Welcome back to another day of NHL Predictions. Each day, we will take a look at the games that are happening and give our predictions for each one. This is the third set of games for March 4th. Make sure to check out the late game set as well. As well, we also offer a featured game of the day, which is a game that we think is must-watch TV. Today’s featured game is the Tampa Bay Lightning vs Chicago Blackhawks.
NHL Predictions For March 5th Featuring Tampa Bay Lightning vs Chicago Blackhawks
Washington Capitals vs Boston Bruins
Head-to-Head: Capitals 2 – 1 Bruins
The two betting favourites in the newly configured Eastern Division will clash for the 4th time on Friday. The Washington Capitals have won two of three including a feisty 2-1 shootout thriller on Wednesday. Emotions were high in Wednesday’s contest, with the long-time Bruin captain returning to TD Garden for the first time since leaving the team prior to the season.
The Boston Bruins (12-5-3) have been in a slump as of late, going 2-4-1 in their last 7 games, including blowout losses of 7-3 and 6-2 to the Islanders and Rangers. Injuries have also plague Boston, with defencemen Jeremy Lauzon (broken hand) and Kevan Miller (lower-body) out the past few games. Third line centre Charlie Coyle is also out, as he was added to the NHL COVID-19 protocol on March 3rd.
The Capitals have seen all their players return from injury or COVID-19, and have won four games in a row, and sit on top of the East Division. Their heavy brand of hockey mixed with skill seems to stifle the Bruins.
Look for a hard-hitting affair as Wednesday’s game saw a great deal of passion, particularly between Alex Ovechkin and Boston’s new young pest, Trent Frederic. Ovechkin was fined $5000 for a spear to Frederic’s….ahem…lower body. Should be a good old-time hockey battle.
Prediction: Bruins win 4-2
Tampa Bay Lightning vs Chicago Blackhawks
Head-to-Head: Lightning 2 – 0 Blackhawks
The defending Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning travelled to the Windy City for the first time this year on Thursday night. These two teams hadn’t faced each other since the first two games of 2021. The Lightning won both contests handily, 5-1 and 5-2. Thursday’s contest was much closer, however, with the Lightning rallying from a two-goal deficit to defeat the Blackhawks in overtime 3-2. Alex Killorn tipped a Victor Hedman shot with .1 of a second remaining to secure the victory.
Tampa Bay (16-4-1) finds themselves in a fight with Carolina (16-6-1) and Florida (14-4-4) in the Central Division. They do own the NHL’s best goal differential at +33 and have won their last 6 games. Defending Vezina Trophy goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy has been in net for five of those wins recording three shutouts, and allowing just four goals over that span.
The Chicago Blackhawks continue to surprise everyone, despite the absence of team Captain Jonathan Toews since the start of the season. The Blackhawks (12-7-5) have been led by MVP candidate Patrick Kane (11 goals and 24 assists in 24 games) and Rookie of the Year candidate Kevin Lankinen. The young backstop has a 2.57 goals-against average and a stellar .924 save percentage to go with a 9-3-4 record.
The Lightning found out that the Blackhawks are a much different team than they faced to start the season. Still, it is hard to ignore the much better team here. Do the Hawks continue to surprise?
Prediction: Lightning win 3-1
St. Louis Blues vs Los Angeles Kings
Head-to-Head: Blues 3 – 1 Kings
The St. Louis Blues (13-8-2) have been impressive despite missing key offensive players, like Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko. Also plagued by inconsistent goaltending from former Stanley Cup Finals darling Jordan Binnington, they remain just one point out of 1st in the Honda West Division. They are on a high-scoring roll, winning the last three and scoring 14 goals in the process. They have also given up 13 goals in that stretch. 14 of the Blues 23 games have been decided by one goal.
The Los Angeles Kings are a hard team to put your finger (or your money) on. It’s a rollercoaster ride of streaks. In the last 14 games the Kings have lost five games in a row, then won six games in a row, and are now on a three-game losing streak. Not expected to compete in the West Division this year they are just three points out of 3rd.
Look for the Blues to continue their dominance of the Kings, but LA will be at home on a Friday night, even without the King faithful in the stands.
Prediction: Blues win 3-2