Welcome to another round of NHL Predictions. Last Word on Hockey provides articles every day covering every game of the night with detailed predictions and analysis. Each of these articles also includes a featured game that is must-watch hockey. For the early games tonight, that matchup is the Boston Bruins taking on the Montreal Canadiens at 7:30 PM EST. For our article covering the later games tonight, click here.
Ottawa Senators vs. New York Islanders
Head-to-Head: Senators 0-1 Islanders
The Ottawa Senators season has gone exactly as most expected. They’re 3-6-1 in their last 10 games, second-to-last in the Eastern Conference during that span. Their power-play has been historically terrible, with only a 4.76 percent success rate on the year. The injury bug is biting now too, as Colin White is still out with a groin injury and Scott Sabourin is out following his scary collision Saturday night against Boston. Their best players have arguably been goalies, Anders Nilsson and Craig Anderson, in that order. Nilsson has a .919 save percentage so far, great numbers on a team this bad. Ottawa is struggling both offensively and defensively, and there’s no reason for that to change tonight.
The New York Islanders are a completely different story, having won nine straight games of hockey, a streak that dates back to October 12th and includes a victory against these Senators. They’ve been the most defensively solid team in the conference, giving up only 21 goals in their past 10 games. All of these wins have been without winger Jordan Eberle, and Leo Komarov, Tom Kuhnhackl, and Matt Martin are all injured at the moment as well. They’ve been led this year by the 22-year-old Mathew Barzal, who’s got 11 points in 13 games and has emphasized his two-way game. Considering their streak, it should be an easy bet for NHL Predictions for the Islanders to steamroll the Senators tonight.
Prediction: Islanders win 5-0.
Carolina Hurricanes vs. Philadelphia Flyers
Head-to-Head: Hurricanes 0-0 Flyers
The Carolina Hurricanes have come back down to earth after a strong start, sitting at 5-4-1 over their past ten outings. Dougie Hamilton continues on his tear, leading the team with 16 points in 14 games while also being very good defensively. Andrei Svechnikov looks considerably more comfortable in his second season, as he and Erik Haula have been great surprises for the Hurricanes. Petr Mrazek has seen a return to form this season, too, with a 7-1-1 record and 2.33 goals-against average. While they’ve hit a bit of a snag, they’re still playing solid under head coach Rod Brind’Amour.
The Philadelphia Flyers are experiencing a very confusing start to their season. They’re looking at a 4-5-1 stretch in their past ten but have been executing a pretty solid system under new head coach Alain Vigneault. Special teams have been above average, and the offence has been rolling with Travis Konecny, Oskar Lindblom, and Jakub Voracek all off to very good starts. Ivan Provorov has seen his play rebound from last year, as he’s tallied nine points in 13 games and it could be argued he’s been better defensively than offensively. Carter Hart‘s play has harmed the team, though, as he carries an abysmal .867 save percentage, certainly costing the team some games. The Flyers are good, but may not be able to eke out a win against a disciplined and structured road game from Carolina.
Prediction: Hurricanes win 4-3.
Vegas Golden Knights vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
Head-to-Head: Golden Knights 0-0 Blue Jackets
The Vegas Golden Knights have been hit by injuries recently, and it shows. Their goaltending has been unstable lately, as both Marc-Andre Fleury and Malcolm Subban have missed time at points, forcing both Oscar Dansk and Garret Sparks into games for the team. Fleury has been their best player this year, so it’s no surprise that the team has hit a small bump recently with a 5-3-2 record in their last ten games. They’re still playing a pretty structured game, however, and should be able to beat a subpar Columbus Blue Jackets team that certainly doesn’t want to hear about goaltending issues.
Those Blue Jackets are 4-3-3 in their past ten and are tumbling near the bottom of the conference. Injuries to Ryan Murray and Alexandre Texier are dents in the team’s offence and defence, as key pieces like Josh Anderson and Boone Jenner are struggling to produce. Pierre-Luc Dubois has had to pick up the slack, and the young stud has performed very well with 10 points in 14 games with little support. Joonas Korpisalo has poor underlying numbers but is helping the team stay afloat nonetheless with a 5-5-1 record. Backup Elvis Merzlikins has yet to win a game. Columbus may exhibit some stronger play at home but will suffer a loss to a deeper Golden Knights team.
Prediction: Golden Knights win 4-3 in overtime.
Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadiens
Head-to-Head: Bruins 0-0 Canadiens
Boston has been one of the best teams in the conference and an easy bet in NHL predictions despite a deeply concerning lack of secondary scoring. They’ve been carried by out-of-this-world runs from David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand, with 27 and 23 points in 13 games respectively. Tuukka Rask has more than done his part as well, as he’s yet to lose in regulation and carries a 1.49 goals-against average. However, winning in the Bell Centre is a tough proposition, and their lack of depth may hurt them in this game.
Montreal’s had an up-and-down season, as they sit at 5-4-1 through their past 10 games and 7-5-2 overall. They’ve been scoring by committee, and Carey Price has been their best player yet again. Some players are taking a while to wake up though, most namely Paul Byron and Jesperi Kotkaniemi. They’ve been led offensively by Jonathan Drouin and Brendan Gallagher, both with 12 points in 14 games. Montreal’s balanced style of play will work to their advantage tonight, and get them a big two points against a divisional rival.
Prediction: Canadiens win 3-2 in a shootout.
Los Angeles Kings vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
Head-to-Head: Kings 0-0 Maple Leafs
The Los Angeles Kings, similarly to the Senators, have been unsurprisingly bad and rarely do well in NHL predictions. They carry a 5-9-0 record and are 3-7-0 in their last 10. Goaltending has been their biggest issue, as Jack Campbell and Jonathan Quick have combined for a team .867 save percentage. Star Anze Kopitar is a bright spot though with 13 points in 14 games, and the two-way play of defenseman Sean Walker has largely flown under the radar. Drew Doughty has 10 points, but his defensive play has left much to be desired. Their deep-seated issues will point towards a tough matchup tonight against the offensively gifted Toronto Maple Leafs.
Toronto’s had consistency issues this year, but can easily right the ship tonight against a poor Kings team. Auston Matthews has been doing Auston Matthews things with 16 points in 15 games, and rookie Ilya Mikheyev has made a name for himself with a case made for the Calder trophy. The defence has been spotty, but they’ll be benefitted by an always strong November from Frederik Andersen. Toronto’s been plagued, but they’ll turn it around tonight against the Kings.
Prediction: Maple Leafs win 3-2.
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