Welcome to another day of NHL Predictions! Each day, the Last Word on Hockey takes a look at every game and gives our predictions for the score. There is also a featured game for each slate of games. Today’s featured game is the Pittsburgh Penguins vs Boston Bruins. Be sure to check out the late-game articles for NHL predictions today too.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs Boston Bruins
Head-to-Head: Penguins 1-3 Bruins
Pittsburgh is coming off sweeps of the Buffalo Sabres and New York Islanders in its last four games. Sidney Crosby has the team lead in goals (14), assists (25) and points (39). Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith are forming a formidable goalie tandem for the Pens, who play the Bruins in back-to-back games today and Saturday.
Boston’s offence showed up after weeks of shaky play in a 5-4 shootout win over the New Jersey Devils. David Krejci and Craig Smith handed out three assists each and Jaroslav Halak made 31 saves for Boston. Sean Kuraly did practice with the team, but Tuukka Rask is still out for the Bruins.
This is a critical showdown as Boston doesn’t want to get sucked into a fight for fourth place. Pittsburgh is trying to keep pace with the Washington Capitals in the battle for first with the New York Islanders. The Penguins get just enough to stay hot.
Prediction: Penguins win 3-2 in a shootout.
New York Rangers vs Buffalo Sabres
Head-to-Head: Rangers 2-1 Sabres
It’s the first of back-to-back games for today and Saturday for the New York-based outfits. The Rangers are coming off arguably their best two periods of the season coming off a 5-2 win over the Capitals. Artemi Panarin got a goal and two assists while Igor Shesterkin made 30 saves in the net. The Blueshirts are playing a lot better as of late.
It’s no April Fool’s joke as the Sabres beat the Philadelphia Flyers in a 6-1 rout of Wednesday night. Brandon Montour scored twice and Sam Reinhart did well in his first game at centre. Buffalo likely goes to Dustin Tokarski after Linus Ullmark made 31 saves in the rare win.
The Sabres will have some added confidence in getting the monkey off their back. However, the Rangers have been playing some good hockey in the last two weeks.
Prediction: Rangers win 4-2.
Washington Capitals vs New York Islanders
Head-to-Head: Capitals 3-0 Islanders
Washington is coming off only its second loss after holding a lead going into the third period. The Caps seemingly looked outmatched by the Rangers in Tuesday’s loss. Ilya Samsonov likely starts after getting the night off at Madison Square Garden. Alex Ovechkin continues to roll back the years by leading the team in goals with 18.
The Isles are smarting after two straight losses to the Penguins. They seem to be missing an extra gear after losing captain Anders Lee for the rest of the season. However, bury the Islanders at your own peril because many an expert have been proven wrong by coach Barry Trotz. New York does have an extra day of rest and that may allow Semyon Varlamov to start.
It’ll be another tight East Division game, but Washington escapes Long Island with the win.
Prediction: Capitals win 2-1.