Welcome back to NHL Predictions, January 30th edition! Each day, the Last Word on Hockey team will break down every game and give our NHL predictions for each game. This is the late game slate of NHL Predictions for January 30th. Be sure and check out the early games too.
NHL Predictions – January 30th
Nashville Predators vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
Head-to-Head: Predators 0 – Lightning 0
This matchup sets the stage for the season series between the Nashville Predators and Tampa Bay Lightning. The first of their eight games against one another, both teams own winning records and want some separation from the rest of the Central Division. The Predators started strong before dropping back-to-back games against the Dallas Stars. However, they bounced back with a two-game sweep against the Chicago Blackhawks and want their third consecutive victory tonight.
Though they’re behind standings-wise, we haven’t seen enough bad about the Bolts to not consider them the favourites in this game. Andrei Vasilevskiy appears to be in his usual form, and aside from Filip Forsberg the Preds don’t have many players with multiple goals yet. That mix bodes well for Tampa, where a healthy Steven Stamkos has been outstanding so far too.
Prediction: Tampa Bay wins 4-2
Florida Panthers vs. Detroit Red Wings
Head-to-Head: Panthers 0 – Red Wings 0
A somewhat-surprisingly hot start for the Florida Panthers has them in position amongst the top-dogs in the Central Division. Though due to COVID delays they’ve only played four games thus far, the team possesses a strong 3-0-1 record. The rebuilding Detroit Red Wings sit towards the bottom, as many expected. You might not need to look much deeper than that to accurately predict this game.
Still finding his legs, Sergei Bobrovsky needs to regain his confidence and dominance if they expect to continue winning games. If he gives up soft goals as he has already this year, Florida will need to score again in bunches to bail him out. They’ve proven they can do this already, but it can’t be expected on a nightly basis. That being said, if there’s ever a team to run up the score on, it’s Detroit.
Prediction: Florida wins 6-3
Calgary Flames vs. Montreal Canadiens
Head-to-Head: Flames 0 – Canadiens 0
The Montreal Canadiens can sweep the Calgary Flames in their first back-to-back matchups of the season with a win tonight. Calgary’s season has already been very up-and-down, alternating between sweeps of their opponent and being swept themselves thus far. The Canadiens claimed points in each of their games so far this year, with no regulation losses yet. In recent years, the Habs won games largely thanks to their goaltending. That hasn’t been the case so far this year, as Carey Price owns a sub-.900 save percentage; Jake Allen sits at .907 though and is 2-0-0 himself. Regardless of who’s in net, the team finds ways to win or at least force overtime.
Newcomer Tyler Toffoli leads the way thus far in Montreal, but the scoring comes from nearly the entire lineup currently. Aside from their goalies, everyone on the roster has at least a point, with only three skaters (Paul Byron, Brett Kulak, and Phillip Danault) left to score their first goal of the season. Sam Bennett is one of many names on Calgary’s team without a goal and is someone who they need to see more out of if they are to make the postseason. This likely spells a fourth-consecutive loss for Calgary tonight.
Prediction: Montreal wins 3-2
Colorado Avalanche vs. Minnesota Wild
Head-to-Head: Avalanche 0 – Wild 0
A favourite of many hockey fans to win the Stanley Cup this year, the Colorado Avalanche look to build some momentum against the Minnesota Wild. Minnesota has yet to face a club that doesn’t reside in California yet, and holds a 5-3-0 record. The Avs look great when they’re rolling, but the offence has been very hit-and-miss so far.
Yes, the Wild should be a playoff team this year, but mostly because of their division. Anaheim, San Jose, and Los Angeles all finished at the very bottom of the league standings a season ago, so most believe the fourth and final postseason berth in the West will come down to the Wild and the Arizona Coyotes. Minnesota’s record should take a bit of a hit after they’ve faced the Avs, Blues and Knights. They may be younger than a year ago, but they’re still mid-rebuild and just don’t match up well on paper with Colorado.
Prediction: Colorado wins 4-1
St. Louis Blues vs. Anaheim Ducks
Head-to-Head: Blues 0 – Ducks 0
Another opener to their season-series against one another, the St. Louis Blues and Anaheim Ducks have yet to face one another this year. St. Louis just faced a schedule adjustment as their opponent two nights ago entered the league’s COVID protocol. While it shouldn’t have ramifications on this matchup, it could; and even if not tonight, it does force their already-compressed schedule to grow a little tighter, whenever they have to make up the cancelled game.
The Ducks ultimately have been outperformed most nights so far. However, thanks to the stellar play of John Gibson in net, they’re within a shot of a win most nights. His save percentage is sky-high, and anyone who’s watched a Ducks game this season has seen at least one or two spectacular, game-changing saves. St. Louis should get it done tonight, but Gibson won’t let it get out-of-hand.
Prediction: St. Louis wins 2-1, in OT
Vancouver Canucks vs. Winnipeg Jets
Head-to-Head: Canucks 0 – Jets 0
Many Vancouver Canucks fans hit the panic button after their series against the Canadiens when they owned a measly 2-5-0 record. Then, they faced-off three times against the Ottawa Senators and righted the ship. The Winnipeg Jets also swept the Sens in three straight, so this should be a good measuring stick for both franchises. The two also split games with Edmonton, so there’s plenty of similarities in their small samples of games to-date.
This could go either way, but the Jets get the edge here because it’s a home game. Really, there’s not much else separating them. Both can score goals in bunches, but the Jets are getting the better goaltending. They’re built a bit tougher than the Canucks are too, which makes a major difference when playing a team eight times over the course of a season.
Prediction: Winnipeg wins 4-3
Thank you for checking out our NHL predictions for the January 30th late games! Please continue tracking our NHL predictions for each day’s slate of match-ups!