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 Vegas Golden Knights vs. New York Islanders. This is the early game slate of NHL Predictions. Be sure and check out the late games too.
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Boston Bruins
Head-to-Head: Blackhawks 0 – 0 Bruins
This the first two meetings between the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins. Since these two teams met in the 2013 Stanley Cup Final, they have gone in different directions. Coming into this first meeting, the Blackhawks have lost six of seven games. Chicago will be without Duncan Keith and Andrew Shaw as both continue to deal with injuries. The Blackhawks are in the midst of rebuild as they have a youth movement going on in Chicago. With the Blackhawks still cap-strapped by the Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews contracts, the future is bright with players like Dylan Strome, Alex DeBrincat, and Kirby Dach on the roster.
On the other hand, the Bruins continue to prove their dominance on the ice. They sit in the top spot in the Atlantic Division and are one of the best teams in the NHL. They are doing all of this without top centre Patrice Bergeron. In his absence, David Krejci has stepped up to play on the top line with David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand. Pastrnak continues to torch the league as he is on pace to win the Rocket Richard Trophy. The Bruins have a great duo in net with Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak. Not to mention their depth on offence and defence has kept them in a position of dominance. Unfortunately for the Blackhawks, the Bruins are just too much to handle.
Prediction: Bruins Win 5-1
Colorado Avalanche vs. Montreal Canadiens
Head-to-Head: Avalanche 0 – 0 Canadiens
This is the first of two meetings between the Colorado Avalanche and Montreal Canadiens. The Avalanche will have played the night before against the Toronto Maple Leafs. It is always tough to play back-to-backs in this league. Colorado will be in the midst of a three-game road trip through the Atlantic Division having picked up a victory against Maple Leafs on Wednesday night. The Avalanche are getting healthier with each passing day with Gabriel Landeskog close to returning. Nathan MacKinnon continues to put the team on his back. After an emotional game in Toronto, it will be interesting to see what kind of jump the Avalanche will have against the Canadiens.
Montreal finally ended their eight-game losing streak defeating the New York Islanders on Tuesday night. Carey Price got back to being himself at least for the time being. The Canadiens are still not out of the water just yet. This is a big game for them, especially on home ice. Montreal needs to start stringing wins together as they sit just two points out of the final playoff spot. Not having Jonathan Drouin, Victor Mete, and Paul Byron in the lineup does not make things any easier. The Canadiens got off to such a good start and things have gone off the rails. Putting back to back wins together will be a step in the right direction.
Prediction: Canadiens Win 3-2
Minnesota Wild vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
Head-to-Head: Wild 0 – 0 Lightning
This is the first of two meetings between the Minnesota Wild and Tampa Bay Lightning. Minnesota comes in winners of four of their last five games. The Wild sit just a couple of points out of the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. This is a great turnaround for a team that did not get off to a hot start. However, the news is not all good for the Wild. The team announced that defenceman Jared Spurgeon will miss two weeks with an upper-body injury suffered in Tuesday’s night win over the Florida Panthers. The Wild also noted that Mikko Koivu will be out day-to-day with a lower-body injury. For a team that is looking to get into the playoff picture, this is a huge blow, especially on the backend.
The Lightning are still trying to find their way in a tough Eastern Conference. They are trying to play catchup after their stopover in Europe for two-games. Not to mention the fact, the team let the taste of last season linger into this season. Recently the Lightning have been playing better but the results have not been there. After a three-game losing streak, the Lightning found the win column in Nashville on Tuesday night. Coming back home will help them settle down on the ice. However, the Wild are a tough team and this will not be an easy game. With Alex Killorn and Braydon Coburn, both still injured, the Lightning will again piece together their lineup.
Prediction: Lightning Win 4-3 in Overtime
Vegas Golden Knights vs. New York Islanders
Head-to-Head: Golden Knights 0 – 0 Islanders
This our NHL predictions featured early game of the night.
This is the first of two meetings between the Vegas Golden Knights and New York Islanders. Both teams are playing well coming into this matchup. Vegas looks like the team they were back when they went to the Stanley Cup Final in 2018. The Golden Knights are playing some of the best hockey of the season. The addition of Chandler Stephenson gives them even more depth up front. Winners of four straight, Vegas looks to sweep games in the Metro area. With Marc-Andre Fleury still out of the lineup, Malcolm Subban has stepped up his game and performed well against the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils. The team in front of him is playing with more structure.
This will be a test for the Golden Knights though, as the Islanders are no pushovers. After having their 17-game point streak snapped, the Islanders got back on track winning two of their last three games. The Islanders continue to play a well-structured game under Barry Trotz. They continue to take care of their own end first. Their goalie tandem of Thomas Greiss and Semyon Varlamov continue to exceed expectations. And with their offence ability, the Islanders are never out of any game. Look for the Islanders to bounce back after their loss on Tuesday night at the hands of the Canadiens. This will be a fun game to watch.
Prediction: Islanders Win 5-4
Arizona Coyotes vs. Philadelphia Flyers
Head-to-Head: Coyotes 0 – 0 Flyers
This is the first of two meetings between the Arizona Coyotes and Philadelphia Flyers this season. Both teams are young and fun to watch. The Coyotes are in the midst of a four-game road trip. The game against the Flyers is the first of back-to-back games for the Coyotes. Arizona got back in the win column after defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night. The Coyotes continue to impress as they occupy second place in the Pacific Division. Arizona continues to get contributions for everywhere in the lineup. They will need to come with the same fight as they did Tuesday as the Flyers are a tough team to play against.
The Flyers sit second in the Metropolitan Division and are winners of five straight games. Philadelphia is a young team that is buying into Alain Vigneault‘s system. Like other teams in the league, the Flyers are platooning goalies. One night Carter Hart will get the start, other nights Brian Elliott will get the start. Usually, when the Flyers are on home ice, Hart gets the start as he plays better on home ice. The Coyotes have their hands full as the Flyers put six goals up on the Maple Leafs on Tuesday night. There is so much talent on this team, it will be hard for the Coyotes to stop them.
Prediction: Flyers Win 4-1
This does it for NHL Predictions for the early games on December 5th, check back tomorrow for another edition.
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