Welcome to NHL Game Day Predictions! Each day, LastWordOnHockey will break down every game and give our prediction for who will win. This will also include a featured game that should be must-watch hockey. Today’s featured game is the St Louis Blues vs Montreal Canadiens. This is the early game slate. Look for the predictions of any games starting after 7 pm Eastern here.
St Louis Blues vs Montreal Canadiens Predictions and More
Edmonton Oilers vs New York Rangers
Head-to-Head: Rangers 0 – 0 Oilers
Two undefeated teams are matching up in this one. The Edmonton Oilers have started the year 4-0 with James Neal absolutely lighting up the lamp. However, the Oilers are still struggling to control play to start this season. Very small sample sizes can easily be fixed but the Oilers are currently in the bottom 3 for score-adjusted CF%. This will need to improve if they wish to keep winning games. The offence of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl can’t be understated, though. The Oilers should be hungry to start 5-0-0 and should come out of the gate flying.
On the other side of things, the New York Rangers have started 2-0 and will want to keep up their momentum at home. Henrik Lundqvist should be in net for this one which may give the team some extra confidence. The Rangers moved Vladislav Namestnikov but that shouldn’t affect them too much. However, the middle of their team is still very shakey and it may be tough to matchup against the Oilers depth down the middle here.
Prediction: Oilers Win 3-2.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs Ottawa Senators
Head-to-Head: Tampa 0 – 0 Ottawa
This one seems easier to predict than the last one. Last year’s President Trophy winners in the Tampa Bay Lightning vs the last-placed team in the Ottawa Senators. Ottawa has battled hard in all of their games but seems to faze out near the end. They are missing just that bit of extra talent to push them over the edge in most situations. Craig Anderson will take the crease after a rough outing from Anders Nilsson Thursday night.
As for Tampa, they just got back Brayden Point from injury and he lit up the score sheet the other night. He, Nikita Kucherov, and Steven Stamkos were on a line the other night and were just unstoppable. Look for that line to dominate this Ottawa team again. The Sens are poor in their own end and turnovers against this team will be very costly.
Prediction: Lightning Win 6-3.
Nashville Predators vs Los Angeles Kings
Head-to-Head: Predators 0 – 0 Kings
The Nashville Predators and LA Kings are two teams with different looking outcomes this season. Despite Drew Doughty‘s comments from the other night, the Kings just don’t have a great roster this season. However, even those teams can be pests for contending teams like the Predators. The Kings got absolutely blown out the other night and will no doubt be hungry to go and redeem themselves. They have a win on the board already this season so there is no pressure to get that, but getting number 2 out of the way would be a good feeling.
As for the Predators, they are coming off of a 6-5 win the other night. Going forward, they will need to be more defensively responsible than that. However, the Kings don’t have the most offensively powered roster in the league and a shootout could go in Nashville’s favour. Look for both teams to try and play better defensively this game.
Prediction: Kings win 3-2 in Overtime.
Toronto Maple Leafs vs Detroit Red Wings
Head-to-Head Leafs 0 – 0 Wings
The Toronto Maple Leafs got embarrassed on home ice the other night against Tampa Bay and will be hungry to redeem themselves. Another team that has really struggled in their own end to start this season. Not that this is a massive surprise given that the team is so offensively minded, however, they need to clean it up if they want to win games. Frederik Andersen hasn’t been able to truly bail them out this year. They will need him to get going if they want that to happen.
On the other side of things, the Detroit Red Wings have been on a massive hot streak to start the season. Surprising many teams, players like Anthony Mantha have exploded out of the gate. He has 8 points in just 4 games as he looks to take that next step and become an elite scorer. Dylan Larkin has also chipped in 6 points in 4 games. This team has dealt with some injuries, but seem to be pushing past them Another high scoring game could be in store here. This was in consideration for game of the night but was just beat out by St Louis Blues vs Montreal Canadiens.
Prediction: Leafs win 5-4.
