NHL Predictions: February 20th Early Games with Vegas Golden Knights vs Colorado Avalanche

NHL Predictions

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 today’s game slate of NHL Predictions.

NHL Predictions

Buffalo Sabres vs New Jersey Devils

Head-to-Head: Sabres 1 – 1 Devils

The Buffalo Sabres have started the season in the only way they wished to avoid. Once again in last in the division, even out of the top-heavy Atlantic. There are lots of issues with this team, but to get out of this situation they’re going to need some more from both Taylor Hall and Jack Eichel. Both have played well, but have been rather unlucky. If they can bank a few more points on the sheet, that will go along way to at least cover some of the other glaring issues with Buffalo.

As for the New Jersey Devils, they’ve had a decent 6-3-2 start to the season. No one really expected them to make much noise in this division, so just hanging around should be considered a plus. Overall, Mackenzie Blackwood has been a huge standout this year and his development will be crucial. Today, look for a close game between these two teams.

Prediction: Sabres win 3-2

Vegas Golden Knights vs Colorado Avalanche

Head-to-Head: Knights 1 -1 Avalanche

This is the featured game of NHL Predictions because it is outdoors! Being played beside Lake Tahoe, this game is a beautiful setting and backdrop. It should make for some must-watch TV for the sites alone. Even better? It is two of the best teams in the league going at it. They don’t have the most points because COVID outbreaks have caused both of them to postpone games. However, the Vegas Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche are two of the best teams in the NHL right now.

This game should be a great one to watch not only for the location, but the play should be solid too. The matchup is the third straight game these two will play against each other. Vegas took the first one 1-0 in Colorado’s return from COVID. The Avs took the next one 3-2. This game should be no different and will be a close one.

Prediction: Avalanche win 4-3 in Overtime

Florida Panthers vs Detroit Red Wings

Head-to-Head: Panthers 4 – 1 Red Wings

This is already the sixth time this season the two teams have met. The Florida Panthers are loving it as they have taken four wins out of the Detroit Red Wings already. The division’s top team vs the division’s bottom team when it comes to points. Last night, the Panthers rolled the Red Wings 7-2. That game was telling about how both seasons have gone so far. However, Sergei Bobrovsky has seemingly been demoted to the backup role, at least for now. He will likely start tonight and needs to get some confidence back. This very well could be a high-scoring game.

Prediction: Panthers win 6-4

Los Angeles Kings vs Arizona Coyotes

Head-to-Head: Kings 1 – 0 Coyotes

The fourth playoff spot is wide open in the West division. Currently, these are the two teams competing for it too. Part of that is because other teams haven’t played as many games, however, both these teams probably feel like they have a realistic chance to sneak into the playoffs this season. The Los Angeles Kings aren’t in a rush, their young players will be on the way sooner rather than later. However, a surprising 6-6-3 start to the year is nothing to complain about.

The Arizona Coyotes are sitting at 7-6-3 and look to create some more separation between the other teams. They lost game one to LA on Thursday in the shootout, a 3-2 final. Seeing as Arizona’s strength is locking it down defensively and having strong goaltending, look for this to be another close game with little scoring involved.

Prediction: Coyotes win 2-1

New York Rangers vs Washington Capitals

Head-to-Head: Rangers 1 – 0 Capitals

The New York Rangers have really struggled to start this season. It appears some of the magic they had last year just isn’t there anymore. Alexis Lafreniere has had a dreadful start to his career on the scoresheet. And overall, the Rangers may have been hoping for a little bit more out of a lot of their younger players. Still, there is a bunch of talent there and although they are in a pretty tough division, there is potential to turn things around.

The Washington Capitals just continue to roll, as they do every year. Ilya Samsonov is expected to join the team again today after being on the COVID list for a number of weeks. He was down in Hershey for part of last week so he may even get the start too. That would be a huge addition for Washington as they’ve rotated through a couple of names. Still, look for the Capitals firepower to beat the struggling Rangers.

Prediction: Capitals win 5-2

Chicago Blackhawks vs Carolina Hurricanes

Head-to-Head: Blackhawks 1 – 2 Hurricanes

The Chicago Blackhawks have been one of the league’s hottest teams so far this year. Goaltending and contributions from some unexpected names have been key for the team. As has Patrick Kane and his continued dominance on the scoresheet. This type of record seems pretty unsustainable for a Chicago team that isn’t filled with a ton of talent. However, in a shortened season, they don’t need to play outstanding much longer to give themselves a legit shot at playoffs.

The Carolina Hurricanes are one of the division’s strongest teams. They have had COVID postponements so they don’t show at the top of the standings just yet. However, the team is filled with talent in both their forwards and defencemen. Look for them to give the Hawks some trouble again today.

Prediction: Hurricanes win 3-1

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