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. There are five late games on the NHL slate for Wednesday, February 11th.
Ottawa Senators vs. Winnipeg Jets
Head-to-Head: Senators 0– 3 Jets
The Ottawa Senators are the worst team in the NHL, and it just doesn’t seem that will change soon. That can be verified by their anemic offence which can only muster up 2.21 goals per game. Even worse is their 4.14 goals-against-average, ranking them in dead last in that statistic. They have dropped 10 of their last 11 games. Poor Matt Murray may be thinking twice why he signed in Ottawa. His mediocre 2-6-1 record is only outdone by his poor .886 save percentage. Giving up 3.63 goals-against will not win too many games. Might as well add this one to the loss column as well.
The Winnipeg Jets are 4-3-1 since trading Patrik Laine and haven’t really discovered if Pierre-Luc Dubois has given them much in return yet. He’s only played one game after getting his quarantine out of the way. The Jets are led by forward Mark Scheifele who has five goals and 10 assists in 12 games. Let’s face it, the Jets still have plenty of firepower to score goals, and against a far less superior team like Ottawa, they should get an easy two points.
Prediction: Jet win 6-2.
Carolina Hurricanes vs. Dallas Stars
Head-to-Head: Hurricanes 2-0 Stars
The Carolina Hurricanes after winning five straight games have dropped two of their last three. The Canes are led in scoring by Andrei Svechnikov with six goals and four assists in 10 games. The Carolina club is battling it out with the Columbus Blue Jackets for the final playoff spot. Carolina has one less point but holds games in hand since they have played four less games. The impact of the COVID-19 protocols has postponed some games for the Hurricanes, and this one could be important for them.
The Dallas Stars have lost some overtime games which could be crucial for their surge to perform in the postseason. After taking their first four games, the Stars have fallen with a 1-2-3 record. They are coming off of two tough losses in overtime to the Chicago Blackhawks by the identical score of 2-1. While they possess the fourth best power play in the NHL, it has not helped them that much in getting points. They currently have a 5-2-3 record good for 15 points. They only need two points to get into a playoff spot, so this game could be vital.
Prediction: Hurricanes prevail 4-3 in overtime.
Calgary Flames vs. Vancouver Canucks
Head-to-Head: Flames 2-0 Canucks
The Calgary Flames are hoping to gather some consistency. They have alternated with consecutive wins and losses which doesn’t help them in the competitive North Division. They score 2.92 goals a game and allow 2.75 goals a game. That places them right in the middle of the pack in the NHL. Johnny Gaudreau leads the Flames in scoring with seven goals and six assists. The team just can’t get lazy as they will play the Vancouver Canucks four straight games in this crazy COVID-19 caused schedule.
The Canucks hope to gain some consistency themselves. The Vancouver team has been awful lately with a five-game losing streak. They’ve scored 10 times in that span but have relinquished 26 goals to really hurt their chances of advancing in the standings. Young Quinn Hughes has been dishing out assists like crazy with one per game. That output hasn’t helped their downfall lately. That lack of defence has buried them in 30th place in goals allowed. Both Thatcher Demko and Brandon Holtby have identical 3-5 records. Their combined goals-against-average is a hefty 3.78. They only have a .891 combined save percentage. Keeping the puck out of the net has been a challenge for them.
Prediction: Calgary adds to the Canucks misery 3-1.
Anaheim Ducks vs. Vegas Golden Knights
Head-to-Head: Ducks 0-1 Golden Knights
This is the second meeting of these two West Division teams. The Anaheim Ducks lost a one-goal game to Vegas two nights earlier and hope to get those two points back in this contest. It won’t be easy, even with their goalie John Gibson playing well. You see, the Ducks just have an issue with putting the puck in the net residing in the next-to-last position in scoring. Gibson can be a difference maker with two shutouts already to his name this season. Now if the Ducks can find the net, Gibson may get a win. Against the Golden Knights that can be a huge undertaking.
The Vegas Golden Knights have a three-game winning streak at stake in this game. Both Mark Stone (one of the best forwards in the NHL) and Max Pacioretty have been providing the Vegas club with offence to win games. They stand in first place in the West and have received outstanding goaltending from Marc-Andre Fleury. His amazing statistics place him right near the top of the league. Oh yeah, did we mention he’s also 5-0 in his five games? Pretty hard to beat that.
Prediction: Vegas gets by the Ducks again, 4-1.
San Jose Sharks vs. Los Angeles Kings
Head-to-Head: Sharks 1-0 Kings
These two West Division teams are battling it out for the bottom spot in the division. The San Jose Sharks are have become shootout specialists this season. They are 4-1 in shootouts and squeezed by the Kings in one 4-3 on February 9th. The Sharks have difficulty scoring with just 2.55 goals a game. When you allow 3.55 goals a game that means you’re chasing the game constantly. In the battle for the basement, the Sharks want to stay afloat.
The Los Angeles Kings come into this contest losing five straight including the shootout against the Sharks lately. The Kings have a not too flattering 3-6-3 record and allowing 3.42 goals a game may have something to do with that. Veteran forward Dustin Brown is helping out all he can with six goals and five assists in 12 games. In net Jonathan Quick is just not the goalie he once was, allowing 4.05 goals a game. He could use some help in front of him and some offence would certainly be the answer to some of his woes.
Prediction: Sharks win 3-1.