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
Past Picks

OVER 6.5 OVER 6.5

Vegas 7 @ San Jose 3
3/19
LV 7 @ SJ 3
3/19
WIN
Mon 3/18

This game should be an all-out war in what could potentially be a first-round playoff matchup between two of the best teams in the West. The Sharks will have Evander Kane back in the lineup and the Golden Knights, who have been impressive since the trade deadline, are on the road on the tail end of a back-to-back. I like the Over here, especially with a Malcolm Subban-Martin Jones goaltending matchup.

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UNDER 6 UNDER 6

Florida 3 @ Boston 4
3/08
FLA 3 @ BOS 4
3/08
LOSS
Thu 3/7

The Bruins are arguably the hottest team in hockey right now (17 straight games with a point). But they?re going to be without two top-six forwards; Marcus Johansson is out, and late reports Thursday say that Jake DeBrusk will be out too. Boston has had issues finding secondary scoring for large chunks of this year, so those absences on the second line are concerning. Combine that with the fact that the Bruins have the league?s second-ranked defensive unit and a red-hot Tuukka Rask in net, the under looks promising.

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OVER 6 OVER 6

Calgary 0 @ Arizona 2
3/08
CGY 0 @ ARI 2
3/08
LOSS
Thu 3/7

The Flames? fourth-ranked offense has scored two goals or fewer in five of their last six games, but this seems like a good spot for them to break out of that offensive slump. They?ve lit up the Coyotes this season, outscoring Arizona 18-4 in their three prior matchups (all wins for Calgary) and they?ve got Mike Smith in net on Thursday, so the Over seems like a better play than picking sides.

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Arizona -160 ARI -160

Anaheim 3 @ Arizona 1
3/06
ANA 3 @ ARI 1
3/06
LOSS
Tue 3/5

The Coyotes have come on strong lately and are winners of six straight. Arizona is just two points out of a playoff spot in the West, so it should be extremely motivated heading into a matchup against a Ducks team that sits toward the bottom of the league. Plus, the Coyotes have won their past four games as a home favorite, while Anaheim is 3-13 in their last 16 as a road underdog.

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OVER 6 OVER 6

Edmonton 4 @ Buffalo 3
3/05
EDM 4 @ BUF 3
3/05
WIN
Mon 3/4

When these two teams met in January, there were five total goals in the first period. The Sabres have had a particularly rough go of things in the first period lately, giving up 55 shots in the first frame over their past three contests. Neither of these squads are particularly trustworthy defensively, so there could be scoring opportunities early and often. Go Over.

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