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Pete Blackburn
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.
LAST 6 NHL SIDES
+425
Record: 5-1
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Colorado 2 @ Los Angeles 4 | 01/22 | 3:00 AM UTC

Colorado -1.5

LOSS

ANALYSIS: This is a colossal mismatch, as Colorado is one of the best teams in the league and Los Angeles is one of the worst. The Avalanche's offense and power play has been strong to start the campaign, while the Kings have the worst expected-goal share in the league and have gone winless. I wouldn't expect some sort of miraculous turnaround here, and I'm willing to bank on the Avalanche putting some distance between themselves and the Kings on the scoreboard.

+425 5-1 LAST 6 NHL SIDES

New Jersey 1 @ N.Y. Islanders 4 | 01/22 | 12:00 AM UTC

N.Y. Islanders -160

WIN

ANALYSIS: The Devils have been surprisingly solid to start this season, but a big reason for that success has been the stellar play of Mackenzie Blackwood (2-0-1, 1.90 GAA) in net. With Blackwood out due to COVID protocols and the Devils facing a defensive juggernaut in the Isles, I'm willing to lay the big-time chalk with NYI.

+425 5-1 LAST 6 NHL SIDES
+357 6-3 IN LAST 9 NYI ML PICKS

Minnesota 3 @ Anaheim 2 | 01/21 | 2:30 AM UTC

Minnesota -135

WIN

ANALYSIS: The Wild have looked good out of the gate and their defensive group has been predictably solid. Minnesota probably isn't going to blow many teams away with its offensive ability but the Wild are the superior team in this matchup and they should be able to keep a struggling Ducks offense quiet. Take the Wild (and perhaps pair it with the under if you're so inclined).

+425 5-1 LAST 6 NHL SIDES

Boston @ N.Y. Islanders 1 | 01/18 | 10:00 PM UTC

N.Y. Islanders +110

WIN

ANALYSIS: The Bruins are on the tail end of a back-to-back and they didn't show a whole lot in the way of offensive production against a lowly Devils team that took them to OT twice last week. The Islanders split their opening series against the Rangers but they were spectacular defensively in their win and that defense could give the Bruins some trouble as Boston tries to establish its footing. I like the value on NYI here.

+425 5-1 LAST 6 NHL SIDES
+588 12-5 IN LAST 17 BOS ML PICKS
+357 6-3 IN LAST 9 NYI ML PICKS

Anaheim 2 @ Vegas 5 | 01/15 | 3:00 AM UTC

Vegas -1.5

WIN

ANALYSIS: The Golden Knights are one of the most talented and complete teams in the league and they're going up against a rebuilding Ducks team that still has a lot of holes and question marks. The mismatch is strong enough to feel good about playing Vegas against the puck line Thursday.

+425 5-1 LAST 6 NHL SIDES