Welcome back to NHL Game Day Predictions. Daily, Last Word on Hockey brings you a prediction and analysis of every game on the schedule. This will also feature a significant game on the schedule that is must-watch hockey. Today’s featured game is the New York Rangers vs the Washington Capitals.
Predictions Including New York Rangers vs Washington Capitals
New York Rangers vs Washington Capitals
Head to Head: Rangers 0-0 Capitals
The Washington Capitals currently sit at third place in the Metropolitan Division with a record of 4-2-2 through eight games. Now entering the second season following the franchise’s first Stanley Cup title, Alex Ovechkin continues to score goals at a high rate. But he has not been the one to carry the offence. Defenceman John Carlson has been the engine for this team’s offensive production to this point in the season with 14 points. Keep an eye on the goaltending situation, as longtime Capitals star Braden Holtby has struggled mightily to start the year with a 4.27 GAA.
The New York Rangers had a huge offseason, coming away with a top prize in both free agency and the draft. While the Rangers have only played in four games to this point in the year, Artemi Panarin has been a solid top-line winger for them and Kaapo Kakko has played well on the second line. Mika Zibanejad has also been an unstoppable force for the team from MSG, scoring eight points in the first three games alone. The Rangers played Thursday night and will be on a back-to-back for this one. They should be hungry to avenge their loss and that is why the New York Rangers vs Washington Capitals will be a must-watch game.
Prediction: Capitals win 3-2
Colorado Avalanche vs Florida Panthers
Head to Head: Avalanche 0-0 Panthers
It doesn’t get much better than a 5-0-1 start for the Colorado Avalanche. With a combined 25 points in six games, Mikko Rantanen, Gabriel Landeskog, and Nathan MacKinnon are a train that can’t be stopped. Cale Makar is living up to the hype, with six points in six games, and Philipp Grubauer is playing like a #1 goalie. With Nazem Kadri also looking strong on the second line, Colorado will be a tough team to beat.
The acquisition of Joel Quenneville helped the Florida Panthers turn the team in the right direction. But that does not equate to immediate wins, as shown by Florida’s 2-2-2 start this season. Sergei Bobrovsky has struggled early this year but has plenty of time to turn things around. If the top line of Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau, and Evgenii Dadonov can have a solid outing, they could make this game more competitive.
Prediction: Avalanche win 5-2
Dallas Stars vs Pittsburgh Penguins
Head to Head: Stars 0-0 Penguins
A wild card team in the 2019 playoffs, the Dallas Stars appeared to be on the rise. Although Mats Zuccarello left in free agency, the acquisitions of Corey Perry and Joe Pavelski looked to bolster secondary scoring. Although both stars are ageing, Dallas was hoping to get a little more life out of their careers, that does not appear to be the case. Perry has only appeared in one game due to injury and Pavelski has two points in eight games. Things do not look good for Dallas.
Having Evgeni Malkin, Alex Galchenyuk, and Bryan Rust spending time with injury has hurt the Pittsburgh Penguins. But that has not stopped them from racking up a 5-2-0 record. Matt Murray has not been playing like an All-Star but his solid play has lightened the load defensively. Playing against a Dallas team that has struggled to score, the Penguins odds seem solid, even with the injury questions.
Prediction: Penguins win 3-1
Columbus Blue Jackets vs Chicago Blackhawks
Head to Head: Blue Jackets 0-0 Blackhawks
The Columbus Blue Jackets took a big hit this offseason, losing Artemi Panarin, Sergei Bobrovsky, and Matt Duchene in free agency. Thankfully for Blue Jackets fans, Ryan Murray, Zach Werenski, and Seth Jones all remain on defence. This team won’t do a lot in a high scoring affair, but they can win the defencive battles. Unfortunately, Chicago might be too much for them to handle.
The current Chicago Blackhawks team is in shambles compared to where they were four years ago. They still have Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, and Duncan Keith. Most of the supporting cast on those teams that won three titles in six years is gone. But with the established veterans that lead this team as well as some of the young talent, Chicago can come out on top of this one.
Prediction: Blackhawks win 2-0
Detroit Red Wings vs Edmonton Oilers
Head to Head: Red Wings 0-0 Oilers
Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha, and Tyler Bertuzzi are showing they are a capable top line with a combined 23 points in the first six games. The reason the Detroit Red Wings are not better is due to a weak defence, a lack of secondary scoring, and goaltending that is mediocre at best. With Steve Yzerman at the helm now, the future looks brighter. But for now, this team will struggle to churn out wins on a weekly basis.
The Edmonton Oilers are off to a hot start and early returns suggest flipping Milan Lucic for James Neal was one of the best moves of the offseason. You also can’t forget the combo of Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid. That pair has 32 points in seven games. This game really comes down to which top line has the better night, as neither team has much past their top scorers. Money with the Oilers is a safe bet, as McDavid is nearly guaranteed to have a good game every game.
Prediction: Oilers win 5-3
Carolina Hurricanes vs Anaheim Ducks
Head to Head: Hurricanes 0-0 Ducks
The storm keeps on surging in Raleigh. Currently holding the first place slot in the Metropolitan Division with a 6-2-0 record, the Carolina Hurricanes are building off of a season that sent them to the Eastern Conference Finals. Wingers Teuvo Teravainen, Erik Haula, and Andrei Svechnikov have led the way offensively. Add to that a defence that boasts Jaccob Slavin, Dougie Hamilton, and Brett Pesce, this team is going to win and win a lot.
The Anaheim Ducks have been one of the early surprises to this season, with a 5-2-0 record. That’s good for second place in the Pacific Division. Winning with strong goaltending from John Gibson and Ryan Miller, the Ducks are looking mighty. While a hot goaltender can win you a lot of games, you can’t expect to win on that alone. Carolina has the edge in this one simply due to their ability to generate scoring from so many different places.
Prediction: Carolina wins 4-2
That’s our predictions for the day! Make sure to keep your eye on the New York Rangers vs Washington Capitals and enjoy whatever game you watch.