Welcome back to NHL Predictions! Each day, we take a look at all of the games on slate in the NHL. Breaking them down and giving analysis plus a prediction for each. We also have a featured game each night, which today is the Colorado Avalanche vs Boston Bruins. Join us and be sure to check out the NHL Predictions for the other half of the games on the slate.
Ottawa Senators vs Philadelphia Flyers
Head-to-Head: Senators 1 – 0 Flyers
The Ottawa Senators are playing their final game in a five-game road trip. This trip took them through Western Canada which is always a tough match. No doubt the team will be a bit tired from all the travel and looking to get home. However, they first have a 1 pm game to play. Ottawa is a team that doesn’t have the depth and elite talent to be a top team, however, expecting two points out of them is a mistake. They are a team that will make you battle every single night. Upsetting a multitude of teams already this year. Look for them to want to finish off the road trip correctly.
As for the Philadelphia Flyers, they currently sit third in the Metro division. Carter Hart has started to find his game but backup Brian Elliott has been great when he has needed to be. The top-six is one of the more underrated ones in the league. As well, Philly has seen revival years from both new additions in Justin Braun and Matt Niskanen. This has helped round out their defence core and they are suddenly looking like a team that may cause problems in a loaded division. They need to take two points in games like these, but as mentioned before, it won’t be a cakewalk. Look for the Flyers to get a boost from their home crowd too.
Prediction: Flyers win 4-2.
Buffalo Sabres vs Vancouver Canucks
Head-to-Head: Sabres 0 – 0 Canucks
The Buffalo Sabres are on the Western Canada road swing currently. They are currently 0-1-0 on it but need to start getting points soon. Buffalo has been solid this year but the amount of very good teams in the East has made it hard to gain ground. They are currently tied for third in the Atlantic but also have played two more games. Jack Eichel is having an outstanding season and Rasmus Ristolainen has started to improve his play too. The Sabres have been a heavy team in NHL Rumours due to the massive talk of their defenceman, however, they will just be focused on keeping ground in their division.
The Vancouver Canucks started off the year hot but have cooled down a bit. At 32 points, they are in a three-way tie for fourth in their division and a four-way tie for the second wildcard spot. This is a game that both teams should desperately want to win to keep ground in their respective divisions. There is so much parity in the league up to this point, each game counts. Jacob Markstrom is still out, however, Thatcher Demko has been decent this year so far too. The Canucks are playing at home but it is an earlier game so that may affect things. Look for this to be a close one.
Prediction: Sabres win 3-2 in overtime.
Toronto Maple Leafs vs St. Louis Blues
Head-to-Head: Leafs 0 – 1 Blues
The Toronto Maple Leafs are a team that has drastically underperformed their expectations this season. They have fired Head coach Mike Babcock but are still just 4-3-0 since that. They have been bitten by injuries all year long. With Andreas Johnsson being the latest to go out. Mitch Marner, John Tavares, Zach Hyman, and more have missed time this year. After a slow start, Frederik Andersen has returned to the very good goalie we know. He is so steady in net and is a calming presence most nights. Look for him to be a potential difference-maker tonight.
The St. Louis Blues look confident that they can make more noise in the playoffs this season. They are first in their division by four points and are showing that last year is something they can repeat. Jordan Binnington is showing he is legit. Even Jake Allen has found some success in a backup role. The Blues are 4-1-0 in their last five games played and look to keep that momentum here. This was almost NHL Predictions featured game as it will for sure be a great one to watch. The Blues defence core will have their hands full with the Toronto offence. However, that should make for nothing but thrilling hockey.
Prediction: Maple Leafs win 4-3 in a shootout.
Colorado Avalanche vs Boston Bruins
Head-to-Head: Avalanche 1 – 0 Bruins
This is NHL Predictions featured game of the night. This should be an absolute thriller with so much talent on each side of the ice. For the Colorado Avalanche, they have dealt with injuries all year but are still second in their division. Nathan MacKinnon is a bonafide superstar and Mikko Rantanen is getting there too. So much talent on their forward core, the addition of Nazem Kadri, Joonas Donskoi, and Andre Burakovsky has been huge. Providing the Avs with some legit scoring depth. On the blueline, Cale Makar is already making a name for himself as one of the best defencemen in the league. Sam Girard has been a great guy to have with him too. This Avs team is dangerous from each way.
The Boston Bruins aren’t shy of talent either. David Pastrnak is a legit star and Brad Marchand continues to be the biggest point-scoring pest we have seen in a little while. Ageless wonder Zdeno Chara mans a blueline that also featured the explosive Charlie MacAvoy and the criminally underrated Torey Krug. These guys are filled with elite talent on both sides of the puck. In net, Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak are one of the best duos in the league. It doesn’t matter who is net you will have a tough time scoring. With all this talent, it is easy to see why this is NHL Predictions featured game.
Prediction: Avalanche win 5-3.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs Detroit Red Wings
The Pittsburgh Penguins are another team that have been very injury riddled this year. They have played very few games with both Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby in the lineup. Despite this, the team has still managed to hang in the playoff picture. Tonight, they will need two points to keep pace. It is crucial in games like this that they do just that. Tristan Jarry has made some noise in net this year. With Matt Murray struggling at times Pittsburgh has felt confident going to the backup when needed.
The Detroit Red Wings are very clearly in a rebuild. Their only hope for this season is to just play teams hard and make them work for the points. The forward and defensive depth just isn’t where it needs to be. As well, Jimmy Howard is now injured but both he and Jonathan Bernier have struggled this season. Overall, very little has gone right for this team. It will be a struggle to pick up points here tonight too.
Prediction: Penguins win 4-1.
That’s all for NHL Predictions! Tune in each day for more!
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