Pete Blackburn

CBS Sports Lead NHL Writer

Pete Blackburn has relentlessly covered and analyzed the NHL in a professional capacity for half a decade now. He has been CBS Sports? lead NHL writer for nearly two years and previously served as lead NHL writer for FOX Sports. His approach to breaking down the game is much like his approach to making picks -- the numbers and analytics sometimes only tell part of the story. A Boston native, he knows winners when he sees them. For Pete Blackburn media inquiries, contact Pete.Blackburn@CBSInteractive.com.

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Pete's
Picks

OVER 6.5 OVER 6.5

Ottawa 4 @ Carolina 1
1/19
OTT 4 @ CAR 1
1/19
LOSS
YESTERDAY 10:05 PM

These two teams met a few weeks ago, and the Hurricanes came away with a 5-4 win. Carolina has been hot of late (7-2 in its last nine) and it's going up against one of the league?s worst teams in Ottawa. The 'Canes produce a league-best 36 shots per game, so they?ve got a good chance to put numbers on the board against the Senators. Carolina also has Petr Mrazek going in net and he?s struggled of late (.900 save percentage in his last four starts), so signs point to the over being a solid bet Friday.

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UNDER 5.5 UNDER 5.5

Los Angeles 2 @ Dallas 1
1/18
LA 2 @ DAL 1
1/18
WIN
Thu 1/17

The Stars haven?t scored more than three goals in a game since Jan. 2 and they?ll being going up against the league?s worst scoring unit in the Kings. Dallas goaltender Ben Bishop will get the start and has a great opportunity to put some tough recent outings behind him with a strong showing against an oft-anemic Los Angeles attack.

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St. Louis +133 STL +133

St. Louis 2 @ Boston 5
1/18
STL 2 @ BOS 5
1/18
LOSS
Thu 1/17

The Blues are quietly heating up as of late (4-0-1) in their last five and they?ve got Jake Allen starting in Boston on Thursday. Allen has played significantly better on the road this season (.925 SV% in 14 starts) and will be facing a Boston team that has lost two in a row and is on the tail end of a back-to-back. This is a decent value play.

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Tampa Bay -1.5 TB -1.5

Toronto 4 @ Tampa Bay 2
1/18
TOR 4 @ TB 2
1/18
LOSS
Thu 1/17

This is a matchup of the Eastern Conference?s two best offenses going head-to-head, but there?s plenty of reason to believe that the Lightning can cover the spread. Their relentless attack has been superior to everyone else all year long and the Leafs still have some serious liabilities in their own end. Tampa also has home ice and is 8-2 in its last 10, while the Leafs have been a bit shaky of late, losing their last two and five of their last seven.

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