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 five games happening on January 13th. Each piece will include a featured game that should be must-watch hockey. The featured game for today is the matchup between the New York Islanders and New York Rangers.
New York Islanders vs New York Rangers
Head-to-Head: Islanders 0-0 Rangers
It’s the first of four battles of New York between the bitter rivals. The Islanders are coming off a 3-2 overtime loss to the Boston Bruins on Saturday. Scott Mayfield and Mathew Barzal scored goals for the Isles. The Isles had won two straight before Saturday’s OT loss.
Barzal leads the team in goals (20), assists (17) and points(37) for the club while Semyon Varlamov is 15-5-4 with a 2.33 goals-against-average and .923 save percentage. The Isles score 2.77 goals per game and allow 2.53. Their power play converts 18.9 percent of their chances and their PK is 80.3 percent successful.
The Rangers are coming off a 5-2 loss to the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues on Saturday. Filip Chytil had a goal and an assist for the Blueshirts in the loss. Artemi Panarin leads the team in all offensive categories like goals (24), assists (38) and points (62). The Rangers currently carry three goalies, but Henrik Lundqvist got the start of Saturday.
The Rangers net 3.32 goals per game give up 3.34 per contest. Their power play is 20.0 percent successful and their penalty kill unit stops 78.9 percent of chances.
The Rangers will need to get off the blocks early if they want to win. Coach Barry Trotz and his Islanders want a low-scoring affair.
Prediction: Islanders win 3-2 in a shootout.
Carolina Hurricanes vs Washington Capitals
Head-to-Head: Hurricanes 2-1 Capitals
It’s the final regular-season encounter between the two teams and the Washington Capitals beat the Carolina Hurricanes in the last meeting 4-3 lead by Evgeny Kuznetsov who had a goal and an assist. Carolina is coming off two straight shutouts, including a 2-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings. James Reimer stopped 41 shots in the win and Teuvo Teravainen posted a goal and an assist.
Teravainen leads in assists (34) and points (43) while Petr Mrazek will probably get the start for the Canes. Carolina scores 3.29 goals per game and surrenders 2.73 per game. The Hurricanes’ power play scores on 22.5 percent of opportunities and kill off 82.4 percent of penalties.
Washington got battered 5-1 by the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night and have lost two straight. John Carlson is having a Norris Trophy quality season with 42 assists and 55 points. Braden Holtby is 18-9-4 with a 3.02 goals-against-average and .899 save percentage as he’s struggled in recent games.
The Caps are near the top of the league with 3.50 goals per game and allow 2.96. Washington’s power play scores on 21.0 percent of chances and it stops 83.8 percent of opposing power plays.
Carolina is 4-1 in its last five against Washington. The Canes are locked in, but the shutout streak ends here.
Prediction: Hurricanes win 3-1.
Calgary Flames vs Montreal Canadiens
Head-to-Head: Flames 0-1 Canadiens
The Calgary Flames have been perfect to start the New Year after they beat the Edmonton Oilers in a tense 4-3 win on Saturday. Elias Lindholm scored twice to key the rally and leads the club in goals with 20. Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau are tied for the team lead in points(38) while David Rittich has played well in net on his way to a 18-10-5 record, 2.81 goals-against average and .911 save percentage.
Calgary scores 2.70 goals per game and allows 2.96 per contest. The Flames power play converts 19.4 percent of the time while they kill off 82.9 percent of penalties.
The Montreal Canadiens finally won a game with a 2-1 overtime triumph against the Ottawa Senators. Ilya Kovalchuk helped the Habs snap an eight-game losing streak. Tomas Tatar leads in all offensive categories like goals (16), assists (23) and points (39). Carey Price is 17-16-4 with a 2.95 goals-against-average and .904 save percentage.
Montreal finally got the monkey off its back, but Calgary has won five in a row and are 7-1 in their last eight on the road. The Flames look like they want to challenge for the post-season.
Prediction: Flames win 4-1.
Boston Bruins vs Philadelphia Flyers
Head-to-Head: Bruins 0-1 Flyers
The Bruins have won three straight games and are opening a lead in the Atlantic Division. Patrice Bergeron’s overtime goal helped Boston beat the Islanders on Saturday. Tuukka Rask also stopped 35 shots in the victory and he now has a 17-4-6 record on the season. David Pastrnak leads the B’s in goals (35) and points (65).
Boston scores 3.35 goals per game and allows 2.45 per game. The Bruins’ power play scores 27.7 percent of the time and they kill 83.8 percent of opposing power plays.
The Philadelphia Flyers are coming off a tough 1-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday. Carter Hart stopped 27 shots in the loss, which makes him 14-11-3 with a 2.53 goals-against-average. Travis Konecny leads in goals (14) and points (38) for the team.
Philadelphia scores 3.02 goals per game and yields 2.93 per game. The Flyers’ power play scores 18.7 percent of the time while the PK is 82.4 percent successful.
Boston is on a three-game winning streak, but Philadelphia has won five of its last six at home and are 4-1 in its last five versus Boston.
Prediction: Flyers win 4-3 in overtime.
Anaheim Ducks vs St. Louis Blues
Head-to-Head: Ducks 1-0 Blues
The Anaheim Ducks lost 4-2 to the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night despite goals from Max Jones and Rickard Rakell. Anaheim did beat St. Louis 4-1 on Nov. 16 thanks to Derek Grant’s first career hat trick. The Ducks have lost three in a row and four of their last five.
Jakob Silfverberg is tops in goals for Anaheim with 15 while Ryan Getzlaf leads in points with 30. John Gibson is 13-18-3 with a 2.96 goals-against-average. Anaheim scores 2.47 goals a game and surrenders 3.16 a game. The Ducks power play struggles at 14.9 percent and they are 77.9 percent on the penalty kill.
Zach Sanford tallied a goal and an assist as St. Louis beat the Rangers on Saturday. The Blues have won three straight games to take a nine-point lead on top of the Central Division. David Perron leads in goals (20) and points (46) while Jordan Binnington is putting together a good season at 22-7-4, 2.47 goals-against-average and .917 save percentage.
St. Louis scores 3.22 goals per game and gives up 2.63 goals per game. The Blues’ power play has a 25.2 conversion rate and they kill 81.3 percent of penalties.
St. Louis is on a roll and are the defending champions. The Ducks are struggling and are last in the Pacific Division.
Prediction: Blues win 5-2.