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 the late NHL slate for Thursday, February 25th. Be sure to look for our early NHL predictions for today.
Montreal Canadiens vs.Winnipeg Jets
Head-to-Head: Canadiens 0-0 Jets
For our feature matchup tonight, it’ll be the first meeting of many between the Montreal Canadiens and the Winnipeg Jets in a tight North division race. The matchup tonight is just one of the four over the next six games that these two will face off against each other. A rivalry that is just getting started nearly halfway through the 2020-21 NHL season. With two crucial points on the line, the Montreal Canadiens look to prove that a coaching change was the right decision. Over the years, Montreal has had Winnipegs number favouring with an all-time winning record of 41-22-2.
The Jets currently sit 3rd place in the North division, and a win tonight against Montreal will supply some breathing room for at least now. Connor Hellebuyck and Laurent Brossoit have been lights out for the Jets, giving the team success on the season. Heading into tonight’s game Mark Scheifele leads his team with 26 points and finds himself on a ten-game point streak. Tyler Toffoli has slowed down on his production, scoring one goal in his last five games. Montreal should have some extra juice tonight to outplay Winnipeg, but honestly, this could go either way.
Prediction: Jets Wins 4-3 OT
Buffalo Sabres vs New Jersey Devils
Head-to-Head: Sabres 3-1 Devils
Sam Reinhart has six points in a nice little four-game point streak going and could add to it tonight. On the down spiral of things, Jack Eichel has not scored a goal in six games. On another note, Taylor Hall just recorded his first goal and 11th point as a Sabre on Tuesday night. Unfortunately for the Sabres, they will lose their left-shot defenceman, Jake McCabe, due to a knee injury.
The Devils also find themselves operating a lacklustre in offensive needs as they stand 30th in the NHL with 37 goals scored. New Jersey has had a respected 5 on 5 save percentage of .949, which is above the league average of .922. New Jersey’s goaltending carousel continues to play out well for the team. It’s too bad the offence is not visible. Buffalo outmatches the Devils tonight and slides ahead up the ladder.
Prediction: Sabres Win 4-3
Nashville Predators vs. Detroit Red Wings
Head-to-Head: Predators 2-1 Red Wings
In the Central division, we have the end of a back-to-back meeting until their next date, April 6th. Nashville Predators seized the season series lead on Tuesday night with a 2-0 victory. Nashville took advantage of the Detroit Red Wing’s costly errors on Tuesday night, capitalizing on two out of four powerplays. Filip Forsberg captured the game-winner and assisted Eeli Tolvanen‘s powerplay goal for Forsberg to secure five points in three games versus Detroit. An interesting stat to keep an eye on regarding Nashville is the team has yet to lead in a game after two periods.
Hats off to Jonathan Bernier, who displayed a terrific performance and stopped 31 of 33 shots. Detroit sits at the bottom of the standings with a record of 3-6-1 in their last ten. The outlook may look brilliant for the Red Wings in their near future, but tonight is a different story.
Prediction: Predators Win 3-1
Edmonton Oilers vs. Vancouver Canucks
Head-to-Head: Oilers 1-1 Canucks
In the North division, the Edmonton Oilers are on fire and have won nine games of their last ten. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl lead the NHL in points and again look to prove that they are today’s top-scoring duo. With both their talent combined, the two have 71 points in 21 games played this season.
The Vancouver Canucks got off to a quick promising start on Tuesday night grabbing a 3-0 lead in the first period. Atrocious goaltending from Mike Smith in the first twenty minutes was a setback to the Oilers. However, it was too early to count out the Oilers after being down 3-1 in the first period. Leon Draisaitl’s three assists and Dominik Kahun‘s two goals would push them to a 4-3 win. Edmonton and their elite duo continue the red hot streak tonight.
Prediction: Oilers Win 4-1
Vegas Golden Knights vs. San Jose Sharks
Head-to-Head: Knights 1-0 Sharks
The Vegas Golden Knights are coming off an impressive victory versus the Colorado Avalanche on Monday night, shutting out the Avalanche 3-0. Alex Tuch scored two goals in his last game to give him his seventh goal of the season. Marc-Andre Fleury made 34 shots in the victory on Monday to reward him the 64th shutout of his career. Fleury now sits 16th all-time in shutouts, remaining two behind legend goaltender Patrick Roy.
In the last meeting between the San Jose Sharks and the Vegas Golden Knights, special teams played a factor. Vegas scored all three goals on the powerplay to give them the 3-1 victory. Without a doubt, Vegas outmatches the Sharks in every aspect of the game and comparing rosters. Devan Dubnyk has started to take over in goal due to Martin Jones showing difficulties in the net. Although Dubnyk and his team only have one win in his last five games appearing, Dubnyk has a rare save percentage of .977.
Prediction: Knights Win 4-2
That does it for the February 25th games set of NHL Predictions! Make sure to tune in tomorrow for a new set of NHL Predictions!