Welcome back to NHL Predictions, where the Last Word on Hockey team provides insight into all of today’s games. On Wednesday, February 19th’s edition of NHL Predictions, we’ll take a look at six games. Today’s featured game is a battle between the Boston Bruins and the Edmonton Oilers.
New York Rangers vs. Chicago Blackhawks
Head-to-Head: Rangers 0 – 0 Blackhawks
It´s the first head-to-head contest of the season between the New York Rangers and the Chicago Blackhawks. The time is winding up for both teams desperately hoping to make one last attempt at making the playoffs. The Blackhawks have lost seven of their last nine games, which means they have only 60 points. Chicago is at least eight points out of the playoffs. The Blackhawks may be able to rally for a post-season spot if they turn their play around quick.
The Rangers saw their four-game winning streak snapped by the Boston Bruins on Sunday. The Rangers have 64 points but are at least seven points out of the playoff contention. Neither of the teams will make the playoffs as it seems. Nevertheless, the fans at United Center will witness a return of Artemi Panarin to Chicago. Panarin played his first NHL game as a Blackhawk in the very same building against the Rangers. And scored.
Prediction: Blackhawks win 3-2 in overtime.
Arizona Coyotes vs. Dallas Stars
Head-to-Head: Coyotes 0 – 1 Stars
For the second time this season, the Dallas Stars will match up against the Arizona Coyotes. The Coyotes have finally won two games in a row for the first time since early January. They currently occupy the eighth spot in the Western Conference with 68 points. The Stars, on the other hand, found themselves atop of the Western Conference on Monday night, where they lost in Ottawa in overtime.
Both the Stars and the Coyotes have lost in Ottawa this past week. Dallas is 6-1-2 in its most recent nine contests and posses 74 points in the standings. For both teams, every point matters until the rest of the regular season. The Stars won the first head-to-head matchup back in December, 4-2 in Glendale.
Prediction: Stars win 4-2.
Boston Bruins vs. Edmonton Oilers
Head-to-Head: Bruins 0 – 1 Oilers
For the featured game of our NHL Predictions, we will take a closer look at the game between the Edmonton Oilers and the Boston Bruins. Despite already playing four games without captain Connor McDavid, the Oilers are 3-1 in their last four games. Edmonton is 12-4-2 in its last 18 contests. In this successful stretch, they have also won in Boston, defeating the Bruins 4-1 early January.
Following their most recent victory in Carolina on Saturday, the Oilers found themselves as the leading team of the Pacific Division with 70 points. Nevertheless, the aforementioned Coyotes with 68 points are eighth in the West. The Pacific Division standings are as tight as they come.
The Bruins have different issues than the Oilers. Boston will attempt to shed the Tampa Bay Lightning, who are only one point behind them in the standings. With the Capitals´ recent slump, the Bruins appear to have entered a two-arm race for the Presidents´ Trophy with Tampa Bay. It will be an interesting duel of two elite scorers. Leon Draisaitl leads the NHL with 95 points, David Pastrnak is right behind him with 82 points. In the new Rogers Place arena, both teams went 1-1-1 against each other in three head-to-head matches.
Prediction: Bruins win 4-2.
Florida Panthers vs. Anaheim Ducks
Head-to-Head: Panthers 1 – 0 Ducks
Switching to the West Coast, the Anaheim Ducks will host the Florida Panthers later tonight. The Ducks will not make the playoffs. Regardless of this fact, Anaheim has been playing strong as of late. Blowing a 3-1 lead on Monday in Calgary was not ideal at all. The Ducks don’t have to go too far to what leads they have been able to blow. In their first head-to-head meeting with the Panthers, Florida recovered from a 4-0 deficit at home to down the Ducks 5-4 in overtime.
The Panthers have lost seven of nine games prior to the California road trip. There is no time for excuses, as the Panthers, outside of the playoff picture with 68 points, need to buckle up and start winning. The first step in California was a success – a victory in San Jose. However, Florida has lost on its most recent two visits to the Honda Center.
Prediction: Panthers win 5-2.
New York Islanders vs. Colorado Avalanche
Head-to-Head: Islanders 1 – 0 Avalanche
There will be plenty to watch between the New York Islanders and the Colorado Avalanche. If you are looking for a ton of goals, don’t go there. The Avalanche played a chess match with the Islanders last time around, with the Isles snagging a 1-0 victory. Goals don’t necessarily mean an entertaining matchup, and this one should be the case. Both teams are equally desperate to earn some reputation back.
The Avalanche have lost three home games in a row, including a subpar performance against the Los Angeles Kings at the Stadium Series. The Islanders have lost three straight road games and scored only one goal in total. The Avalanche has the Western Conference lead within their reach, the Isles were only two points above the playoff line in the Eastern Conference following their Monday´s loss. Semyon Varlamov returns to Denver. The Avalanche have lost Mikko Rantanen for weeks.
Prediction: Avalanche win 3-1.
Minnesota Wild vs. Vancouver Canucks
Head-to-Head: Wild 1 – 1 Canucks
For the third and final time this season, the Vancouver Canucks will meet the Minnesota Wild, as we close out today´s NHL Predictions in British Columbia. The Wild with 61 points have their playoff hopes incredibly slim. In order to somehow make the playoffs, they have to simply win. On every possible night. The Canucks dropped their Pacific Division lead and have 69 points.
The Canucks suffered an embarrassing home loss on Sunday versus the Ducks, they have now lost five of their last seven games. The Wild have won their last head-to-head meeting in St. Paul while enjoying a 7-3-0 record in their last 10 visits to Rogers Arena.
Prediction: Canucks win 5-3.