NHL Predictions for February 4th – Late Games

NHL Predictions
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Welcome back to NHL Predictions, February 4th 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 February 4th. Be sure and check out the early games of NHL Predictions too.

NHL Predictions

Vancouver Canucks vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

Head-to-Head: Canucks 0-0 Maple Leafs

It’s the first of nine scheduled meetings between the two North Division rivals. The good news for the Vancouver Canucks is they won’t have to deal with Tyler Toffoli this game. Vancouver’s former forward has haunted them for eight goals so far this season for the Montreal Canadiens. The Canucks were swept in Montreal by the Canadiens in the last two games.

Brock Boeser is having a solid start to the season with eight goals while Quinn Hughes already has 13 assists. Braden Holtby will likely get the start after Thatcher Demko took the loss to Montreal on Monday night. Holtby’s numbers aren’t his usually standard at a 3.63 goals-against-average and .896 save percentage. However, those numbers can be inflated thanks to the wide-open style of play in the North Division.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are trying to keep pace with Montreal for first in the division. The Leafs let one get away with a 4-3 overtime loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday. However, they have gotten points out of their last five games. Auston Matthews leads the team in goals while Mitch Marner has nine assists for the top offence in the league. Frederik Andersen likely gets the start in net after the team’s five day layoff.

The Leafs power play is the best in the league with a 43.4 percent conversion rate. However, their penalty kill needs work at a 76.9 percent success rate.

Vancouver is going to need to stay out of the box in order to win, but Toronto’s offence is strong.

Prediction: Leafs win 5-3.

Carolina Hurricanes vs. Chicago Blackhawks

Head-to-Head: Hurricanes 1-0 Blackhawks

The Carolina Hurricanes picked up a 4-3 shootout win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday. Andrei Svechnikov collected the shootout winner while Warren Foegele notched a goal and an assist. Carolina is in second place in the Central Division behind the Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning. The Hurricanes have been surging with five straight victories.

Vincent Trocheck and Svechnikov each have five goals so far this season while James Reimer has picked up the bulk of the work with the Petr Mrazek injury. Reimber has a .915 save percentage and 2.19 goals-against-average. He could get the start with there being an off day between games.

Chicago may have found their goalie of the future in Kevin Lankinen. He stopped 38 shots and kept the Blackhawks in the game against one of the better teams in the league. Alex DeBrincat and Dominik Kubalik each got two assists in the loss. The Blackhawks are struggling near the bottom of the division, but it would be difficult for them without Jonathan Toews and Kirby Dach.

Lankinen should get the start, but Malcolm Subban could get the call if head coach Jeremy Colliton wants to give him some extra time. Patrick Kane leads the team in goals (five), assists (six) and points (11) for the Blackhawks. Chicago is going to need to find a way past the toughest defence in the league

The Hurricanes are a stingy unit that doesn’t give up much. Expect more of the same against a young Blackhawks team dealing with COVID issues and injures.

Prediction: Hurricanes win 3-1.

Arizona Coyotes vs. St. Louis Blues

Head-to-Head: Coyotes 0-1 Blues

The St. Louis Blues rallied for a 4-3 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday. However, St. Louis had to work hard for its win after a slow start. Justin Faulk pulled off a highlight-reel goal while Jordan Binnington made 30 saves for the win. The Blues would like better production from their power play went 0-for-5.

Ville Husso could get the call and try for his second NHL victory. Brayden Schenn has six goals and has been throwing the body around for St. Louis. Jordan Kyrou is in the midst of a breakout season with seven assists so far. Binnington is looking to put behind his woeful bubble experience with a .917 save percentage so far.

Christian Dvorak was a bright spot for Arizona in the loss with a pair of goals. The Coyotes have been hit hard by the injury bug with Christian Fischer, Lawson Crouse, Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Ilya Lyubushkin all out. Arizona is scuffling with losses in five of its last seven games.

Dvorak leads the team in goals while Jakob Chychrun is tops in assists with five. Antti Raanta might get the call as he stopped 83 of 85 shots he faced in his two starts against the Blues last season.

Arizona is coming in banged and St. Louis is starting to gain confidence in the last couple games.

Prediction: Blues win 4-1.

Calgary Flames vs. Winnipeg Jets

Head-to-Head: Flames 1-2 Jets

The Winnipeg Jets got off to a fast start and were able to hold off the Calgary Flames for a 3-2 win on Tuesday night. Nikolaj Ehlers got the eventual game-winner and Laurent Brossoit made 29 saves for Winnipeg. The Jets are trying to get a little bit of momentum as they cling to the third playoff spot in the North Division.

Ehlers leads the team in goals with six while Mark Scheifele leads in assists with nine. Connor Hellebuyck should get the start and he has a 2.69 goals-against-average and .907 save percentage. Winnipeg is middle of the pack in most categories, but are sixth in goals scored with 35.

Matthew Tkachuk scored both goals in the comeback attempt the other night while David Rittich made 25 saves. Calgary is one of the few teams in the North Division that hasn’t gotten any type of sustained winning streak this season.

Johnny Gaudreau is bouncing back fine so far with six goals this season and Elias Lindholm has nine helpers so far. Jacob Markstrom will likely get the start and has a .924 save percentage and 2.27 goals-against-average. The Flames are seventh in the league in goals against with 23 allowed this season.

The Jets still won’t have Pierre-Luc Dubois, who is in COVID protocol. However, Winnipeg should have just enough firepower.

Prediction: Jets win 3-2 in a shootout.

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