Welcome to NHL Predictions! Each day, Last Word On Hockey will break down every game and give our NHL predictions for each game. This will also include a featured game that should be must-watch hockey. Tonight’s featured game is the Toronto Maple Leafs vs Philadelphia Flyers. Be sure to check out the other seven games too.
Edmonton Oilers vs Pittsburgh Penguins
Head-to-Head: Oilers 0 – 0 Penguins
We start NHL Predictions off as the Edmonton Oilers roll into town on top of the Pacific Division. The team has had a hot start to the season led by Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and James Neal. They have won four of their last six games including a win in their most recent game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The matinee start will be an early one for Edmonton fans, however, they are not new to it. The Oilers will desperately need some depth scoring if they wish to keep winning. Their big players can only do so much in each game.
On top of that, they will be going up against a team with equally impressive big guns. Sidney Crosby doesn’t seem to care about age curves and the Pittsburgh Penguins are looking forward to the return of Evgeni Malkin, who is expected to re-join the lineup. This is a massive addition as Malkin has been out almost all year. Look for that to give a much-needed boost to the team. Matt Murray will be in net likely vs Mike Smith. Smith is up and down, some nights stealing games and some nights losing them for Edmonton.
With all of the offensive firepower look for this game to be a shootout. Both of these teams have absolutely elite talent up front and not always the strongest blueline.
Prediction: Penguins win 6-4.
New York Rangers vs Nashville Predators
Head-to-Head: Rangers 0 – 0 Predators
The New York Rangers have had a rocky start to start the year. They’re almost up to .500 now yet that is likely disappointing for fans. They had some massive additions in the offseason including Artemi Panarin, Jacob Trouba, and Kaapo Kakko. Yet, they struggled out of the gate. Mika Zibanejad got hurt and that is a huge hit to their centre depth. This is a young Rangers team but they still have lots of growing to do.
Unfortunately for New York, their biggest weaknesses might be their opponent’s biggest strengths. The Nashville Predators went out and acquired Matt Duchene this summer adding to their centre core. They now have solid lines down the middle. However, even without P.K. Subban, they still have one of the best defence cores out there. Roman Josi and his new deal lead the way followed by Mattias Ekholm and Ryan Ellis, two incredibly underrated players. Look for Nashville’s strengths to overcome New York’s weakness.
Prediction: Predators win 4-2.
Montreal Canadiens vs Dallas Stars
Head-to-Head: Canadiens 0 – 0 Stars
The Montreal Canadiens are coming off of back-to-back victories out west and look to keep the trend coming. That included a come from behind victory on Thursday night. This team hasn’t lit the world on fire but they have had a nice solid start to the season. Battling hard with multiple comebacks proving they will give any team a fight.
However, the Dallas Stars have started out poorly this season. Joe Pavelski and Corey Perry haven’t helped quite as much as they would have hoped. They look to get the season going as it is not too late. The Central has seen injury after injury and is still wide open. However, a disadvantage they have is that they played last night. The Canadiens may be travelling but they have more rest then the Stars. Anton Khudobin started last night so it seems reasonable to expect Ben Bishop tonight. This should be a pretty solid battle all around between two teams who will desperately want points.
Prediction: Canadiens win 3-2 in Overtime.
Toronto Maple Leafs vs Philadelphia Flyers
Head-to-Head: Maple Leafs 0 – 0 Flyers
The Toronto Maple Leafs roll into town looking to have a better November. Their October was pretty disappointing going 6-5-3. Not great for a team that fancies themselves a cup contender. However, their overall play was solid. They rank fourth in the league in CF% sitting at 52.75% this season. Even though Jake Muzzin is out they now have Travis Dermott back and will look to build on their first month of the season. Look for Frederik Andersen to get the start in net. Historically, his November’s are much better than his October’s.
On the other side of things, there is the Philadelphia Flyers. They rank first in the league in CF% with 54.05%. Carter Hart has struggled in net and has been a big part of the Flyers 4th worst save percentage. The team has been playing very well but they need a save in net. They may be in tough against a very high-powered Toronto offence. It should make for an entertaining game as Philly has lots of players who can score with the best of them. It is why the Toronto Maple Leafs vs Philadelphia Flyers is our NHL Predictions game of the night.
Prediction: Maple Leafs win 5-4.
Ottawa Senators vs Boston Bruins
Head-to-Head: Senators 0 – 0 Bruins
The Ottawa Senators and Boston Bruins are two very opposite teams this season. The Bruins look to avenge their Stanley Cup Finals loss and are starting out hot to do so. The top line has been dominant as per usual. David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand, and Patrice Bergeron are a trio to be afraid of. Charlie McAvoy and the ageless wonder Zdeno Chara man the backend. Along with the criminally underrated Torey Krug.
On the other side of things, there is the rebuilding Ottawa Senators. They have put up a fight this season against most teams. Two points haven’t come as easy as it seems for most teams. However, they lack the talent to truly put away games. Thomas Chabot has a neck injury and is questionable which would be a huge hit to the blueline. Brady Tkachuk, Anthony Duclair, and Logan Brown look to lead the way up front. Craig Anderson will get the start tonight even though Anders Nilsson has been the better goalie. Look for Boston’s top-end skill to be too much for Ottawa.
Prediction: Bruins win 5-3.
New York Islanders vs Buffalo Sabres
Head-to-Head: Islanders 0 – 0 Sabres
The New York Islanders won seven in a row heading into Thursday night. They defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2 to extend that streak to eight games. Regardless, the Islanders remain one of the best teams in hockey. They have snuck up on most people looking to repeat and further the success from last season. Coach Barry Trotz continues to preach defence first and Matthew Barzal looks as dangerous as ever.
The Buffalo Sabres are sitting second in the Atlantic Division but have lost their last two. They need to rebound against this Islanders team so they don’t lose any ground in a tough division. Their hot start has been fuelled by Carter Hutton, Jack Eichel, Rasmus Dahlin and crew. The Sabres have surprised some teams this season with their offence and firepower. They will look to keep that up against the Islanders. Both teams are playing back-to-backs and both teams had to travel last night. Rest isn’t a factor for anyone.
Prediction: Islanders win 3-2 in Overtime.
Detroit Red Wings vs Florida Panthers
Head-to-Head: Red Wings 0 – 0 Panthers
The Detroit Red Wings started hot but then went on a big cold streak to see them fall to the bottom of the standings. They played last night so they won’t have any rest coming into this game. Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha and a few other pieces are solid. However, the Wings lack talent around them at times. On game two of a back-to-back, this may be a tough one for a struggling Detroit team.
The Florida Panthers have played well but can’t buy a save. They have the third-worst goaltending in the league and need that to change. They have all the talent in the world but if they don’t get better starts from their goaltenders they won’t make it very far this season. The Panthers will be rested as they haven’t played since Wednesday and that could be a huge advantage. Sergei Bobrovsky needs to turn his season around and tonight will be where he looks to do so.
Prediction: Panthers win 5-1.
That’s all for NHL Predictions! Tune in each day for more!