Welcome back to another day of NHL Predictions. Each day, we will take a look at the games that are happening and give our predictions for each one. This is the early set of predictions here on Saturday, April 3rd. Be sure to check out out the early and late predictions as well. In addition, we also offer a featured game of the day, which is a game that we think is must-watch TV. The Ottawa Senators vs Montreal Canadiens matchup is our featured game.
Ottawa Senators vs Montreal Canadiens
Head-to-Head: Senators 3-3 Canadiens
Montreal has put up a pair of four-goal games since their COVID break, including a 4-1 win over Ottawa two days ago. The Canadiens have some space in the race of that last Stanley Cup playoff spot in the North Division. Montreal still has games in hand over the fifth-place Calgary Flames, but they still need points. Carey Price likely gets the start after Jake Allen got the nod two nights ago.
Ottawa has shown flashes in this season and has been busy signing half the state of North Dakota to deals. The Senators haven’t scored more than three goals in any of their last four games. They’ll likely need to slow down the pace and keep the game score low if they want to win. Filip Gustavsson got the start last game and may again due to Ottawa’s goalie injuries.
Montreal does have some breathing room but needs to keep winning.
Prediction: Canadiens win 4-2.
Dallas Stars vs Carolina Hurricanes
Head-to-Head: Stars 0-4 Hurricanes
Carolina owns Dallas so far this season, but two wins have come in the shootout. The Canes are trying to keep pace with the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Central Division. Jesper Fast helped Carolina win a wild 4-3 game with the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday in a game with a lot of odd bounces. Warren Foegele also scored twice for the Canes, who have won four or five.
Dallas did pick up a key 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators, but it needs to get moving. The victory snapped a three-game losing streak that sees them five points behind Nashville for fourth. However, the Stars do have four games in hand.
Anton Khudobin started playing like the man he did during the run to the Final. However, the Canes have been clicking.
Prediction: Hurricanes win 3-2.
Philadelphia Flyers vs New York Islanders
Head-to-Head: Flyers 3-2 Islanders
Mathew Barzal‘s three goals and two assists against the Washington Capitals gave the Islanders a new lease on life after some recent issues. The Isles continue to find ways to win despite losing team captain Anders Lee for the rest of the year. Ilya Sorokin likely starts after Semyon Varlamov got the last two games in net.
It’s been an awful week for the Flyers getting thumped 6-1 by the Buffalo Sabres. Philadelphia is leaking goals and is 30th in goals against with 127. Carter Hart may finally be back after a benching by Flyers coach Alain Vigneault.
Philadelphia needs to find a way to keep pace with the Boston Bruins and surging New York Rangers for that fourth spot. However, the Islanders have a higher goal.
Prediction: Islanders win 4-2.
Columbus Blue Jackets vs Florida Panthers
Head-to-Head: Blue Jackets 1-3 Panthers
The Jackets have lost four of their last five while the Panthers have won four of their last five. Only one of the four meetings hasn’t reached overtime. If the Blue Jackets want to get back into the Central Division, they will need to beat a banged-up Panthers team that lost Aaron Ekblad for the season. However, in order for the Blue Jackets to do so, they will need production from Patrik Laine. And right now he is just not producing at the rate he should be. On the side of things, the Panthers are one of the better offensive teams in the league with Carter Verhaeghe leading the way. Unfortunately, it will be too little too late for the Blue Jackets.
Prediction: Panthers win 3-2 in overtime.