Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:50 AM

NHL Best Bets, Score Predictions for Saturday Apr. 17

NHL Daily Free Picks & Predictions NHL expert Matt Blunt provides his score predictions and best bets for three NHL games on Saturday, Apr. 17, 2021.

St. Louis Blues vs Arizona Coyotes

  • Money-Line Odds: St. Louis -132; Arizona +115
  • Total (Over-Under): 5

Score Prediction: St. Louis 4 Arizona 2

Best Bet: Blues ML

The Blues were in the midst of blowing their shot at the playoffs this year before winning three in a row prior to a 4-3 defeat to Colorado last time out.

There was a lot of bad hockey played by St. Louis prior to this recent four-game stretch, and now they get to face this Arizona team that's the ones chasing them and struggling themselves.

It's a five-game losing streak for the Coyotes coming into this one, as they can't keep the puck out of their net right now.

Four of the five losses have seen the Coyotes give up at least four goals, and it's the production of St. Louis' offense (scored at least three goals in last four games) that's sparked this turnaround for the Blues.

Came into the year expecting the Blues to get one of the playoff spots from this division, and now that it's closing time in the season, I think we get more wins than losses in games the Blues should have.

Before they host Colorado for three straight, this is a game the Blues have to have. They should get it with Arizona struggling as they are.

Florida Panthers vs Tampa Bay Lightning

  • Money-Line Odds: Florida +133; Tampa Bay -155
  • Total (Over-Under): 6

Score Prediction: Tampa Bay 4 Florida 2

Best Bet: Lightning ML

Tampa Bay looked awful for most of that game with Florida the other night, and yet they still found a way to come back and win in overtime.

It was important for them to get back in the win column after that ugly effort (7-2 loss) to Nashville in their previous outing, and we probably get a much better version of the Bolts from start to finish here.

Florida doubled up Tampa in the shots on goal department and still couldn't get that win, which when priced the same is not something I think bodes well.

A 1-4 SU run on the road for the Panthers on top of Florida dropping 12 of the past 15 meetings in this rivalry, and when the expectation is already there to get a much better effort from Tampa, it's an easy price to lay.

Chicago Blackhawks vs Detroit Red Wings

  • Money-Line Odds: Chicago -143; Detroit +123
  • Total (Over-Under): 5.5

Score Prediction: Chicago 4 Detroit 3

Best Bet: Over 5.5

Chicago is still doing what they can to grab that final playoff spot away from Nashville in this division, but dropping consecutive games to Detroit isn't going to help that cause at all. So I do expect Chicago to play much better this time out.

But the Wings have scored at least three goals in three straight games, and trusting the Hawks to win as road chalk before three straight games against that aforementioned Nashville Predators team is not something I'm interested in doing either. The potential for a lookahead spot for Chicago could lead to some sloppy play defensively as well.

Detroit's got nothing to lose in playing free and loose the rest of the year as their youthful talent continues to try and improve.

Expecting goals in Wings games these last few weeks could be a general long term theory to consider, as at least for tonight I think it's a good approach to back.

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