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. Only four games on the slate for Wednesday, February 17th featuring a matchup between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators. Time for some NHL Predictions.
Florida Panthers vs. Carolina Hurricanes
Head-to-Head: Panthers 0 – 0 Hurricanes
It is the first meeting of the season between the Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes. Both teams will be battling for a playoff spot in the Central Division. The Panthers are coming off a big win against their in-state rival the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both teams are loaded with talent especially the Panthers with guys like Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau, Anthony Duclair and Sergei Bobrovsky. This team has expectations of making the playoffs. Just look at their coach it is Joel Quenneville. On the other side of things, there are the Hurricanes who continue to just win hockey games. It is a balanced attack with players like Jordan Staal, Vincent Trochek, Andrei Svechnikov, and Sebastian Aho leading the charge. It may not be pretty but they find a way to get it done. This one goes at 5 pm eastern time. With the Hurricanes being. They play well there. They get the win over a team coming off an emotionally charged victory.
Prediction: Hurricanes Win 3-1
Ottawa Senators vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
Head-to-Head: Senators 2 – 1 Maple Leafs
The Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators are playing a mini three-game set inside of four days. If anyone had the Maple Leafs blowing a 5-1 lead in the first game of the week on Monday, then lucky you. The Senators with nothing to lose rallied to win 6-5 with Evgenii Dadonov scoring two goals including the game-winner in overtime. Expect this loss to motivate the Maple Leafs heading into Wednesday night. Joe Thornton returned to the lineup and had an immediate impact. And do we see newcomer Alex Galchenyuk or does he want until Saturday night against Montreal? Also, expect it to be point night again for the big stars of the Maple Leafs including Auston Matthews. Matthews is riding a 13-game point streak and in his career, he has been held scoreless once against Ottawa. Expect more goals and points in this one from Matthews.
Prediction: Maple Leafs win 5-1
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Detroit Red Wings
Head-to-Head: Blackhawks 3 – 0 Red Wings
The Chicago Blackhawks are rolling along in a tight Central Division. It helps them to get to play their rival the Detroit Red Wings eight times. They have taken three games already this season over the Red Wings, including the latest game 3-2 in overtime. No Jonathan Toews, no problem. Patrick Kane, Alex DeBrincat, Dominik Kubalik, and Mattias Janmark are contributing to the offence. The biggest surprise has been in goal with the way Malcolm Subban and Kevin Lankinen are playing. Detroit is where everyone thought they would be at the bottom. Thomas Greiss is doing his part to keep the Red Wings in the game. The Red Wings have the ability to win this game if they play their system to a tee, but Chicago has to have a real mental lapse.
Prediction: Blackhawks win 3-2
Vancouver Canucks vs. Calgary Flames
Head-to-Head: Flames 4 – 1 Canucks
The Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames are wrapping up their four-game series. It’s all about revenge for players like Jacob Markstrom and Chris Tanev. These former Canucks want to prove to their former club, especially the general manager, they deserved the money they got in the offseason. Calgary is a team you do not want to sleep on in the North Division. Players like Johnny Gaudreau, Elias Lindholm, Sean Monohan, and Matthew Tkachuk are starting to find the back of the net. That is a bad sign for the Canucks, who have scoring woes of their own. Where have Elias Pettersson, Bo Horvat, and J.T. Miller been? While these guys are starting to play better they are not finding the back of the net like they did last season. The Canucks will be in tough against the Flames. However, if this was the game to catch the Flames it is this one with the Battle of Alberta looming. Canucks keep it close, but Flames win in the end.
Prediction: Flames win 2-1 in overtime
Winnipeg Jets vs. Edmonton Oilers
Head-to-Head: Jets 2 – 1 Oilers
The Winnipeg Jets and Edmonton Oilers are back in action and these teams have not disappointed this season. All these games have been high-scoring affairs. Expect another one in this game. The Jets have taken the last two games from the Oilers. They are looking to make it three in a row. Just look at the players on the ice for these teams; Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Kyle Connor, Blake Wheeler, Nikolaj Ehlers, and Mark Scheifele. No surprise Edmonton is giving up as many goals as they are but Winnipeg. They have the reigning Vezina Trophy winner Connor Hellebuyck in between the pipes. However, their defence is not as strong as it should be. Even with Pierre-Luc Dubois still out of the lineup, the Jets are still rolling along. This will be a fun game between two teams battling for the final spot in the North Division.
Prediction: Jets win 5-4
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