Get your NHL Predictions fix before you get your beauty sleep ahead of Valentine’s Day! The schedule is full and we’re taking a look at the five late tilts on the table tonight. There’s certainly no love lost between the St. Louis Blues and Vegas Golden Knights, which is our featured game of the night! It’s Thursday, February 13th and these are your NHL Predictions for the evening.
New York Rangers vs. Minnesota Wild
Head-to-Head: Rangers 1 – 0 Wild
The New York Rangers are having trouble getting anything longer than a two-game win streak going, but they’re heading to Minnesota in search of their third W in a row. Ryan Strome managed three points in those last two wins, including a power-play assist. Rookie netminder Igor Shesterkin is continuing to impress with save percentages well over .900 percent in four of his last five games. Mika Zibanejad continues to light up the scoreboard, collecting six points in the last five matchups. The Rangers have had their share of struggles lately but the way the Minnesota Wild are sinking, the Blueshirts could steal that third victory they’re after.
The Wild put the final nail in their playoff coffin when they traded away Jason Zucker earlier this week. In some weird twist of fate, the Wild trounced the Knights 4-0 on Tuesday. Jared Spurgeon has eight points in ten games. Another player notching the score sheet for Minnesota is veteran Zach Parise. Parise owns two goals and two assists in his last five appearances. The team’s penalty kill is a mess, at 74.27 percent. The Wild have had some luke-warm streaks this season, but they’re not diving headfirst into the postseason. The Rangers are still looking to make their way into a playoff spot, and they’ll be coming in ready to battle.
Prediction: Rangers win 3-1.
New York Islanders vs. Nashville Predators
Head-to-Head: Islanders 0 – 1 Predators
The New York Islanders aren’t playing the most exciting hockey, but they’ve got a system in place that’s working exceptionally well for them and making them a hot pick in NHL predictions. The Islanders are dialled in and sneakily securing their playoff bid. They’re currently sitting in third place in the Metropolitan Division, with a points percentage of .655. The Isles will be without Casey Cizikas whos suffering from a lower-body injury. Forward Mathew Barzal is on fire, with five points in five games. Jordan Eberle is on the same track, notching a point per game in the last five as well. The Islanders are firing on all cylinders this season, and they’re tough to beat.
The Nashville Predators are having a rough go this year. They don’t look like the team we’re used to seeing. The Predators have split their last ten games, winning five and dropping five. Their goaltending has left something to be desired lately but might be on the upswing, finally. Pekka Rinne and Juuse Saros have a combined save percentage of .892. Nashville is 24th in goals against and 16th in goals for. Filip Forsberg hasn’t found the back of the net in five games. Craig Smith has cooled off, netting just four points in the last ten games. The lacklustre Predators won’t be able to overcome the Islanders tight run ship.
Prediction: Islanders win 4-0.
Washington Capitals vs. Colorado Avalanche
Head-to-Head: Capitals 0 – 1 Avalanche
The Washington Capitals are having another outstanding season, making them a safe bet in NHL predictions. They’re looking for another Stanley Cup and captain Alex Ovechkin is looking to tally his 700th goal. Ovechkin is in a goal drought. After all, it has been two whole games since he’s scored. Washingtons powerplay is working on overdrive, while their penalty kill isn’t doing quite so hot, at 84.18 percent. Netminder Braden Holtby needs to get his groove back. His .894 save percentage is well under his career average of .916 percent. Ilya Samsonov is thriving in his first NHL season. After 23 games, he has an impressive .917 save percentage. Nothing seems to be able to throw the Capitals off their game.
The Colorado Avalanche is another white-hot team, sitting comfortably in second place in the Central Division. The Avalanche are looking to extend their win streak to six games as they take on the Predators. Defenceman Ryan Graves is dominating the blue line this year. Superstar Nathan MacKinnon has six points in five games. Andre Burakovsky is fitting in nicely with the Avs, with 41 points on the season. Cale Makar is dominating the ice in his rookie campaign. Colorado is executing a level of play worthy of a strong Stanley Cup run. If Colorado stays this hot, they’ll take the game.
Prediction: Avalanche wins 2-1.
Calgary Flames vs. Anaheim Ducks
Head-to-Head: Flames 1 – 0 Ducks
Despite a few major injuries, the Calgary Flames are still chugging along. Mark Giordano and Travis Hamonic are both absent from the lineup with injuries. They’ve been unable to gain consistent momentum and have struggled to string together win streaks of three or more. The goaltending in Calgary has been decent, with a five-on-five save percentage of .908. Matthew Tkachuk is putting on a show for Flames fans. The forward has seven points in seven games. Johnny Gaudreau is still looking for some footing after he’s gone ten games with just one goal. Forward Sean Monahan is on a nasty stretch where he’s netted just three goals in 14 games. The Flames can’t get too much forward motion, but if they are going to brush up a win, the floundering Anaheim Ducks are a prime candidate.
The Ducks’ last game was a hot topic after St. Louis Blues player Jay Bouwmeester suffered a medical emergency during the first period of play. They’ll be looking to shift their focus back to hockey after the scary scene. Anaheim should shift their focus to their defence. The team already has 173 goals against. They can thank their lucky ducks that they have John Gibson who continuously stands on his head for the team. The Ducks special teams are lacking in pretty much every area. The trade rumours surrounding the team are running rampant. All of those guys need to get out of their heads and focus on the game.
Prediction: Flames win 4-3.
St. Louis Blues vs. Vegas Golden Knights
Head-to-Head: Blues 1 – 1 Golden Knights
This is the featured game of the evening.
The Blues postponed their last game after Bouwmeester lost consciousness on the bench, and before that, they dropped their last two matches. In their last nine games, the Blues haven’t been able to put together a winning streak. They’re lacking some big players, namely Vladimir Tarasenko and Oskar Sundqvist. St. Louis is taking the Central Division by storm despite their streaky performance lately. Defenceman Colton Parayko snagged four goals in the past three matchups. Brayden Schenn is creeping up on David Perron and his 23 goals to lead the team. Jordan Binnington is proving that he’s not a one-hit-wonder, with a solid .910 save percentage. Maybe the extra time off will have the Blues ready to bounce back in true Binnington fashion.
The Knights also lost both of their last contests. They’ve got 64 points this season and they’re third in the Pacific Division. They might be taking a backstep though, after winning just four of their last 13 games. Marc-Andre Fleury is standing strong in the net with a .904 save percentage and a 2.87 goals-against average. Winger Mark Stone has six points in the last five games, and Max Pacioretty is right behind him with five in five. Both clubs will be looking to break the downward cycle, but the Blues are the more resilient team.
Prediction: Blues win 5-3.
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