Welcome back to NHL Predictions, March 24th edition! Each day, the Last Word On Hockey team will break down every game and give our NHL predictions for each. This is the first set for March 24th featuring the Calgary Flames vs Ottawa Senators. Be sure and check out the second set of NHL Predictions, too.
Calgary Flames vs Ottawa Senators
Head-to-Head: Flames 2-4 Senators
It’s the back end of a two-game homestand for the Flames and the Senators. Chris Tierney‘s late-goal powered Ottawa to the win at the Canadian Tire Centre. Filip Gustavsson made 35 saves as the Senators find ways to win with different goalies in net. Ottawa has been better defensively as of late. They’ve not given up more than three goals since losing 6-2 to the Edmonton Oilers on March 12th.
Calgary has to get moving if they want one of the four North Division playoff spots. The Flames are four points behind the Montreal Canadiens for the last spot. There’s worry the Darryl Sutter effect isn’t as long-lasting as hoped for with the club. Calgary has lost three of its last five and only has one goal in its last two. The Flames need to get some offence to goalies Jacob Markstrom and David Rittich.
Calgary needs points if it wants to stay in the hunt while Montreal is out of action for a bit. It’s desperation time for the Flames and they’ll scratch out a win in the Canadian capital.
Prediction: Flames win 3-2 in a shootout.
Anaheim Ducks vs Minnesota Wild
Head-to-Head: Ducks 1-4 Wild
Minnesota has won the last four meetings between the clubs after dropping the opening encounter. The Wild haven’t given up more than two goals in any encounter with the Ducks this season. Minnesota is looking to finish a two-game sweep of Anaheim after a 2-1 win on Monday. Nick Bjugstad scored early in the third to give the Wild the victory and Cam Talbot stopped 24 shots.
The not-so-mighty Ducks have struggled to score in any situation against the Wild. Anaheim ranks at the second to last in power play success rate while Minnesota is the worst. Ryan Miller likely gets the start with John Gibson not ready and Anthony Stolarz one of four players in the COVID-19 protocol. Danton Heinen, Ben Hutton and Jacob Larsson are also on the list.
The Ducks will likely have to rely on taxi squad and AHL players in this game at Minnesota. This game could be a tough one for Anaheim without those players.
Prediction: Wild win 4-1.