Welcome back to NHL Predictions! Each day, the Last Word on Hockey team 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 Washington Capitals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning. This is the late games slate of NHL Predictions. Be sure and check out the early games too.
Detroit Red Wings vs Montreal Canadiens
Head-to-Head: Red Wings 1 – 0 Canadiens
The Detroit Red Wings have been pretty horrible this 2019-20 season. Sporting a not-too-impressive 8-22-3 record they rank last in the league in scoring and defence. Where do you start to improve upon that? Well, you break a terrible 12-game losing streak by beating a fairly good Winnipeg Jets team for starters. They did just that and convincingly by a 5-2 score. Will success go to their heads or can they continue with this winning thing?
The Montreal Canadiens are back to winning ways after losing eight straight. They have won four of five games including the current three-game win streak they enjoy. Considering that they resemble a M.A.S.H. unit lately with six players injured, they are doing just fine. They just need to take the Red Wings seriously and not feel it’s an automatic win. With that said, they secure a victory in this contest.
Prediction: Canadiens win 5-1
Washington Capitals vs Tampa Bay Lightning
Head-to-Head: Capitals 1 – 0 Lightning
In this featured game, the Washington Capitals seem like they’re rolling along nicely leading the league with 51 points. They are winners of six of their last seven games and the word ‘dominant’ comes to mind when describing their play this season. Paced by John Carlson with 45 points in 33 games, who needs Alex Ovechkin? Just kidding. Ovechkin is a serious asset to the Caps, but with Carlson playing so well, they’re tough to stop.
The Tampa Bay Lightning are fourth in the Atlantic Division and really haven’t taken off to show they are the elite team they were last season. Perhaps their theory is it’s not a sprint but a marathon. They certainly desire to get to the playoffs better prepared than last season when they were dispatched in the first round. This is a battle of two offensive powerhouses so the game should be entertaining.
Prediction: Capitals win 4-1
Boston Bruins vs Florida Panthers
Head-to-Head: Bruins 0 – 1 Panthers
The Boston Bruins who have been pretty flawless winning eight consecutive games have fallen back to Earth with five straight wins, including an overtime loss. So, how can a team ranked third in scoring and fourth in defence come upon tough times? It’s the NHL, anything can and does happen. The Bruins are still holding an eight-point lead over the Buffalo Sabres but need to get back on track in the win column.
The Florida Panthers are on a lengthy nine-game home stand, but haven’t gained any ground by winning three and losing three thus far. It hasn’t helped much that they spent $70 million for a contract on Sergie Bobrovsky for seven years and hasn’t really produced much yet. His 11-8-4 record to go along with a .899 save percentage and a less than inspiring 3.14 GAA isn’t helping the Panthers.
Prediction: Bruins win 6-2
Los Angeles Kings vs Pittsburgh Penguins
Head-to-Head: Kings 0 – 0 Penguins
The Los Angeles Kings are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games and just need to play better on road where they as 3-12-1. They’re decent home team going 10-6-1 this season. Of course, having to play six in a row on the road is not the ideal situation. They won the first one beating their cross-town rival Anaheim Ducks Thursday night. Squaring up against the Penguins will be a different story.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are an excellent home team with a dominant 13-4-2 record. They are playing without their leader Sidney Crosby who is still on injury reserve. Even without him the Pens are 7-3 in their last 10 games. They are in a wild-card spot and seem to exceed expectations even if shorthanded. This should be an easy victory for the Penguins.
Prediction: Penguins win 4-0
New Jersey Devils vs Arizona Coyotes
Head-to-Head: Devils 0 – 1 Coyotes
The New Jersey Devils have fired their head coach John Hynes but so far that hasn’t helped them to get to be a respectable team. They have lost seven consecutive games including an overtime loss and shootout loss. To make matters worse, they played the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night before heading to Arizona. The Coyotes will be rested after their game Thursday night. The Devils need to improve and perhaps trading Taylor Hall is imminent. Will he go to the Coyotes?
The Arizona Coyotes are now in first place in the Pacific Division after their victory over the Blackhawks by a 5-2 score. They are attempting to be a better home team, and the recent win still only puts them with a 8-7-1 home record. On the road they are excellent with a 11-4-3 record. The Coyotes should have an advantage in this game since the Devils have been awful and will play their last road game in Arizona on their trip. Clayton Keller has picked up his offence of late scoring two goals, four assists in his last five games.
Prediction: Coyotes win 6-2
Chicago Blackhawks vs St. Louis Blues
Head-to-Head: Blackhawks 0 – 1 Blues
The Chicago Blackhawks have not had a great season so far. They reside just two points from the Western Conference cellar and have not been consistent. With a 3-5-2 record over their last 10 games things are looking gloomy for the Windy City club. Having to play the Blues doesn’t help their fate. They were shutout earlier this month in Chicago by the Blues 4-0. After losing handily to the Vegas Golden Knights and Coyotes, the last game of this road trip can play havoc to their confidence.
The St. Louis Blues are on top to the Western Conference but have the Colorado Avalanche breathing down their neck. The Av’s have two games in hand and are trailing the Blues by just one point. The Blues are just 5-4-1 in their last 10 games and need this game to create some space between them and the teams trailing them in the standings. With Jordan Binnington in net, the Blues should cruise by the hapless Blackhawks.
Prediction: Blues win 5-2
Vancouver Canucks vs San Jose Sharks
Head-to-Head: Canucks 1 – 0 Sharks
The Vancouver Canucks are one point out of a wild-card spot possessed by Vegas at the moment. They are 6-4 in their last 10 games and are facing a Sharks team who recently let their head coach go. The Canucks are a good young team with Elias Pettersson leading the way for them with 13 goals, 21 assists to his credit. They’ve been involved in nine games going past regulation and have blown some leads in games. If they can tighten down their defence they have a shot at beating a Sharks team in disarray.
The San Jose Sharks have been on a losing streak lately dropping six consecutive games including one overtime contest. They have only scored 10 goals over that game span while allowing 29 tallies. That is not a winning formula and changing coaches may help. Peter DeBoer was relieved of his duties and Bob Boughner has taken over the coaching duties for now. The Sharks had better wake up or they will find themselves outside of a playoff spot with the way they have been playing.
Prediction: Canucks win 4-3 in overtime