Welcome to NHL Predictions! Each day, Last Word On Hockey will break down every game and give our NHL predictions for each game. In today’s NHL predictions, we’ll cover the four games happening on January 6th. Each piece will include a featured game that should be must-watch hockey. The featured game for this article is the matchup between the Edmonton Oilers vs Toronto Maple Leafs.
Colorado Avalanche vs New York Islanders
Head-to-Head: Avalanche 0-0 Islanders
The Colorado Avalanche are coming off a 5-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. Mikko Rantanen‘s hat trick powered the Avs to victory and Philipp Grubauer made 28 saves. Colorado has won two in a row after losing three in a row. Nathan MacKinnon leads the team in goals, assists and points for the team while Grubauer is 12-9-3 with a 2.87 goals-against-average and .911 save percentage.
Colorado scores 3.71 goals per game and allows 2.93 a game. The Avalanche convert 20.0 percent of power plays and stop 78.6 percent of power plays. This is the first of a pair of back-to-back games for the Avs.
The New York Islanders have lost two straight, including a 3-0 loss to Toronto on Saturday. Mathew Barzal continues to lead the Isles in goals (16), assists (18) and points (34). Semyon Varlamov might get a chance to face his former team and 14-5-3 in net this season. The Russian goalie has a 2.40 goals-against-average and .920 save percentage.
New York scores 2.80 goals a game and gives up 2.60 per contest. The Islanders’ power play scores on 19.4 percent of chances and their PK is 81.3 percent successful.
Colorado wants to pick up the tempo and get into a track meet with New York. More goals favour the Avs with their high-powered offence.
Prediction: Avalanche win 4-1.
Edmonton Oilers vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
Head-to-Head: Oilers 0-1 Maple Leafs
Edmonton is coming off a big 4-1 win over the Boston Bruins in Boston on Saturday night. The Oilers were only the second team to beat the Bruins at TD North Garden in regulation thanks Darnell Nurse‘s game-winner. Mike Smith made 35 saves in net for Edmonton.
Leon Draisaitl leads the team in goals (24) and points (65) while Connor McDavid has dished out 42 assists. Mikko Koskinen is the top goalie with a 14-8-2 record, 2.85 goals-against-average and .912 save percentage. The Oilers score 2.93 goals a game and yield 3.11 a game. Edmonton’s power play is 29.5 percent successful and they kill 83.2 percent of penalties.
Toronto beat Edmonton, 4-1, on Dec. 14 thanks to great special teams. Michael Hutchinson made 33 saves in Saturday’s win over the Islanders and Auston Matthews supplied a goal and an assist in the win. Matthews leads the team in goals (28) and points (51) while Mitch Marner is tops in assists with 29. Frederik Andersen will likely get the start and has a 21-8-4 mark for Toronto.
The Leafs are a new team under new coach Sheldon Keefe. They’re 9-0-1 in the last 10 games. Andersen is rested and the Leafs will continue the momentum here.
Prediction: Leafs win 3-2 in overtime.
Winnipeg Jets vs Montreal Canadiens
Head-to-Head: Jets 0-1 Canadiens
The Winnipeg Jets have lost four of their last five, including a 3-2 overtime loss to the Minnesota Wild on Saturday. Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele each notched a power-play goal while Connor Hellebuyck stopped 41 shots. Scheifele leads in points and assists and Kyle Connor is the team’s leading goal-scorer. Hellebuyck is 18-12-4 with a 2.71 goals-against-average and .919 save percentage.
Winnipeg scores and allows 3.05 goals a game and their power play is 20.5 percent successful. The Jets kill off only 71.7 percent of penalties.
The Montreal Canadiens are coming off a 3-2 overtime loss of their own after falling to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Artturi Lehkonen scored twice, but he could prevent the Habs from losing their fifth straight. Montreal’s last win was against Winnipeg on Dec. 23. Tomas Tatar and Phillip Danault each scored twice in the win. Tatar leads in goals and points for Montreal while Carey Price is 16-14-4 with a 3.00 goals-against-average.
Montreal scores 3.14 goals a game and yields 3.21 per game. The Canadiens are 22.1 percent successful and their PK is 78.8 percent.
It’s do-or-die time for the Habs and they need a win badly. Expect a big home effort from Montreal to break the streak.
Prediction: Canadiens win 4-3.
Columbus Blue Jackets vs Los Angeles Kings
Head-to-Head: Blue Jackets 1-0 Kings
The Columbus Blue Jackets did beat the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 in overtime on Dec. 19. Pierre-Luc Dubois‘ goal in OT carried the Jackets to the win. Columbus did lose 3-2 to the San Jose Sharks on Saturday. Dubois is the team’s leader in goals and points. Elvis Merzlikins is the starter after the injury to Joonas Korpisalo, but he’s won two games.
The Blue Jackets score 2.60 goals a game and gave up 2.71 a game. Columbus’ power play is 16.8 percent successful and their PK stops 80.8 percent of opposing power plays.
Los Angeles is coming off a 4-1 loss to the Nashville Predators on Saturday night. Alex Iafallo scored the only goal of the game for the Kings. Jack Campbell stopped 34 shots in the loss to Nashville. Adrian Kempe and Jeff Carter scored in the loss to the Blue Jackets last month. Anze Kopitar leads the team in all major offensive categories while veteran Jonathan Quick has seen the most time net. Quick is 11-15-2 with a 3.05 goals-against-average and .894 save percentage.
The Kings net 2.56 goals a game and surrender 3.14 a game. The Kings power-play struggles at 14.9 percent. They also have a hard time on the penalty kill at 74.6 percent.
It’s a battle of two of the teams near the bottom of the standings, but the Jackets have been playing hard despite the injuries.
Prediction: Blue Jackets win 4-1.
TORONTO, ON – FEBRUARY 27: Toronto Maple Leafs Right Wing Mitchell Marner (16) and Toronto Maple Leafs Center John Tavares (91) defend Edmonton Oilers Center Connor McDavid (97) during the third period of the NHL regular season game between the Edmonton Oilers and the Toronto Maple Leafs on February 27, 2019, at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, ON, Canada. (Photo by Julian Avram/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)