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.

13-5-1 IN LAST 19 NHL PICKS | +986

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Pete's
Past Picks

St. Louis -1.5 STL -1.5

San Jose 1 @ St. Louis 5
5/22
SJ 1 @ STL 5
5/22
WIN
Tue 5/21

The Sharks got absolutely steamrolled by the Blues through the final 40 minutes of Game 5, and there?s not a lot of reason to believe this one isn?t going to look similar. The Blues have all four lines playing well, and the Sharks are incredibly banged up in key spots. Erik Karlsson (groin) and Tomas Hertl (head) have been ruled out of Game 6. Joe Pavelski?s status is also in question. The Sharks have been a resilient bounce-back team this postseason, but things just look too dire right now. There?s enough reason to feel good about the Blues ATS at home in Game 6.

13-5-1 IN LAST 19 NHL PICKS | +986

St. Louis -140 STL -140

San Jose 1 @ St. Louis 2
5/18
SJ 1 @ STL 2
5/18
WIN
Fri 5/17

This is a real make-or-break game for the Blues after that demoralizing Game 3 finish. They should be entering this game angry and with a chip on their shoulders, so I look for a quick start for St. Louis at home. These teams have played each other well through the first theree games, but I like for the Blues to bounce back here. They played well in Game 3 and would have closed out in regulation if it weren't for a great effort from Martin Jones in net.

13-5-1 IN LAST 19 NHL PICKS | +986

3-0 IN LAST 3 STL ML PICKS | +305

Boston +104 BOS +104

Boston 2 @ Carolina 1
5/15
BOS 2 @ CAR 1
5/15
WIN
Tue 5/14

The Hurricanes have been an outstanding home team in these playoffs, going 5-0 through the first two rounds. They also managed to climb out of a 2-0 hole against the Caps in the first round. But the Bruins have been the better team in this series, and they were the FAR better team in Game 2. Boston has four lines rolling right now, its goaltending is better and its special teams have been far superior. Don?t overthink this. Keep riding the Bruins until Carolina proves it's worth siding with.

13-5-1 IN LAST 19 NHL PICKS | +986

5-2 IN LAST 7 BOS ML PICKS | +309

3-1 IN LAST 4 CAR ML PICKS | +204

Boston -151 BOS -151

Carolina 2 @ Boston 6
5/12
CAR 2 @ BOS 6
5/12
WIN
Sun 5/12

The Hurricanes did some things well and were the better team for a stretch in Game 1 but ultimately they couldn?t beat a Bruins team without Charlie McAvoy in the lineup. Special teams propelled Boston to victory and that should continue to be a significant advantage for the Bruins, who have the best remaining power play conversion rate (30 percent) in these playoffs. With one of their best defensemen back in the lineup and all four lines playing well, it?s too hard to step in front of the Bruins at this point.

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5-2 IN LAST 7 BOS ML PICKS | +309

3-1 IN LAST 4 CAR ML PICKS | +204

Carolina +130 CAR +130

Carolina 2 @ Boston 5
5/10
CAR 2 @ BOS 5
5/10
LOSS
Thu 5/9

The Hurricanes are coming into this game as the more well-rested team and they?ll be matching up against a Bruins defense that is without a top defenseman in Charlie McAvoy, who was arguably their best player on the back end in the Columbus series. Carolina?s speed could present an issue for Boston, especially if the Bruins aren?t extremely careful with the puck at the top of the zone. Look for the Hurricanes? top stars like Sebastian Aho and Tuevo Teravainen to come into this game and take advantage of McAvoy?s absence for a statement performance to open the series in Boston.

13-5-1 IN LAST 19 NHL PICKS | +986

5-2 IN LAST 7 BOS ML PICKS | +309

3-1 IN LAST 4 CAR ML PICKS | +204

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