Welcome to Wednesday’s edition of NHL Predictions! Last Word On Hockey is here to bring you a breakdown of every game and give you our personal NHL Predictions. Our must-watch game for tonight is the Arizona Coyotes vs. the Vancouver Canucks. These are your predictions for the late games. Don’t miss a beat and check out the early batch of NHL Predictions also!
Vegas Golden Knights vs. Ottawa Senators
Head-to-Head: Golden Knights 1 – 0 Senators
For their second meeting this season, the Ottawa Senators will be looking to break their eight-game losing streak. The Vegas Golden Knights won the first matchup between the two, and they’re heading into this searching for their first win in four games. The Knights are sitting in fifth place in the Pacific Division. The club shocked fans with the announcement that they’d released Gerard Gallant. Immediately after, Vegas send shock waves out a second time after hiring former San Jose Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer. While it may have been a decision made out of panic, the deed is already done. Can DeBoer shake things up in the locker room and drive the team back into the playoff race?
The Senators are looking to light a fire under themselves. Nothing would make the team happier than snapping this losing skid. Marcus Hogberg is 1-2-5 this season, with a .901 save percentage. Hogberg started the last three games, and with Craig Anderson struggling with injuries, he’s likely to start again this evening. Ottawa is a complete mess right now. The goaltending is shaky. Their power play is awful. The entire team is in a downward spiral. The light at the end of the tunnel is starting to look more like the headlights of a train coming head-on. With all of their issues, you’d think the Senators would have been the ones to kick their coach to the curb.
Prediction: Knights win 5-2.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Minnesota Wild
Head-to-Head: Lightning 0 – 1 Wild
The Tampa Bay Lightning are starting to look more like well, what you’d expect them to look like. The team has only dropped one game in the last 12. Andrei Vasilevskiy is an absolute monster with a .916 save percentage this season. The entire team is on a hot streak right now, and that spells bad news for the Minnesota Wild. Tampa’s power play is operating at 27.40 percent. Their penalty kill is significantly better, at 83.11 percent. Brayden Point, Nikita Kucherov, and Kevin Shattenkirk are buzzing for the team. Shutting them down will be no easy task.
On the opposite side of the ice, the Minnesota Wild are floundering. The team tallied one notch in the win column out of the past seven contests. Additionally, they’re on a four-game downward spiral. The Wild are 20th in the league with 138 goals for. What’s more worrisome is their 157 goals against. Both their defence and goaltending have been sub-par, to say the least. Minnesota has had some luck when they face off against the Lightning, but that might have run out. Tampa is playing some impressive hockey these days, and the Wild can’t seem to get their act together. Breaking their winless streak against the white-hot Lightning sure would be a confidence booster if they could pull it off though.
Prediction: Lightning win 3-1
Anaheim Ducks vs. Nashville Predators
Head-to-Head: Ducks 1 – 1 Predators
The Anaheim Ducks are looking less than mighty these days. They’re in 8th place in the Pacific Division. The Ducks are at the bottom of the barrel, with 116 goals for. Their offence has struggled all season. Ryan Getzlaf only has five points in the last 13 games. Adam Henrique is also hitting a slump, with just three points in the last seven games.They’re lacking confidence. Thank the hockey gods for John Gibson and his .905 save percentage. Without him, the Ducks might as well pack it up and head to the local beer league.
The Nashville Predators are still trying to find their groove under new head coach John Hynes. Their 21-17-7 record reflects it. But the team has all of the tools in place to bounce back, and Hynes can wake up the team and bring the best out of them. The Predators have 106 actual goals for at 5-on-5, sitting them well above the league average of 94. Pekka Rinne is strong between the pipes with a .896 save percentage. His counterpart Juuse Saros is just a hair above him with an .897. All of the wheels are there, the Predators just need to get them moving smoothly.
Prediction: Predators win 3-2.
Buffalo Sabres vs. Dallas Stars
Head-to-Head: Sabres 1 – 0 Stars
The Buffalo Sabres won four of their last eight games. They’re a bit inconsistent this season. The Sabres are hanging out around the middle of the league’s rankings, coming in at 19th in goals for and 18th in goals against. Linus Ullmark owns a .911 save percentage and a 2.78 goals-against average. Carter Hutton is a hair worse with a .892 save percentage and a 3.34 goals-against average. Buffalo is trying to keep their heads above water in a tight division.
When it comes to the Dallas Stars, the Sabres haven’t quite found the key to beating them. The Stars are currently second in the Central Division and have won seven of their last ten matchups. They have a goalie tandem that runs like a well-oiled machine, with a combined save percentage of .927. Although the team hasn’t scored a ton of goals in the past few games, their defence has been completely prime. Miro Heiskanen is fourth on the team, collecting 23 points this season so far. It’ll be an interesting tilt, and the score will likely remain close.
Prediction: Stars win 2-1.
San Jose Sharks vs. Colorado Avalanche
Head-to-Head: Sharks 0 – 0 Avalanche
This will be the first time the San Jose Sharks meet the Colorado Avalanche this season. The Sharks let go of DeBoer and are under the rule of interim head coach Bob Boughner. It looks like San Jose is gaining some traction. After going on four and six-game losing streaks, they’ve actually won two of their last three contests. Martin Jones is looking like he’ll be in the net this evening. Jones has a disappointing save percentage of .890. The goaltending has been a hot topic in San Jose this year and it’s just not improving. The loss of Logan Couture is just another blow to the sinking team.
Coming into this game, the Avalanche are the clear favourite. The team has one of the best offensive groups in the league. Their penalty kill is outstanding, with a 78.57 percent. However, we’ve come to yet another team on a four-game loss streak. Maybe four is the magic number this season? Colorado might have a killer offence, but their defence and goaltending are leaving something to be desired. The Avalanche are such a solid team, it’s almost inconceivable that they’d drop a fifth game straight.
Prediction: Avalanche win 2-1.
Featured Game: Arizona Coyotes vs. Vancouver Canucks
Head-to-Head: Coyotes 0 – 0 Canucks
The Arizona Coyotes and Vancouver Canucks will meet for the first time this year. The Coyotes are first in the Pacific Division with 57 points but the race is close. Taylor Hall was a perfect acquisition for the Yotes, notching 13 points since joining the team. Phil Kessel is another profitable acquisition with 30 points in 49 games. Antti Raanta holds a save percentage of .919. The team is firing on all cylinders, they just need to get it together on the road.
The Canucks went on a seven-game win streak, and have only lost three of their last twelve contests. Elias Pettersson is steering the team with 48 points. Vancouver boasts one of the league’s top power plays. Pettersson already owns 48 points this season. Jacob Markstrom has been a powerhouse for the team, with a .914 save percentage. Quinn Hughes is working hard gathering 32 points in 46 games. With the Canucks playing this good, it’s hard not to take them for the winner. Especially with the Coyotes faltering play on the road.
Prediction: Canucks win 4-3.