NHL Predictions: March 19th With Calgary Flames vs Toronto Maple Leafs

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Welcome back to NHL Predictions, March 19th 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 full slate of NHL Predictions for March 19th featuring the Calgary Flames vs Toronto Maple Leafs. Be sure to check back each day for more predictions.

NHL Predictions Including Calgary Flames vs Toronto Maple Leafs

New York Rangers vs Washington Capitals

Head-To-Head: Rangers 2 – 0 Capitals

The New York Rangers head to the nation’s capital with a spring in their step. They scored seven second-period goals en route to a 9-0 defeat of the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night. The Rangers will need more performances like that one if they hope to make the 2021 post-season. They’re 6th in the East Division, eight points back of the fourth-place Boston Bruins.

The Washington Capitals are the hottest team in the East, winners of six games in a row vs four different division rivals. They are also 10-1 in their last 11 games, beating every team in the division except…the Rangers. Forward Alex Ovechkin set a couple of milestones in their 3-1 victory over the New York Islanders on Tuesday. He recorded his 1,300th point and his 718th goal. The goal pushed him past Phil Esposito for sixth on the all-time NHL list.

New York has won the previous two meetings this season 4-2 and 4-1.

Prediction: 4-2 Capitals

Vancouver Canucks vs Montreal Canadiens

Head-To-Head: Canucks 2 – 5 Canadiens

The Vancouver Canucks (15-16-2) and Montreal Canadiens (13-8-8) will faceoff against each other for the eighth time this season. Montreal has won five of the previous seven meetings but is facing a Vancouver team that has won six of the last seven games. Goaltender Thatcher Demko has been incredible in his last three starts. He is 3-0 and has allowed just five goals while stopping 108 of 113 shots for a .956 save percentage. The Canucks sit in fifth place in North Division and a win here would tie them with the Habs for fourth.

Montreal will need to pick up their form as they have lost three of their last four. They do love playing the Canucks though. They are 13-0-3 against them in the last 16 and have not lost in regulation in over 12 seasons! Tyler Toffoli loves playing Vancouver as well. He has 13 points (eight goals, five assists) in the seven contests this year.

The Canucks may roll out Braden Holtby to give Demko a rest as they play again Saturday night. Carey Price and Jake Allen will also split duties, so keep an eye on the starters.

Prediction: 4-3 Canadiens

Calgary Flames vs Toronto Maple Leafs

Head-To-Head: Flames 1 – 3 Maple Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs (19-9-2) will face the Darryl Sutter-coached Calgary Flames (14-13-3) for the first time this season. Sutter has the Flames playing an uptempo style and is 3-2-1 since taking over the coaching duties. The Flames sit sixth in the North Division but are only 3 points out of the playoffs with 26 games left on their schedule. A couple of wins against the division-leading Leafs would go along way to getting to that plateau. And they may be catching Toronto at just the right time.

Losers of five of the last six Toronto is clinging to its division lead by just two points. They have given up three or more goals in each of the last six games as their defensive struggles continue. The Leafs do have the fire-power to overcome the deficit with Mitch Marner (11 goals, 28 assists) and Auston Matthews (21 goals, 15 assists) amongst the NHL leaders in goals and points. They may also welcome back Wayne Simmonds who has returned to full practice after breaking his wrist earlier in the season.

Prediction: 4-3 Maple Leafs

St. Louis Blues vs San Jose Sharks

Head-To-Head: Blues 3 – 3 Sharks

The St. Louis Blues (14-10-5) and San Jose Sharks (11-13-3) will wrap up their season series this weekend. The Sharks have shown signs of life lately, but are running out of games as they sit seventh and eight points back of the fourth-place Blues. Devan Dubnyk has enjoyed some success in March with a,918 save percentage and 2,68 goals-against average since replacing Martin Jones as the starter.  The series has been a tight one this year, with each team winning three games.

The Blues have battled injuries all year long. Defenceman Colton Parayko as well as forwards Robert Thomas and Ivan Barbashev will be out for this series. Losers of five in a row, St. Louis needs to find that next-man-up mentality if they wish to keep pace in the West Division. Jordan Binnington has been poor in March, sporting a 3.48 goals-against average and .889 save percentage. With a new six-year $6 million contract he needs to be better.

Prediction: 4-2 Sharks

Vegas Golden Knights vs Los Angeles Kings

Head-To-Head: Knights 2 – 0 Kings

Two of the West Divisions’ hottest teams will wrap up the Friday schedule. The division-leading Vegas Golden Knights (20-6-1) are 10-2 in their last 12 games. Mark Stone has a nine-game point streak (six goals, 11 assists) and paces the team with 34 points on the season. 12 different Knights players have 10 or more points. Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (16-5-0) is in a two-horse race for the Vezina trophy with Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy. He has a 1.88 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage on the season.

The Los Angeles Kings (12-10-6) are 9-4-4 since opening the season 3-6-2. They find themselves just three points behind the Blues for the fourth and final playoff spot in the West, with one game in hand. Both Anze Kopitar (eight goals, 28 assists) and Drew Doughty (seven goals, 17 assists) have been outstanding leading the team in points and in minutes played. Both Jonathan Quick and Cal Petersen have been platooning in the Kings’ goal, but Quick is expected in this one. An important game for two teams on the front and backdoor of the playoff race.

Prediction: 4-2 Golden Knights

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