Welcome back to NHL Predictions, where the Last Word on Hockey team provides insight into all of today’s games. On Wednesday, March 4th’s edition of NHL Predictions, we’ll take a look at four games. Today’s featured game is a battle between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Washington Capitals.
Philadelphia Flyers vs. Washington Capitals
Head-to-Head: Flyers 2-1 Capitals
For the featured game of our NHL Predictions, the Washington Capitals will host the Philadelphia Flyers in a heavyweight showdown of the Metropolitan Division. The Flyers have won six straight games, climbing to the second spot in the division. With the slumping Penguins, the Flyers want to solidify their spot in the division and take the home-ice advantage for the playoffs. The Capitals are three points clear of the Flyers with 86 points. Both teams have 65 games played in the season.
If the Capitals win tonight, they will have a five-point lead in the Metropolitan Division, making it probable for them to claim the divisional title for the fifth straight season. However, if the Flyers win, they can get within one point of the divisional lead. Last time these two met together, in January, the Flyers won 7-2 in Washington, embarrassing the Caps.
Alex Ovechkin continues his chase for the Maurice Richard Trophy. He currently has 45 goals. Ovechkin scored twice on Sunday in a road win for the Caps. The point-leader for the Capitals is John Carlson with 73 points. Travis Konecny leads the Flyers with 60 points. In the season, the Flyers are 2-0-1 against the Caps. Washington is 5-1-1 in its last seven meetings at home vs. Philadelphia.
Prediction: the Capitals win 4-2.
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Calgary Flames
Head-to-Head: Blue Jackets 0-1 Flames
For the second and final time this season, the Calgary Flames square off against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Flames are finally coming home after a 3-1-1 five-game road trip. In their last seven home games, the Flames have prevailed only once. They have won in the first head-to-head regular-season meeting in Columbus in a 3-0 fashion. The Flames have 75 points in an uncommonly tight Western Conference playoff race.
The Blue Jackets have entered the slump in the past few weeks. Columbus has suffered a rarely high number of injuries. Despite losing 10 of its last 12 games, Columbus still occupies the second wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference. However, the chasing Hurricanes and the Rangers are close and have games in hand on Columbus. The Blue Jackets pulled an improbable comeback from a 3-1 deficit late in the third period on Sunday to get the confidence booster.
Prediction: Flames win 3-2 in overtime.
Anaheim Ducks vs. Colorado Avalanche
Head-to-Head: Ducks 0-1 Avalanche
It’s the final head-to-head meeting of the season between the Anaheim Ducks and the Colorado Avalanche. They faced off in a close contest two weeks ago, with the Avs winning 1-0 in Anaheim. The Avalanche have won seven games in a row, a similar feat repeated by the St. Louis Blues. The Avs chase the Blues for the divisional title. They have two games in hand, it’s seemingly their race to lose now.
The defence by the Avalanche has been incredible. They have only conceded nine goals in their last seven victories. Pavel Francouz has been stellar in the net for Colorado, with Philipp Grubauer on the shelf with an injury, again. On the other side, the Ducks have no chance of making the playoffs. Nevertheless, their past 10 road games have looked great, suffering just a couple of regulation losses. Anaheim has won its last two games played in Denver.
Prediction: the Avalanche win 5-2.
Arizona Coyotes vs. Vancouver Canucks
Head-to-Head: Coyotes 0-1 Canucks
In the final game of the NHL Predictions, for only the second time this season, the Arizona Coyotes face the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena. It’s a do-or-die stretch of the regular season for the Coyotes. Arizona is currently outside of the playoff picture in the Western Conference with 72 points and 15 games to go in the campaign. The Canucks are in a better spot with 74 points and 17 contests left in the season.
They have already met once in Vancouver, with the Canucks bringing home a 3-1 victory. The Canucks paid a steep price for the big triumph over the Bruins in a 9-3 fashion, losing Jacob Markstrom. Since that prominent win, the Canucks have recorded only one win and three regulation losses, giving up 17 goals in total. On the other side, Arizona is 5-4-1 in its last five games. All four regulation losses have come by only one goal. It’s astonishingly tight in the Pacific Division, every point is crucial.
Prediction: the Coyotes win 3-2.