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 Edmonton Oilers vs. Calgary Flames. This is the early game slate of NHL Predictions. Be sure and check out the early games of NHL Predictions too.
New York Rangers vs St. Louis Blues
Head-to-Head: Rangers 0 – 0 Blues
The New York Rangers have not met the reigning Stanley Cup champs this season. Artemi Panarin continues his offensive show with an amazing 24 goals, 37 assists in 43 games. That’s scoring at an average of 1.42 points per game. He alone, unfortunately, can’t carry the team on his back. The Rangers have gone 5-5 in their last 10 games yet remain just six points from a wild-card spot trailing the Philadelphia Flyers with one game in hand. They have won two straight but now must face the top team in the West.
The St. Louis Blues have gone 7-2-1 in their last 10 games and also have a two-game winning streak. They have a fairly comfortable seven-point lead on the surging Dallas Stars (six straight wins) who have a game in hand. Things seem to be rolling along according to plans for the Blues and this game shouldn’t be a huge challenge for them. The Blues are blessed to have a great goalie like Jordan Binnington in net. He has a sparkling 21-7-4 record with a .917 save percentage to go along with a 2.49 goals against average.
Prediction: Blues win 4-1
Anaheim Ducks vs Chicago Blackhawks
Head-to-Head: Ducks 0 – 1 Blackhawks
The Anaheim Ducks have been such an inconsistent club this season and if they intend to be included in the postseason playoffs they need to get going. They reside in the last place in the Western Conference and have done poorly of late with a 3-6-1 record in their last 10 games. While the Ducks are respectable being in the middle of the pack in defence, they just seem to be too feeble to score goals. If that doesn’t change their chances of improvement remain limited.
The Chicago Blackhawks are hanging around just eight points out of a wild-card spot. They have sustained some substantial injuries to their defence. Both Brent Seabrook and Calvin de Haan are lost for the season, and that hurts… no pun intended. Even with the injuries, the Chicago club has gone a respectable 6-4 in their last 10 games. Making the playoffs isn’t a dream, but it’s becoming less and less plausible.
Prediction: Blackhawks win 3-2
Columbus Blue Jackets vs Vegas Golden Knights
Head-to-Head: Blue Jackets 0 – 1 Golden Knights
The Columbus Blue Jackets are playing much better hockey of late with a 6-2-2 record over their last 10 games. They have quietly approached where they are only two points behind the Philadelphia Flyers for a wild-card berth. They are fighting it out with the Florida Panthers who are just one point ahead of them in the playoffs derby. This is the fourth and last game of their road trip where they are 2-1 thus far. This game is important for the Blue Jackets to stay relevant for postseason play.
The Vegas Golden Knights have been in a dogfight for first place in the Pacific Division for a bit now. First, they are in the top spot, then they drop to second. It’s a battle and the Knights lost an opportunity to be in first last night when they suffered a decisive loss to the Los Angeles Kings. On their longest home-stand of the season, the Golden Knights have gone 4-2 before this game. They have dropped two straight games and needless to say want to win this game to maintain their playoff presence. They also have not been great in the opening period allowing 13 goals in six games on this home-stand. Another flaw has been allowing their last three opponents to score three consecutive goals on them. Not good.
Prediction: Golden Knights win 2-1
Edmonton Oilers vs Calgary Flames
Head-to-Head: Oilers 0 – 1 Flames
This is NHL predictions featured game
The Edmonton Oilers have been on a very successful trip where they’ve gone 3-0-1 so far. This is their last game on this trip and they will want to continue their winning ways. They now are third in the Pacific but just one point from dropping below that by virtue of having two more regulation wins than the Flames. This match-up should be a good one. Two teams battling it out for placement in the standings.
The Calgary Flames are hoping to increase their four-game winning streak and end the Oilers three-game roll. The Flames have been taking care of business and are now in the bunch of teams fighting for a playoff berth in the tough Western Conference race. There are seven teams with a viable chance to get into the playoffs, so may the best teams win. The Flames are hoping they are in that distinct group.
Prediction: Flames win 5-4 in overtime
Dallas Stars vs San Jose Sharks
Head-to-Head: Stars 0 – 0 Sharks
The Dallas Stars have been through a lot this season and are now playing as many thought they would eventually. They have won six straight games and seem to be running on all cylinders since Rick Bowness has taken the reigns behind the bench. They have passed the Colorado Avalanche for second place in the West. Bowness has a stellar 9-3-1 record since taking over as head coach and that may be the difference in their good fortune lately.
The San Jose Sharks have broken away from the bottom of the Western Conference standings but still have some challenges. They just lost their captain, Logan Couture, to a broken ankle and he will be gone at least six weeks recovering. It just seems this season has been nothing but an uphill climb for the Sharks. This game may feature just how severe that is.
Prediction: Stars win 6-2