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 Nashville Predators vs. Chicago Blackhawks. This is the late game slate of NHL Predictions. Be sure and check out the early games of NHL Predictions too.
Nashville Predators vs. Chicago Blackhawks
Head-to-Head: Predators 1 – 1 Blackhawks
This our NHL predictions featured late game of the night.
This is the third meeting of the season between the Nashville Predators and Chicago Blackhawks. The Predators are trying to get things back on the rails. General manager David Poile decided a change was needed. Out is Peter Laviolette. Enter John Hynes. While Hynes’s first game did not go according to plan, Poile is hoping he can get this team turned around and headed in the right direction. However, the coach can do only so much. When the top players are underperforming, the team will struggle. The players on this roster are better than what the team currently is showing. In order to get back in the playoff mix, this is a game the Predators must win.
Unlike the Predators, who believe they are a contender for the Stanley Cup, the Blackhawks are trending in a different direction. They are more in a rebuild and working their way back to being a contender again. However, that doesn’t mean that these two Central Division rivals will not try to beat each other up. With the two teams splitting the games earlier in the season, the Blackhawks will always put up a fight regardless of where they sit in the standings. Chicago would love nothing better than to continue to add to the misery of the Predators.
Prediction: Predators Win 3-2
Minnesota Wild vs. Calgary Flames
Head-to-Head: Wild 1 – 1 Flames
This is the third and final meeting of the year between the Minnesota Wild and Calgary Flames. The two teams split the first two meetings of the season with both games being played in Minnesota. This is also the second game of a home-and-home series between these two teams. Minnesota is on the outside looking in and a win over the team holding the first wild-card position would go a long way towards making the playoffs. However, with one win in their last four games, the Wild will need to get things on track pretty quickly. It all comes down to how well the Wild play defence as well as goaltending.
The Flames, on the other hand, enter the game on a three-game winning streak. With Matthew Tkachuk continuing to play well for the Flames, it is Johnny Gaudreau who has picked up his play as of late. Early on it was a struggle for “Johnny Hockey.” However, he never lost confidence in his ability even when the trade winds were swirling around his name. To go along with the offence, the goaltenders are playing great as well. David Rittich and Cam Talbot are turning into a good one-two duo in the league. The Flames play well on home ice and they need points with teams breathing down their neck.
Prediction: Flames Win 4-3
Los Angeles Kings vs. Vegas Golden Knights
Head-to-Head: Kings 1 – 1 Golden Knights
This is the third of four meetings between the Los Angeles Kings and Vegas Golden Knights. The two teams split the first two meetings of the year. The Kings will play two games in two days and have to travel to Vegas to make things worse. Luckily for the Kings, the travel is not too far. Even with the Kings sitting near the bottom of the Western Conference, they always play the Golden Knights hard. Los Angeles does not like to lose to the new kids on the block. Regardless of what you think of the Kings, they are playing better as of late. Not to mention, the Kings got Alec Martinez back in the lineup. That will give them a boost.
The Golden Knights enter the game with wins in four of their past five games. Their seven-game homestand is going well so far with only one hiccup on the radar. Vegas wants to end the homestand the right way. Players like Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone are picking up their play. This is a good thing for the Golden Knights, who gave up a lot to get these two players on the team. Not to mention, the Golden Knights are getting back to the style of play that made them successful in their first season. For Vegas, a win over the Kings will propel them into first place in the division. And on paper, they should have no problem.
Prediction: Golden Knights Win 4-1
Dallas Stars vs. Anaheim Ducks
Head-to-Head: Stars 1 – 0 Ducks
This is the second of three meetings between the Dallas Stars and Anaheim Ducks. The Stars took the first game on the season by a score of 2-1. However, this game will be different as the Stars will come in playing the night before. Dallas is carrying the momentum of 2019 into 2020. The Stars have won four games in a row, however, it is always tough going through California regardless of where those teams are in the standings. Tyler Seguin,Jamie Benn, Alexander Radulov, Roope Hintz, and others are stepping up for when the Stars need it the most. Dallas can ill-afford any slip-ups with the Winnipeg Jets nipping at their heels.
The Ducks are playing some decent hockey as of late. With Jakob Silfverberg‘s status up in the air for Thursday, the Ducks could be without a critical part of their offence. The All-Star left Tuesday’s game with an upper-body injury. The Ducks will need other players to step up offensively if Silfverberg can’t go against the Stars. Anaheim would love nothing better to end their three-game homestand with a win before embarking on a five-game road trip. For the Ducks, it is all about looking towards the future and seeing what the young players can do going forward.
Prediction: Stars Win 3-2
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. San Jose Sharks
Head-to-Head: Sharks 1 – 0 Blue Jackets
This is the second and final meeting of the season between the Columbus Blue Jackets and San Jose Sharks. The Sharks took the first meeting of the season by the score of 3-2. The Blue Jackets continue to prove the naysayers wrong. Columbus sits right behind the Philadelphia Flyers for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. Considering all the injuries and departures, the Blue Jackets are hanging in there. Their head coach John Tortorella has a lot to do with it. Give credit to Elvis Merzlikins for picking up the reins from Joonas Korpisalo, who went down to injury. The Blue Jackets will want to continue their winning ways, especially on this road trip. It is somebody different every night getting it done for the Jackets, who will Thursday night’s hero be?
The Sharks are returning home from a long road trip and the first game back is always tough, especially against a good team like the Blue Jackets. Things are just not going the way the Sharks wished this season. Too many changes offensively have left this team without depth scoring. The one thing general manager Doug Wilson did was overpay on defence. While it looks great and all, it does not leave much money for guys to put the puck in the net. Not to mention, the changes that happened on defence as well. The Sharks have a lot of problems they need to fix before next season. It is just strange to see how a team that was so competitive, hit rock bottom so quickly.
Prediction: Blue Jackets Win 4-3
This does it for NHL Predictions for the late games for January 9th