Vancouver Canucks as a small underdog. The Wild would go neck and neck with the Canucks until outscoring them 7-2 in the third period. Center Joel Eriksson Ek and forward Kaproizov each accounted for three goals and three assists.

The Wild showed how dangerous of a team they can be, but it is going to be hard to believe they can beat two elite teams on consecutive days. The Wild possess a defense that is ranked 23rd in the NHL in goals allowed per game (3.29).

The Jets are not as efficient on offense as most of the other elite teams in the league, but their defense is legitimate. Winnipeg is ranked first in the league in goals allowed per game (2.34) as they do not suffer embarrassing collapses as the Canucks do.

Nashville Predators vs. Vegas Golden Knights

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My Pick: Vegas Golden Knights (VGK)

Rounding out the night in the NHL is the Western Conference matchup, with the Nashville Predators (28-25-2) going on the road to take on the Vegas Golden Knights (32-17-6). Both the Predators and the Golden Knights are attempting to find some solidity and consistency after rough stretches in the new year.

After going back and forth to start the new year, the Golden Knights have won eight of the last 12 games, starting from January 15. Vegas went into the new week on a two-game losing streak after losses to Minnesota and Carolina. On Monday, the Golden Knights were able to shed their losing streak with a 4-0 win over the San Jose Sharks.

Since January 15, the Predators have only been able to win four of those 12 games. Nashville has played a brutal schedule of playoff-caliber teams. Their defense has been bad during this latest stretch of games, as they have allowed four or more goals in eight of the last 12 games, including six of the last seven games.

What started the trend for both teams was the January 15 matchup between the Golden Knights and the Predators. Vegas was able to score consistently to win at home with a 4-1 score thanks to a three-goal performance from forward Mark Stone.

The Golden Knights, after a rough few months, have been getting better on offense, while the Predators have been getting significantly worse. That impact could easily be seen once again on the ice tonight.

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Michael Hanich

469 Articles

Michael Hanich is a sports journalist/analyst with a wide variety of experience in the newspaper and digital field. He has a love for all sports. The leagues that he covers are College Football, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, College Basketball (men’s and women’s), the MLB, Lacrosse, Volleyball, and the WNBA.

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