Winnipeg Jets vs Chicago Blackhawks
Head-to-Head: Jets 0 – 0 Blackhawks
The Winnipeg Jets have had their defence core absolutely decimated this year. Between losing players like Tyler Myers and Jacob Trouba due to cap issues, and then Dustin Byfuglien on personal leave, the Jets have had to scratch and claw. Despite this, they have found some early wins this year. Their offence has been high-powered and that will be what needs to lead them going ahead all year. Connor Hellebuyck will also need a strong start as the Chicago Blackhawks offence is still potent, especially in the top-6.
As for the Hawks, they have started 0-2. Their defence core isn’t great this year either and they have really struggled to keep pucks out of their own net. They have allowed 9 goals against in just two games and that needs to change if they wish to win. They also rank dead last to start the season in CF% with a 38.68% CF%. This is all very concerning if you’re a Hawks fan.
Prediction: Jets win 4-2.
New Jersey Devils vs Boston Bruins
Head-to-Head: Devils 0 – 0 Bruins
The Boston Bruins are returning from a Western Road trip that concluded Thursday night. With such a quick turnaround, the time difference may play an effect here. Boston started right where they left off last season as they ran through the Western Conference, losing just one of four games. Tuukka Rask may get the start for Boston and that would be good news. He has a .937 save percentage through two games so far this year.
As for the New Jersey Devils, they are still looking for their first win. Rookie Jack Hughes has not looked great but they are hoping that can change. The Devils brought in a lot of new talent this year that may just need to start clicking. P.K. Subban and Nikita Gusev are just two of those names. If there is a time to get a big first win it would be against the Bruins team still adjusting from a road trip.
Prediction: Devils Win 3-1.
St Louis Blues vs Montreal Canadiens
Head-to-Head: Blues 0 – 0 Canadiens
The St Louis Blues vs Montreal Canadiens is our game of the night due to the talent involved and the style of the teams. The Canadiens have been very good under head coach Claude Julien at controlling play. They will go against the defending Cup Winners in the Blues that also are known to play a very solid game possession-wise. This is a huge game for the Habs as they haven’t gotten off to a great start. Carey Price should be the starter and the Bell Centre should be rocking at home on a Saturday.
As for the Blues, they had great success in Ontario and look to continue that. Beating both the Leafs and Senators in close games. There may be a lack of gas in the tank as the road trip is dragging on but the Blues are known to bring it every night. Jordan Binnington will likely get the start in this game and it should be a very good one. There may not be a ton of offence but it should be one good game to watch. Keep your eye on the St Louis Blues vs Montreal Canadiens.
Prediction: Canadiens win 2-1 in Overtime.
Florida Panthers vs New York Islanders
Head-to-Head: Panthers 0 – 0 Islanders
Both of these teams played on Friday night so there will be no rest advantage for either of them. The Florida Panthers have gotten off to a poor start this year going 1-2-1. For a team with playoff aspirations that is not the start you want. However, they have a ton of talent up front and need to find some defence to go with it. They brought in big fish free agent Sergei Bobrovsky this offseason and he hasn’t played incredibly well. It will be interesting to see if they go back to him even though he started Friday or if they go to rookie Samuel Montembeault who has only started one game this year.
The New York Islanders look to prove many doubters wrong and get back to the playoffs again this year. They have started 1-3 this season and need to get going. Semyon Varlamov will most likely get the start. The Isles currently rank 30th in CF% this season so getting out to an early start will be huge. Controlling the flow of the game is a must against this loaded Panthers offence.
Prediction: Panthers win 4-2.
Columbus Blue Jackets vs Carolina Hurricanes
Head-to-Head: Jackets 0 – 0 Hurricanes
Another two teams who played Friday night and will be on back-to-backs. The Columbus Blue Jackets have also struggled out of the gate going just 1-3. They haven’t been able to the puck out of their net with 16 goals against in 4 games. This will need to improve if they want to beat the red hot Carolina Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes currently rank 3rd in CF% this season and have been unstoppable. A 5-0-0 start for them has put them on the map as potentially the best team in the Metro. They will need to keep the tempo up and force the pace against this Jackets team.
Prediction: Hurricanes win 5-2.
That’s all for our early game predictions! Keep an eye on St Louis Blues vs Montreal Canadiens and be sure to enjoy all of the massive slate the NHL has tonight.