NHL Predictions: March 18th Including Chicago Blackhawks vs Tampa Bay Lightning

Chicago Blackhawks vs Tampa Bay Lightning
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Welcome back to NHL Predictions, March 18th 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 second slate of NHL Predictions for March 18th featuring the Chicago Blackhawks vs. Tampa Bay Lightning. Be sure to check out the first and the last slate of NHL Predictions, too.

NHL Predictions Including Chicago Blackhawks vs Tampa Bay Lightning

Chicago Blackhawks vs Tampa Bay Lightning

Head-to-Head: Blackhawks 1 – 4 Lightning

In tonight’s featured matchup, the Tampa Bay Lightning will take on Chicago Blackhawks. The two teams will meet just one more time this season following the game tonight. Although it is clear that Tampa Bay has already won the season series, each team will set their focus on the two points. The Lightning has outscored Chicago 17-9 in the series so far and with Ondrej Palat heating up with four goals and nine assists over his last 10 games, in front of Chicago lies a task. 

The Lightning hold a 20-6-2 winning record and are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games played. Offensively in Tampa Bay’s last 10 games played, the team ranks second among the NHL, averaging 6.1 assists per game this season. Victor Hedman leads his team with 0.8 assists per game, as well as 27 points. Steven Stamkos leads the Lightning with 14 goals helping his team to third place in the NHL with 102 goals scored. Brayden Point, Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman and Ondrej Palat all share team-leading tie-in points with 27.

In Chicago’s previous 10 performances they own a winning record of 4-5-1, just enough to keep their sights on a playoff spot in focus. The Blackhawks have been outscored 10-5 in their last two games and face a strong defensive challenge tonight. Chicago needs to get back on the winning path to secure their fourth spot in the Central Division as the team leads the fifth-placed team with just four points. Alex DeBrincat leads the Blackhawks with 15 goals, while Patrick Kane leads the team with 42 points. Speaking of Kane, the superstar has three goals and nine assists over Chicago’s last 10 games played.

Prediction: Lightning Win 5-2

Nashville Predators vs Florida Panthers

Head-to-Head: Predators 1 – 3 Panthers

Tonight’s second Central division game is a David vs. Goliath type match. The Florida Panthers share a lead in the Central Division with the Tampa Bay Lightning, having 42 points and a winning percentage of .750. Sitting in the seventh spot in the Central is the Nashville Predators with 25 points and a goal differential of negative 26. Nashville has averaged 9.5 penalty minutes per game, making the team the seventh-most penalized in the NHL. The teams happen to be distanced by 17 points, but don’t let this fool you as the offence will be no stranger this match. Florida ranks second in the NHL by averaging 3.5 goals scored per game and fifth among most goals scored with 99. Florida has won their last four games and own a winning record of 7-1-2 in their last 10 games played.

Prediction: Panthers Win 6-2

Dallas Stars vs Detroit Red Wings

Head-to-Head: Stars 2 – 0 Red Wings

In their last meeting, Dallas Stars won with a score of 7-3. Since then, the story has changed for one team. Dallas finds themselves with a 9-9-7 winning record this season. The Stars hold a three-point lead over Detroit Red Wings in the standings and find themselves treading in the sixth position. Dallas has as many as five games in hand on their opponents and, getting back to their winning ways would be an advantage. Dallas currently sits at the bottom of the NHL averaging, just 28.8 shots per game, ranking 25th in goals with 72 on the season.

 The Red Wings carry a 9-17-4 record on the season retaining them as the NHL’s second-worst team with a .367 winning percentage. In Detroit’s last 10 games played, they have won four games and gained an overtime point. The team’s most recent victory saw Jonathan Bernier stop 35 out of 37 shots faced, resulting in a respectable .946 save percentage. In his last performance, Detroit’s point leader Filip Hronek who has 17 assists on the season, found the back of the net for his first goal of the season. 

Prediction: Dallas Wins 2-0

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