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 Arizona Coyotes vs Edmonton Oilers. This is the early game slate of NHL Predictions. Be sure and check out the late games of NHL Predictions too.
Washington Capitals vs New York Islanders
Head-to-Head: Capitals 1 – 1 Islanders
The Washington Capitals and New York Islanders meet for the third time this season. This time, it is in a matinee matchup this time. These two teams have split the season series thus far which seems fitting. It is two of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. The Islanders find themselves in the third spot of the Metro for the first time since the start of the year, which is unfamiliar territory. However, they are still a solid team that is very stout defensively. They force teams to try and play into their style in the defensive end and counter with a great counter-attack the other way. This will have to be what they do if they wish to find success today.
As for the Capitals, they are on a two-game winning streak and will look to keep that going. Nicklas Backstrom is riding the high of a brand new contract and knowing that he will be in the Caps long-term plans must be a big momentum boost. The Capitals are one of the best teams in the league with a solid offence. John Carlson leading the defence, and two solid goalies in the backend. This team will be a tough one to beat in every game they play. This matchup might be one that isn’t as high tempo as most as it’s a 1 pm start, which tends to slow the pace. However, it is one to keep your eye on.
Prediction: Capitals win 4-3 in Overtime.
St. Louis Blues vs Colorado Avalanche
Head-to-Head: Blues 2 – 1 Avalanche
This is the final matchup for the season between the St. Louis Blues and Colorado Avalanche. In yet another amazing game to keep an eye on for NHL Predictions. These two teams are atop of the Central Division. The Blues have shown no signs of slowing down after their cup win and want another. Jordan Binnington has been rock solid in net and Jake Allen has even shown he’s a very reliable backup. The Blues offence has continued to roll even without star Vladimir Tarasenko. This is a team that looks primed to try and go the distance yet again this year.
On the other side, the Colorado Avalanche have fought through injuries all season long but continue to find wins. Many injuries to many key players haven’t slowed this team down at all. This should be a great matchup to watch as the high-powered Avs go against the talented and defensively responsible Blues. Both of these teams have stars on both sides of the puck. The Avs have a bright future but also have shown they can contend now. Look for their speed to get an edge here.
Prediction: Avalanche win 4-2.
Arizona Coyotes vs Edmonton Oilers
Head-to-Head: Coyotes 1 – 1 Oilers
This is NHL Predictions featured game of the night because of the severity of the matchup. These two teams are within two points of each other. What’s more, there are five teams within three points of each other for the division lead. Every divisional game here is crucial. The Arizona Coyotes have their big pickup in Taylor Hall and have been fighting through injuries. They are a very solid team but have struggled without starter Darcy Kuemper.
On the other side, Connor McDavid and the Oilers continue to fight and pick up wins where they can. They will still be without Zack Kassian so they will no doubt have to rely on their speed and skill to beat this Coyotes team. Mikko Koskinen has had a solid year and they will likely be asking him to help with two points today. This is a crucial game for the standings and one you won’t want to miss.
Prediction: Coyotes win 3-2 in Overtime.
Calgary Flames vs Ottawa Senators
Head-to-Head: Flames 1 – 0 Senators
The Calgary Flames are another team in that heated Pacific division race. Today, they will look to take two points and further their claim for the division lead. This will be the fourth straight Canadian team they play as they have gone 2-1-0 against them so far. This matchup will also be part two of the Brady Tkachuk vs Matthew Tkachuk battle. The Flames and Matthew got the best of round one. A 4 pm Eastern start will make this one a bit harder for Calgary, however, they have a very talented team and may not need to worry about that.
The Ottawa Senators are struggling this year and that is OK. With two picks currently near the top five of the draft, fans are OK when they don’t win. Ottawa wants to stay competitive and make teams work for their two points though. That’s exactly what they have done most of this year. They currently have lost nine games in a row, however, some of them have been in overtime. This is a team that has had their offence dry up, and among some injuries, the defence and goaltending haven’t been there either. They will look to make Calgary work today but it may not be enough.
Prediction: Flames win 5-3.
Chicago Blackhawks vs Toronto Maple Leafs
Head-to-Head: Blackhawks 1 – 0 Maple Leafs
The Chicago Blackhawks have won three games in a row and are starting to work their way back into the wildcard picture. However, they are also close enough to the bottom of the division that their future at the deadline is unsure at the moment. What is clear, however, is that this is a team that can steal wins from teams. Robin Lehner has had another solid year and Patrick Kane is as dangerous as ever. The defence is still very questionable and making sure that isn’t exposed will be the key to a win.
The Toronto Maple Leafs offence will need to take advantage of the Hawks defence if they wish to win this game. They have lost four of their last five games and are struggling with tons of injuries. Jake Muzzin and Morgan Rielly are two defencemen who are currently out of the lineup. The big names like John Tavares, Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and William Nylander need to step up here and score their way out of trouble.
Prediction: Maple Leafs win 6-4.
Vegas Golden Knights vs Montreal Canadiens
Head-to-Head: Golden Knights 0 – 0 Canadiens
The Vegas Golden Knights snapped a four-game losing streak in Ottawa the other night and are now 1-0 under new Head Coach Peter DeBoer. The firing was out of nowhere but management felt it was time for a change. This roster is a good one but Marc-Andre Fleury needs to be better if they wish to have any success. Max Pacioretty is back in Montreal as the former captain will no doubt have a chip on his shoulder every time he is back in the building.
The Montreal Canadiens are another team that have fought through injuries all year. They are slipping out of a playoff spot and need Carey Price to be better. He has been rock solid in his past few starts and will look to keep that going here. The Bell Centre is sure to be rocking on a Saturday night and that should feed into Montreal’s playstyle. It will for sure be a close game with a bounce or two deciding everything.
Prediction: Golden Knights win 5-3.