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 late-game NHL predictions, we’ll cover the two games happening on March 2nd. Each piece will include a featured game that should be must-watch hockey. The featured game is the Edmonton Oilers vs Nashville Predators.
Colorado Avalanche vs Detroit Red Wings
Head-to-Head: Avalanche 1-0 Red Wings
The Colorado Avalanche have won six in a row, including escaping with a 3-2 win over Nashville on Saturday. Erik Johnson scored late in the third period to held the Avs hang on for the victory. Nathan MacKinnon leads the club in goals (33), assists (52) and points (88). Pavel Francouz made 30 saves in the last game to go to 19-5-3 with a 2.24 goals-against-average.
Colorado scores 3.44 goals a game and allows 2.67 per game. The Avalanche power play scores 18.6 percent of the time and they kill 80.6 percent of opposing power plays.
The Detroit Red Wings are clearly going to get the most ping pong balls in the upcoming 2020 NHL Draft Lottery. Detroit lost 4-3 in a shootout on Saturday night to the Ottawa Senators. Dylan Larkin netted a goal and an assist in the loss. The Red Wings have lost five straight games after Saturday’s loss.
Larkin leads the team in all offensive categories such as goals (18), assists (30) and points (48). The Red Wings offence is dead last in the league with 1.99 goals a game and they yield 3.78 a game. Detroit converts on 14.9 percent of its power plays and they stop 74.5 percent of penalties.
The Avalanche are trying to get their hands on a Central Division crown and beat the Wings 6-3 in their previous meeting. Expect more of the same from the Colorado offence.
Prediction: Avalanche win 6-1.
Edmonton Oilers vs Nashville Predators
Head-to-Head: Oilers 2-0 Predators
Leon Draisaitl has been on a tear ever since Connor McDavid went down due to injury. The German scored twice in the Oilers’ 3-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. He leads the team in goals (39), assists (63) and points (102). Mike Smith is 18-10-6 with a 2.87 goals-against-average.
The Oilers score 3.11 goals a game and surrender 3.06 goals a game. Edmonton scores at a blistering 29.3 percent on the power play and stop 84.2 percent of opposing extra-man chances.
Nashville has found life under new coach John Hynes and own the second wild card spot at this time. The Predators take on the Oilers in the first game of a back-to-back as they play the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday. Juuse Saros has gotten the starts with the injury to Pekka Rinne.
Roman Josi leads the team in points with 60 and Filip Forsberg is tops in goals with 18. Nashville scores and gives up 3.14 goals a game. They score 16.3 percent of their power plays and struggle on the kill at 74.6 percent.
Both teams love playing offence, but the uncertainty in the Nashville net gives Edmonton the edge.
Prediction: Oilers win 4-3.