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 four games happening on January 20th. Each piece will include a featured game that should be must-watch hockey. The featured game for this article is the matchup between the Detroit Red Wings at the Colorado Avalanche.
Detroit Red Wings vs Colorado Avalanche
Head-to-Head: Red Wings 0-0 Avalanche
Detroit comes into the matchup against their old rivals as the worst team in the NHL. The Red Wings were beaten, 4-1, by the Florida Panthers on Saturday. Dylan Larkin scored his 100th career goal while Jimmy Howard made 34 saves as he fell to 2-17-2 on the season. It was the fourth straight loss for Detroit.
The Red Wings struggle to put pucks in the net as they average 2.10 goals per game and give up 3.84 per game. Detroit’s power play converts 14.6 percent of chances and they kill off 73.0 percent of opposing power plays.
Colorado has won two straight games, including a 5-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night. Andre Burakovsky had a goal and an assist while Philipp Grubauer made 21 saves. The Avalanche are 2-0-2 as they head into the final game of their homestand.
Nathan MacKinnon leads the team in goals (28), assists (42) and points (70) while Grubauer is 14-10-4 in net. He also has a 2.82 goals-against-average and .910 save percentage.
The Avs score 3.60 goals per game and give up 2.90 per game. Colorado scores on 18.6 percent of power plays and are 78.8 percent successful on the penalty kill.
Colorado has eyes on the Stanley Cup while Detroit has eyes on a top-four draft pick. Look for the Avalanche to end their homestand strong.
Prediction: Avalanche win 4-1.
Florida Panthers vs Minnesota Wild
Head-to-Head: Panthers 0-1 Wild
Florida is on a roll and have won four straight games after Saturday’s win vs. Detroit. Jonathan Huberdeau, who leads the team in assists (46) and points (64), dished out two assists and Sergei Bobrovsky returned to make 27 saves. Minnesota did win 4-2 over Florida in Sunrise, Fla. on Dec. 13.
Evgenii Dadonov is the team’s leading goal-scorer with 21 while Bobrovsky has picked up his play with a 17-12-4 record, 3.22 goals-against-average and .898 save percentage. Those numbers are hurt by the bad start he had at the beginning of the season.
The Panthers score 3.64 goals per game and yield 3.26 per game. Florida’s power play is 24.0 percent successful and their PK is 79.0 percent efficient.
Zach Parise leads the team in goals with 18 and Eric Staal is tops in points with 35. Stalock has seemingly taken over in goal with an 11-7-3 record, 2.83 goals-against-average and .907 save percentage.
Minnesota scores 3.06 goals per game and allow 3.27 per game. The Wild power play scores at a 19.7 percent clip while they kill off 75.5 percent of penalties.
Both teams have been playing well as of late, but the Panthers have been really making strides.
Prediction: Panthers win 3-2 in a shootout.