Welcome back to NHL Predictions, March 16th edition! Each day, the Last Word On Hockey team will break down every game and give our NHL predictions for each game. This is the first slate of NHL Predictions for March 16th featuring the Boston Bruins vs Pittsburgh Penguins. Be sure to check out the second slate of NHL Predictions, too.
NHL Predictions Including Boston Bruins vs Pittsburgh Penguins
Buffalo Sabres vs New Jersey Devils Head-to-Head: Sabres 3 – 2 Devils
The Buffalo Sabres and New Jersey Devils face off in their sixth game of the season tonight. On an 11- game losing streak, the Buffalo Sabres are the worst club in the league. The Sabres are 6-17-4 with just 16 points on the season. Subpar goaltending, virtually no defence, and zero offensive production means the Sabres are going to miss the playoffs for the 10th year in a row. As for the New Jersey Devils, they aren’t much better. With a record of 8-13-4, the Devils are 29th in the league. Going into their sixth season of rebuilding, the Devils will be missing the playoffs again. Although the team has changed a lot, they’ve yielded very little. But, tonight the Devils will come out on top because of their offence.
Prediction: Devils win 3-1.
New York Islanders vs Washington Capitals
Head-to-Head: Islanders 0 – 2 Capitals
The New York Islanders are on a nine-game winning streak that has moved them into first place in the East Division. With a record of 19-6-4, they’ve moved ahead of the Washington Capitals by two points. Despite their slow start to the season, the Islanders have gone on a midseason run that has made all hockey fans pay attention. The Islanders are tied for first in the league. The Washington Capitals are also on a winning streak. The streak totals five games after their 6-0 shutout over the Sabres last night. Both teams are currently playing at their best, but Barry Trotz runs the Islanders bench with skill. Then former Washington Capitals’ head coach, Trotz knows how they play, as he took roughly the same team to Stanley Cup in 2018. The Islanders have the advantage tonight.
Prediction: Islanders win 5-3.
Boston Bruins vs Pittsburgh Penguins
Head-to-Head: Bruins 2 – 1 Penguins
In their fourth matchup of the season, the Boston Bruins take on the Pittsburgh Penguins. Facing off last night, the Penguins came out on top, 4-1. With goals from Evan Rodrigues, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Jake Guentzel, the Penguins dominated play. On a six-game winning streak, the Penguins have finally found their rhythm. With fans back in attendance, it seems the home crowd has been extremely influential. With another home game on the schedule tonight, the Penguins have a huge home team advantage. Great goaltending from Tristan Jarry and huge offensive production from Pittsburgh’s stars gave them two more points. There is no reason to believe they won’t do it again.
The Boston Bruins, on the other hand, have lost four of their last five games. Dropping down the rankings, they are currently sitting at fourth in the East, 5 points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Bruins have 32 points and a record of 14-8-4. With Tuukka Rask on the bench with an undisclosed injury, one of Boston’s third-string goaltenders, Daniel Vladar or Jeremy Swayman, will make his first career NHL start in the net. Due to Pittsburgh’s hot streak and the Bruins starting an experienced goaltender, the Penguins should collect the two points.
Prediction: Penguins win 6-2.