Preview (opens in a new tab)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 is the early game slate of NHL Predictions. Be sure and check out the early games of NHL Predictions too.
Winnipeg Jets vs. Ottawa Senators
Head-to-Head: Jets 1 – 0 Senators
The Winnipeg Jets and Ottawa Senators meet for the second time this season. The Jets are looking to get off to a better start in this game than they did in the last game. Winnipeg erased a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Senators 4-3 in overtime. The Jets did so without Patrik Laine in the lineup who will miss his second straight game. Connor Hellebuyck stood strong in between the pipes and looked like the Vezina Trophy goalie from last season. But Paul Maurice’s club will be fighting tooth and nail all season. That is the kind of team they have. However, if Kyle Connor, Blake Wheeler, Mark Scheifele are going to continue to produce, the Jets will surprise teams in the Canadian Division.
The Senators are known as the “Pesky Sens” for a reason. They will be a tough out for teams in the Canadian Division. Even without Tim Stützle in the lineup, the Senators are playing well for a young team. It doesn’t hurt to have Matt Murray in between the pipes. However, the Senators still boast a good young team with the likes of Brady Tkachuk and Chris Tierney. They also have veterans like Derek Stepan and Alex Galchenyuk. While they may finish last in the division, they are a team nobody should take lightly.
Prediction: Jets Win 4-2
Montreal Canadiens vs. Vancouver Canucks
Head-to-Head: Canucks 1 – 0 Canadiens
It was a high scoring affair on Wednesday night between the Montreal Canadiens and Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks defeated the Canadiens by a score of 6-5 in a shootout. Vancouver trailed 5-4 into the third period before Brock Boeser tied the game. Neither Carey Price nor Braden Holtby played well for their respective teams. It is a quick turnaround for both clubs. Montreal was led offensively by Tyler Toffoli, who recorded a hat trick against his former team. The Canadiens are hoping to get a better effort defensively. They gave up way too many high danger scoring chances.
The Canucks had their home opener on Wednesday night. And came out strong. Even though it was a high-scoring affair, the Canucks pulled one out in the extra session. Besides Boeser, the Canucks got offence from Bo Horvat. The Canucks are benefiting from having J.T. Miller back in the lineup. While most fans like a high scoring game, neither team will be happy with the effort. Like the Canadiens, the Canucks are expected to make the playoffs. Look for this game to be a low-scoring game.
Prediction: Canadiens win 3-1
Colorado Avalanche vs. Los Angeles Kings
Head-to-Head: Avalanche 1 – 0 Kings
The Colorado Avalanche and Los Angeles Kings played a close first contest on Tuesday night. Colorado squeaked out a victory 3-2 over the Kings. As always the Avalanche were led by their top line of Mikko Rantanen, Gabriel Landeskog, and Nathan MacKinnon. But now they have depth scoring which makes them a favourite in the West Division. In addition, their defence is one of the best in the league. Especially now that they have Devon Toews on the back-end. Goaltending will be a question for the Avalanche all season, but the team in front of them has the firepower to outscore some of their problems.
On the other side, the Kings are a young team. And to keep the game close against an Avalanche team that put up eight goals against a very good St. Louis Blues team, was impressive. It will be a struggle for the Kings all season. But there is talent on the team and more coming. But that talent that is coming is a year or two away. For now, the Kings will rely on Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Andreas Athanasiou for the offence. Unfortunately, it will not be enough to keep up with a high powered Avalanche team.
Prediction: Avalanche Win 5-1
That does it for NHL Predictions for the late games for January 21st
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