Welcome back to NHL Predictions, where the Last Word on Hockey team provides insight into all of today’s games. On Wednesday, December 11th’s edition of NHL Predictions, we’ll take a look at three games. Today’s featured game is the battle of the Boston Bruins vs. Washington Capitals.
Boston Bruins vs. Washington Capitals
Head-to-Head: Bruins 0-1 Capitals
In tonight’s highlighted Wednesday night matchup, the Boston Bruins will face the Washington Capitals. It’s a battle of the two top teams in the Eastern Conference and the entire NHL, as well. The Caps reign with 49 points, while the Bruins are right behind them with 46 points and one game in hand on Washington. Both teams are coming off an unsuccessful Monday. The Bruins lost 5-2 in Ottawa, while the Capitals returned home to get spoiled by the Columbus Blue Jackets by the same score.
Before that, the Capitals had a marvellous four-game road trip with four regulation wins as they carried a six-game winning streak. But the struggling Blue Jackets were able to perfectly exploit the streaking hot Capitals. Despite that loss on Monday, the Capitals greeted Nicklas Backstrom back to their lineup, as he scored a goal. The Caps are still 19-3-3 in their last 25 contests.
The Bruins have some pressing obstacles. They have lost three straight games following a season-long eight-game winning streak. The Bruins were reluctant to admit that they became complacent. However, they have been missing the energy in their stride over the past three tilts. Their second most important trouble is Washington itself. Boston has lost 15 of its last 16 games versus the Caps. Brad Marchand has gone six straight without scoring a goal, David Pastrnak four consecutive games. The Bruins travel to Tampa Bay on Thursday to finish the back-to-back.
Last February, the Bruins ended a 14-game losing skid here at Capital One Arena. This season, the Caps already beat the Bruins at TD Garden in a shootout. In that game, the Caps completely dominated the Bruins, even though the Bruins were 58 seconds away from a regulation victory.
Prediction: Capitals win 4-3 in overtime.
Ottawa Senators vs. Montreal Canadiens
Head-to-Head: Senators 1-0 Canadiens
It’s the second visit of the season at Bell Centre for the Ottawa Senators. In that game in November, they downed the Montreal Canadiens in overtime. In November, the Sens reached eight wins in 11 games at one point. This all has been forgotten as Ottawa lost six out of seven games before returning home on Monday. Two nights ago against Boston, the Senators beat the Bruins 5-2 and played a solid game.
Anders Nilsson turned out red-hot with 38 saves on 40 shots. Unlike Montreal tonight, the Senators will be rested and ready to continue their winning ways from Monday. The Canadiens had a tough matchup on Tuesday, facing the Pittsburgh Penguins on the road. The Habs did well in their most recent second half of a back-to-back, beating the New York Rangers last Friday.
However, their last head-to-head clash with the Sens came exactly in the same situation for Montreal: Wednesday night, after they played in Columbus on Tuesday. Before that overtime win, the Sens have lost six straight in regulation in Montreal. Can they gather a two-game winning streak at Bell Centre? As Carey Price started the game in Pittsburgh, the Sens may get to face the Habs’ backup goaltender. Montreal has just one win all season with their backup goalie in the crease.
Prediction: Senators win 3-2 in overtime.
Philadelphia Flyers vs. Colorado Avalanche
Head-to-Head: Flyers 0-0 Avalanche
After finishing the games in Washington and Montreal, we shift our focus in NHL Predictions to Denver, where the Colorado Avalanche host the Philadelphia Flyers. The Avalanche welcomed back two principal players in Mikko Rantanen and captain Gabriel Landeskog. With both players returning to the lineup, Colorado has posted a six-game winning streak. Following a successful road trip through the Atlantic Division, the Avs returned home on Monday. In an entertaining tilt, the Calgary Flames beat them 5-4 in overtime.
On the other note, the Flyers are 7-1-1 in their last nine games. One of those losing efforts came past regulation at home against the same Flames. On Saturday, they beat the Senators at home and have had no games played since then. Philadelphia is pretty successful in their last five visits to Colorado, where they have gone 3-1-1. The Avalanche took the last head-to-head regular season’s series with a total score of 9-3. This should be an enjoyable one on Wednesday Night at the Pepsi Center.
Prediction: Colorado wins 5-3.
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