Welcome to NHL Game Day Predictions! Each day, Last Word On Hockey 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. Tonight’s featured game is the Vancouver Canucks vs St Louis Blues. This is the late game slate. The early games can be found here.
Vancouver Canucks vs St Louis Blues Predictions and More
Vancouver Canucks vs St Louis Blues
Head-to-Head: Canucks 0-0 Blues
This is the first matchup of the year between the defending Stanley Cup Champion St. Louis Blues and the upstart Vancouver Canucks. The Blues are returning home after a four-game Eastern road trip that saw the team go 2-1-1 picking up five of six points. After poor performances against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night and the New York Islanders Monday afternoon, the Blues will want to come out stronger. The Blues will want to come out early and establish their style of play against the Canucks.
The Canucks start their four-game road trip in St. Louis Thursday night after wrapping up a homestand that saw them go 3-0. Off-season acquisition J.T. Miller leads the Canucks in scoring with seven points. But right on his heels is the 2018 Calder Trophy winner Elias Pettersson. Even with their talent on the ice, the Canucks are better at home than on the road, so the Blues will be too much for them to handle.
Prediction: St. Louis wins 4-2.
New York Islanders vs Winnipeg Jets
Head-to-Head: Islanders 1–0 Jets
The New York Islanders and Winnipeg Jets will complete their season series Thursday night in Winnipeg. In their first meeting, the Islanders took advantage of a depleted Jets defence core winning by a score of 4-1. On that night Winnipeg was playing without Josh Morrissey, Bryan Little, and Nathan Beaulieu. The Islanders got two-point nights from Anthony Beauvillier and Josh Bailey, while Thomas Greiss backstopped the Islanders to victory. This time around the Islanders will not have Casey Cizikas or Jordan Eberle in the lineup.
For the Jets, they are looking to reestablish their game on home-ice. Back-to-back poor performances have left many players scratching their heads. Even with their 4-4 record, there are still plenty of question marks about the Jets moving forward especially on defence. However, with the Jets’ top line of Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler, and Nikolaj Ehlers, the Jets have the weapons to put up goals. MTS Centre is a tough building to play in and the home crowd will give the added boost Winnipeg needs for a victory against the Islanders.
Prediction: Winnipeg wins 3-2
Detroit Red Wings vs Calgary Flames
Head-to-Head: Red Wings 0-0 Flames
The Detroit Red Wings continue their three-game road trip through Western Canada as they take on the Calgary Flames. Detroit is led by their top line of Anthony Mantha, Tyler Bertuzzi, and Dylan Larkin. After a hot start, this line has quieted down some and it is never easy playing in a place the Saddledome. Detroit will want to bounce back after a poor outing in Vancouver on Tuesday night. If the Red Wings top line can get going it will be a long night for the Flames.
Unfortunately for the Red Wings, the Flames are an excellent team on home ice. Their lone loss thus far on home ice was at the hands of the Los Angeles Kings. The Flames will want to establish their speed game early with guys like Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, and Matthew Tkachuk. David Rittich has been solid for the Flames this season, and look for that trend to continue against Detroit. However, the Flames could see this as an opportunity to rest him in favour of Cam Talbot. Calgary is just too hot to handle and look for them to win.
Prediction: Calgary wins 4-1
Nashville Predators vs Arizona Coyotes
Head-to-Head: Predators 0-0 Coyotes
The Nashville Predators are looking to close out their three-game road trip with a win in Arizona. After a poor performance in Los Angeles on Saturday, the Predators bounced back with a nice 5-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday night. The biggest question mark for the Predators will be the health of Filip Forsberg, who left Tuesday night’s game with an injury. Forsberg has been electric for the Predators as he scored his fifth goal of the season. However, the Predators have enough firepower in case he is out a long time thanks to Matt Duchene.
The Arizona Coyotes are looking to put a little win streak together after their victory over the Jets on Tuesday night. Newly acquired forward Phil Kessel has yet to score a goal, but it is only a matter of time before he finds the back of the net. With Antti Raanta‘s sparse usage, Darcy Kuemper has been rock solid for the Coyotes. Kuemper continues to show why the organization put faith in him this off-season. Unfortunately, the Predators just have an edge and will win this game.
Prediction: Nashville wins 5-1
Ottawa Senators vs Vegas Golden Knights
Head-to-Head: Senators 0-0 Golden Knights
Coming into the season everyone knew the Ottawa Senators were a bad hockey team. Despite their win over the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Senators have not played that well. Heading into a tough environment like Vegas makes things even worse. It is a growing year for the Senators. Newly acquired forward Vladislav Namestnikov has fit in nicely, however, the Vegas Golden Knights know this is a game they can get their game back on track.
It has been a decent start for the Vegas Golden Knights so far to this considering the expectations on this team. Playing a team like the Senators can help them reestablish their game. While there are no guarantees in the NHL, the Golden Knights are a clear favourite to win this hockey game. Mark Stone continues to fit right into this lineup as he leads the team in points with 10. There are just too many weapons for the Senators to have to contain.
Prediction: Vegas wins 6-1
Buffalo Sabres vs Los Angeles Kings
Head-to-Head: Sabres 0-0 Kings
The Buffalo Sabres are making their way through a tough California road trip. Playing back to back games is never easy. The Sabres are looking to prove the world wrong and winning in California will go a long way. The young Sabres are off to a hot start but the question is this team for real? Jack Eichel leads the team in points with rookie Victor Olofsson finding his way in the lineup.
For the Los Angeles Kings, home ice has not been kind to them this season. After their win against the Predators, the team thought it would be best to cover up Taylor Swift’s banner. However, that did not work with back to back losses. Last year, the Kings were embarrassed on home ice at the hands of the Sabres so they will be looking for revenge. Catching them on the backend of a back to back will help. However, outside of two games this season, the Kings have not looked great. Even with Sabres playing on back to back nights, they are the better team.
Prediction: Buffalo wins 3-1