NHL Predictions: December 19th Late Games – Including Montreal Canadiens vs. Calgary Flames

NHL Predictions; Elias Lindholm

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 Montreal Canadiens vs. Calgary Flames. This is the late game slate of NHL Predictions. Be sure and check out the early games too.

NHL Predictions

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Winnipeg Jets

Head-to-Head: Jets 1 – 0 Blackhawks

When the Chicago Blackhawks and Winnipeg Jets meet on Thursday night, it will be the second of five meetings on the season. The Jets won the first meeting by a score of 3-2 in overtime back in October. These two rivals always play close games and expect nothing less when they clash on Thursday night. Chicago will enter the game playing the night before. While the Jets have a night off in between games. The Blackhawks sit at the bottom of the standings in the West as they continue to have an up and down season.

Winnipeg is figuring things out this season despite putting together a patchwork defence. Head coach Paul Maurice needs some considering for Jack Adams Award for what he has done in Winnipeg. He has gotten this team playing well and they continue to overcome all the odds. One of the moves he made was moving Blake Wheeler from the wing to centre. This has allowed the Jets to have a balanced offence. However, the loss of Mathieu Perreault upfront will be tough to overcome. While the Jets have the advantage on paper, you never know how the game will go when you step on the ice with a rival. However, the Jets are starting to heat up on home ice.

Prediction: Jets Win 4-3

Carolina Hurricanes vs. Colorado Avalanche

Head-to-Head: Hurricanes 0 – 0 Avalanche

This is the first of two meetings between the Carolina Hurricanes and Colorado Avalanche. The Hurricanes are looking to end their five-game road trip on a high note. It will be difficult against one of the better teams in the NHL. However, no matter where the Hurricanes play they are always a tough out. Just ask the Jets. Sebastian Aho is starting to heat up and that makes the Hurricanes even more dangerous. Andrei Svechnikov continues to dazzle with his amazing goals. While the combination of Petr Mrazek and James Reimer has the Hurricanes in a good position. Reimer has been great this year especially on the road.

The Avalanche continue to lead the Central Division. Colorado remains without rookie defenceman, Cale Makar, as he remains sidelined with an upper-body injury. There is a chance he could return which will be helpful for Colorado’s defence. He adds a different dynamic to not only the Avalanche’s defence but their offence too. Not to mention their top line of Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, and Mikko Rantanen. Plus the Avalanche are getting much needed secondary scoring. In addition, Pavel Francouz and Philipp Grubauer are making a solid goaltending duo. Playing the night before could hurt the Avalanche with a rested team waiting for them in Colorado.

Prediction: Hurricanes Win 5-4

Montreal Canadiens vs. Calgary Flames

Head-to-Head: Canadiens 0 – 0 Flames

This our NHL predictions featured late game of the night.

First, the Toronto Maple Leafs and their fans came to Calgary, now it is the Montreal Canadiens turn to bring their fans to town. In the first meeting of the season, the Calgary Flames will look to end a two-game losing as they host the Canadiens. Montreal comes in with wins in four of their last five games. But as the Maple Leafs found out, the Saddledome is a tough place to play. The Canadiens still have two tough games after Thursday night as their Western Canadian road-trip continues. Carey Price is starting to regain form as the Canadiens offence continues to be a goal-scoring committee. While Max Domi is getting hot, it is Shea Weber on defence who has turned back the clocks and found the fountain of youth.

The Flames will want to get a win before they hit the road for three games. Calgary was on a heater no pun intended, before the Hurricanes and Pittsburgh Penguins came to town. One player that needs to get going for the Flames is Johnny Gaudreau. While he is third in points on the team, that only tells one side of the story. He has been up and down the lineup this season. The Flames need him to get back to form if they want a shot at the playoffs. While the Flames hold a three-point lead for the second wild-card position, a long losing streak would negate the Flames recent seven-game winning streak and have them on the outside looking in.

Prediction: Flames Win 3-1

Minnesota Wild vs. Arizona Coyotes

Head-to-Head: Wild 2 – 0 Coyotes

As the Minnesota Wild and Arizona Coyotes enter their final meeting of the season, the Wild have won the last two meetings. Both games were close, but the Wild were able to squeak out two one-goal victories. Devan Dubnyk played stellar for the Wild in the last meetings. He got into the heads of the Coyotes players with some unbelievable saves. The Wild will want to end their road trip on a high note. Minnesota has lost its last two games. In these kinds of games, look for the depth scoring of the Wild to make an impact against the Coyotes. If the Wild can sweep the season series with Arizona, this will go a long way into them staying in playoff contention.

On the Coyotes side, it will be the first home game in the desert for Taylor Hall after being traded from the New Jersey Devils to the Coyotes. Hall made an impact in his first game registering an assist on the game-winning goal. Entering the contest, the Coyotes have won two of its last three games. You know Hall will want to make an impact in front of the fans in Arizona. Darcy Kuemper continues to play well for the Coyotes along with Antti Raanta. Clayton Keller got back on the scoreboard in the last game as well. With the addition of Hall, players like Phil Kessel and Nick Schmaltz will be freed up to generate offence. Just like the last two meetings, look for this game to be a low-scoring affair.

Prediction: Wild Win 3-2

Vegas Golden Knights vs. Vancouver Canucks

Head-to-Head: Golden Knights 1 – 0 Canucks

The Vegas Golden Knights and Vancouver Canucks are meeting for the second time this season. In the first meeting, the Golden Knights doubled up the Canucks by a score of 6-3. In that meeting, the top stars for the Golden Knights showed up as Max Pacioretty, Mark Stone and Jonathan Marchessault all registered a goal. With the team’s first meeting only happening this past Sunday, the Canucks will be out for some revenge. The Golden Knights are starting to put things together. With wins in four of their past five games, the Golden Knights find themselves back in second place in the Pacific Division. Not to mention Marc-Andre Fleury is back, looking really refreshed. With the tops guys starting to score and Fleury playing so well, this is bad news for the Western Conference.

The Canucks come into the game on a three-game losing streak. The feel-good story of the beginning of the season has started to slide out of the playoff picture. Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes, Bo Horvat, Brock Boeser, and J.T. Miller have done everything in their power to keep the Canucks afloat. Not to mention the play of Jacob Markstrom and Thatcher Demko. With his play recently Markstrom has earned himself a contract for next season with the Canucks. He has turned into a solid NHL goaltender. The Canucks are ahead of schedule, but they still have their eyes set on the playoffs. A win Thursday night will be a step in the right direction.

Prediction: Golden Knights Win 5-2

This does it for NHL Predictions for the late games on December 19th, check back tomorrow for another edition.

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