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 five games happening on March 3rd. Each piece will include a featured game that should be must-watch hockey. The featured game for this article is the matchup between the Edmonton Oilers vs Dallas Stars.
Buffalo Sabres vs Winnipeg Jets
Head-to-Head: Sabres 1 – 0 Jets
The Buffalo Sabres have witnessed another disappointing season. With hopes of being near a playoff spot, they find themselves 12 points out with just a mere 17 games left in the season. Their chances at this point are slim to none of making the playoffs. However, they still made a very small purchase this deadline. Adding veteran experience Wayne Simmonds, who they hope can help change the culture. Tonight, the Sabres will look to play spoiler on the road. They are 5-5-0 in their last 10 but have lost three straight. Per usual, if they want a chance of winning, Jack Eichel will be the key. He is the heartbeat of this team and is having an outstanding season.
The Winnipeg Jets are fighting for their playoff lives. They currently sit fifth in their division and just outside the playoffs due to more games played. However, one or two games can swing everything. The Jets defence core has been patchwork all year. Because of that, Connor Hellebuyck has had to step up. He has done so in a massive way. He should be a legitimate Vezina candidate, even if the team’s record isn’t amazing. Once again, Winnipeg will need to play hard to earn two points here tonight. Yes, the Sabres have disappointed thus far, but taking any NHL team lightly will be fatal. Look for Winnipeg’s offence to break through here tonight.
Prediction: Jets win 3-2.
Anaheim Ducks vs Chicago Blackhawks
Head-to-Head: Ducks 0 – 2 Blackhawks
This game features two teams that don’t have a ton of playoff hopes. The Anaheim Ducks have been out of the race for a while now. John Gibson has still been decent but there haven’t been too many bright spots this season. However, lots of people expected this and that’s alright. The Ducks are retooling and look to try and get competitive again in the future.
The Chicago Blackhawks had a little bit of playoff hope. However, that has since faded and making the decision to sell Robin Lehner and Erik Gustafsson at the deadline looks to be the right call. Patrick Kane has still been amazing and the Hawks have some pieces. Names like Kirby Dach and Adam Boqvist give hope for the future and also for right now. Dominik Kubalik has been a great find and he is proving to be someone to watch. This Chicago team currently has more talent than the Ducks. It might come down to goaltending, however, in most places, the Hawks will have the edge.
Prediction: Blackhawks win 5-3.
Edmonton Oilers vs Dallas Stars
Head-to-Head: Oilers 1 – 1 Stars
This is NHL Predictions featured game of the night. It’s between two teams battling for every point they can get. The Edmonton Oilers just came off of a huge 8-3 win against the Nashville Predators last night. Leon Draisaitl had four goals and one assist. Connor McDavid had one goal and four assists. Draisaitl is now up to 107 points in just 66 games on the season. He is on pace for a whopping 132.9 over 82 games. The insane talent upfront for Edmonton makes them such a threat to deal with. Mike Smith played last night so it seems reasonable to assume Mikko Koskinen will start tonight. The Oilers will need to find their legs after playing last night.
The Dallas Stars are thankful for Edmonton’s win last night. Dallas is a solid nine points up on Nashville for third in the division, but that could have been seven after yesterday. Instead, they will now focus on taking two points from Edmonton and catching up to the division lead. They currently trail by six points. It’s a very tough task but the Stars need to take full advantage of it here. The high-flying Edmonton offence will go against one of the best defensive teams in the league. Look for Ben Bishop to try and steal the show here too.
Prediction: Stars win 2-1 in Overtime.
New Jersey Devils vs Vegas Golden Knights
Head-to-Head: Devils 0 – 1 Golden Knights
The New Jersey Devils are among the bottom of the league. However, they are 6-2-2 in their last 10 and have really found something to build off of. MacKenzie Blackwood is shaping into a very promising player for the future here. He’s rocking a .916 save percentage and a 2.71 goals-against average in 44 games this year. He’s a massive part of the run the Devils are on. The Devils just look to play spoiler here and build momentum going forward.
The Vegas Golden Knights have been one of the hottest teams in hockey. They had won eight in a row before their last game. Now, they look to bounce back after a loss and beat the Devils. Vegas has a very thin lead over the Oilers for first in the Pacific. Taking two points over a team like New Jersey is a must. However, it won’t be a cakewalk. You can’t take this team for granted or they will beat you. It will be interesting to see how the Golden Knights play here tonight. Marc-Andre Fleury has been much better since the trade deadline. No doubt having a Vezina candidate like Lehner behind him helps that. The Mark Stone injury hurts but Vegas has the talent to stay afloat and then some for the time being.
Prediction: Golden Knights win 4-1.
Toronto Maple Leafs vs San Jose Sharks
Head-to-Head: Maple Leafs 1 – 0 Sharks
The Toronto Maple Leafs have rebounded very well after a disastrous Saturday night. They went and beat three very good teams on their way to being comfortably in a playoff spot. However, the California road trip is a huge time to cement that. The teams are not exactly terrifying anymore. But, all three will beat you if you sleep on them. Toronto looks to win their fourth in a row here tonight. Their defence core has taken a hit but has responded relatively well, all things considered. It will be interesting to see how this up and down team reacts.
For the San Jose Sharks, this season is clearly not their year. However, they will look to take points from a hungry Toronto team. They have won two in a row and will look to keep that momentum going here. Everything has gone wrong for them this year. Goaltending, defence, injuries, you name it. San Jose is now looking for the future and how to get back to the playoff shape they have known for so long. Look for this game to be closer than expected as the time zones may play a difference here.
Prediction: Toronto wins in Overtime 4-3.
That’s all for NHL Predictions! Tune in tomorrow for more!