Welcome back to Last Word on Hockey’s NHL Predictions series. Every day, we break down every game on the night’s schedule and offer our prediction and analysis for each game. Tonight features seven games broken up into two articles. This article features the late game slate. We also feature a must-watch game for every article, and this one is an important matchup between the St. Louis Blues and Edmonton Oilers.
Be sure to check out the early games here.
Boston Bruins vs. Winnipeg Jets
Head to Head: Bruins 1-0 Jets
The Boston Bruins were lucky enough to get a big break with the All-Star Game last weekend followed by a bye week. The 10-day stretch has provided much-needed rest and will hopefully bring back the Boston team the fans know and love. Overtime struggles and third period collapses have been the big story for the Bruins over the last month and they get an opportunity to show that those habits are behind them by putting together a few wins. Winnipeg will give them that chance.
Neal Pionk has been a surprisingly impactful addition to the Winnipeg Jets defensive core. Acquired in a trade that sent Jacob Trouba to the New York Rangers, Pionk leads all Jets defenders in points with 32 this season over a 51 game span. Pionk was given a new opportunity to prove his worth and has capitalized. A new environment has turned him into a player who can run the powerplay and play top-line minutes.
Prediction: Bruins win 4-3.
St. Louis Blues vs. Edmonton Oilers
Head-to-Head: Blues 2-0 Oilers
This is Last Word on Hockey’s NHL Predictions featured game of the night.
St. Louis has ridden its Cup-winning momentum to a great start this year, posting 70 points and a 31-12-8 record to sit atop the Western Conference. The Blues won their two previous games against the Oilers this year by a combined score of 7-3. St. Louis plays quite decent hockey at both ends of the ice, and this team doesn’t have any glaring flaws. Despite that, they’ve dropped three of their past four games. 30-year-old captain Alex Pietrangelo has been impressive again this season, posting 13 goals, 29 assists, and 42 points in 51 games.
Edmonton has ridden their success under new coach Dave Tippett to a 26-18-8 record, good enough for 58 points and third place in the Pacific Division. Edmonton dropped their last game 4-3 to the Calgary Flames in what has become a must-watch feud between the teams. The Oilers lack depth scoring and great defence, but they’re able to keep themselves afloat nonetheless. Edmonton has won five of their past seven games. Connor McDavid sits on top of the world still, netting 77 points in 50 games (50 of those points being assists).
Prediction: St. Louis wins 3-1.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Anaheim Ducks
Head-to-Head: Lightning 1-0 Ducks
The Tampa Bay Lightning team has recovered from a slow start to hit 65 points, a 30-15-5 record, and second place in the Atlantic Division. They defeated the Anaheim Ducks 6-2 all the way back on November 23rd, 2019. Tampa is elite offensively while still managing to be a good defensive team. They’ve won 13 out of their past 16. Andrei Vasilevskiy has played stellar hockey in goal as of late, getting up to a .918 save percentage on the season in addition to 25 wins.
Anaheim has stumbled along all season, sitting at 20-25-5, 45 points, and seventh place in the Pacific Division. Their previous game was a ‘W,’ though, 4-2 against the Arizona Coyotes. Anaheim is anemic offensively but is better at keeping the puck out of their net. They’ve dropped five of their last eight. John Gibson, despite a subpar season, is still one of the team’s better players, posting a .905 save percentage and 15 wins.
Prediction: Tampa Bay wins 4-2.
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