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 will be the Montreal Canadiens vs the New York Rangers. Be sure to check other NHL predictions tomorrow.
Chicago Blackhawks vs New Jersey Devils
Head-to-Head: Blackhawks 0-0 Devils
The Chicago Blackhawks have lost six of their last eight games, and seem to be headed the wrong direction in the standings. In their last four games, they’ve allowed 19 goals while only scoring nine. That just won’t cut it. To make matters worse, they just played the Boston Bruins before this matchup with the Devils, in a back-to-back sequence no less. With a magnificent player like Patrick Kane on pace to another 100-point season, why can’t this team be more competitive? That may be what they will ask head coach Jeremy Colliton if they decide to let him go. If things don’t improve soon, look for that to happen. There’s just too much pride in the Windy-City for mediocrity to prevail.
New Jersey Devils
Speaking of mediocrity, the New Jersey Devils can be defined as a ‘hot mess’ this season. Almost nobody envisioned them being this bad. They have loads of talent and it just seems inexplicable why they are performing so badly. The Devils recently fired their head coach John Hynes, and it is yet to be determined if that will fix the problem. They also need to contend with what to do about Taylor Hall, their star winger. His contract talks haven’t produced much of anything, much like the Devils season thus far.
Two teams seeking a way out of the rut they’ve been in seems to make this one a toss-up. One team will look to end its losing ways.
Prediction: Blackhawks win 3-2
Montreal Canadiens vs New York Rangers
* Featured game
Head-to-Head: Canadiens 0-1 Rangers
The Montreal Canadiens blew a four-goal lead when they met the Rangers on November 23rd in Montreal. Losing 6-5 was an embarrassment, especially allowing three goals in a five-minute span of the third period. They did end their nightmare eight-game losing streak with an impressive 4-2 win over a pretty good New York Islanders team. They faced the Colorado Avalanche Thursday night in Denver in a 3-2 loss, and they must travel to New York to face the Rangers the night after. That’s some tough travel in a back-to-back schedule, which seems more common than ever this season.
New York Rangers
The New York Rangers have gone 5-4-1 in their last 10 games and are also subject to back-to-back games having beaten the Columbus Blue Jackets Thursday night. This game could be decided by who is exhausted the most from rigorous travel. Lately, defenceman Anthony DeAngelo has moved to third in scoring on the team with one goal, three assists in his last five games. Artemi Panarin leads the Rangers with 12 goals, 21 assists in 26 games.
This game may involve how much revenge the Canadiens want to inflict on the Rangers after their embarrassing loss the last time they met.
Prediction: Canadiens win 5-4 in overtime
Arizona Coyotes vs Pittsburgh Penguins
Head-to-Head: Coyotes 0-0 Penguins
The Arizona Coyotes went into their game vs the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night trailing the Edmonton Oilers for the division by just one point and came out on top. There must be something about the NHL scheduling back-to-back games on Thursday and Friday night since the Coyotes are in that dilemma as well. They are in the midst of a four-game road trip having won the first game in Columbus on Tuesday night as well. Playing both Pennsylvania teams back-to-back is quite a chore. The Arizona club is a good road team with a 9-3-3 record. They possess the third-best defence in the league with a stingy 2.38 goals-against average.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are certainly experiencing some injuries to top players. They’ve been without Sidney Crosby since November 10th, yet have gone 5-3-3 without him. They started the season 10-6-1 when Crosby was healthy. Even without Sid, the Penguins are still a team that executes and wins hockey games. Jake Guentzel leads the squad in scoring with 15 goals, 12 assists in 28 games. This will be the first game that Alex Galchenyuk and Phil Kessel face each other since they were involved in a trade over the summer.
This should be a defensive battle as both teams are excellent at defending with goalies who are tough to beat.
Prediction: Penguins win 2-1
Los Angeles Kings vs Edmonton Oilers
Head-to-Head: Kings 1-1 Oilers
Los Angeles Kings
The Los Angeles Kings haven’t been very productive on the road this season with a less than admirable 2-10-1 record. Playing the first place team (at the time of this writing) of the Pacific Division does not bode well for them. The Kings have shown some life of late going 4-5-1 in their last 10 games. They are still in the midst of a rebuild and better days are ahead. These two teams are fierce rivals and the Kings will need to attempt to hold Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl at bay and if they don’t they won’t like the results.
The Edmonton Oilers may be described by many as a two-player team. McDavid and Draisaitl have 102 points between them in just 30 games. It goes without saying that if you want to beat them you must stop those two stars. The Oilers are battling for first place in the Pacific Division with the Coyotes, so every win counts. They shouldn’t take the Kings too lightly, as they have begun to play much better.
This will be an entertaining game with much more on the line for the Oilers than the Kings.
Prediction: Oilers win 5-1
Washington Capitals vs Anaheim Ducks
Head-to-Head: Capitals 1-0 Ducks
The Washington Capitals won the matchup between these two teams on November 18th, 5-2. The Caps are leading the league with 47 points at this writing, and look to be headed back to the playoffs with determination. Defenceman John Carlson is having an incredible year with 11 goals, 31 assists in 30 games. He is even ahead of scoring sensation teammate Alex Ovechkin by nine points! If the Ducks can stop this duo, they deserve to win this game.
The Anaheim Ducks have quite a task upon them by playing a supreme team like the Capitals. They have hovered around the .500 mark lately and are trying to ride the back of their goalie John Gibson. That can only last for so long before it fails as a game plan. The Ducks are mediocre at scoring and they will have quite a time outscoring the Washington club.
This is a contest which the Capitals should dominate. Unless the Ducks can contain (doubtful) Carlson and Ovechkin they don’t stand a chance.
Prediction: Capitals win 6-3