Welcome back to NHL Predictions, April 11th 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 first slate of NHL Predictions for April 18th featuring the Washington Capitals vs Boston Bruins. Be sure to check out the second slate of NHL Predictions, too.
NHL Predictions Including Washington Capitals vs Boston Bruins
New York Rangers vs New Jersey Devils
Head-to-Head: Rangers 5 – 2 Devils
The New York Rangers face off against the New Jersey Devils for the last time in regular-season play. The eighth game of the Hudson River Rivalry should be very interesting. While the Devils started off the shortened season fairly hot with two straight wins against the Rangers, they couldn’t keep it up. Currently sitting at seventh in the East Division with a record of 14-23-6 and on a five-game losing streak, the Devils aren’t making the playoffs or winning their last game against the Rangers. New York found their game mid-season and are just four points out of the playoff picture. With an offence that is nearly unstoppable, the Rangers will end up 6-2 over the Devils on the season.
Prediction: Rangers win 5-1.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs Buffalo Sabres
Head-to-Head: Penguins 5 – 0 Sabres
The Pittsburgh Penguins matchup against the league-worst Buffalo Sabres. Sitting at 31st in the league with a record of 11-26-7, the Sabres have had a rough season. The Penguins have won every game they’ve played against the Sabres so far this season. And today will not be the exception. As starting goaltender Linus Ullmark and captain Jack Eichel are both out with injuries, the Sabres have no chance of beating the Penguins on offence or defence. The Penguins are currently second in the East Division with a record of 28-13-3 and 59 points, sitting just three points behind the Washington Capitals. The Penguins will collect two more points today.
Prediction: Penguins win 4-2.
Washington Capitals vs Boston Bruins
Head-to-Head: Capitals 3 – 3 Bruins
Playing their seventh game of the regular season tonight, the Washington Capitals take on the Boston Bruins. In their matchup last Sunday, the Capitals came out on top in an 8-1 win, with goals from T.J. Oshie, Lars Eller, Conor Sheary, Nic Dowd, and Tom Wilson. Oshie, Eller, and Sheary all scored two goals. The Bruins put just one puck in the net, a goal from Craig Smith. With a record of 29-12-4, the Capitals head the East Division and are at fourth in the league rankings. Starting goaltender Ilya Samsonov returned on Saturday to defeat the Philadelphia Flyers, so we should see Vitek Vanecek holding down the Capitals net in this one. With a goals-against-average of 2.69 and a save percentage of .911 Washington shouldn’t have a problem keeping the Bruins out of their crease.
As for Boston, they currently sit at fourth in the East, with a record of 24-12-6. With Tuukka Rask back in net for the Boston Bruins, the Capitals may have a harder time finding the back of the net. The Bruins still have several players out due to injury. Forward Brandon Carlo, defenceman Matt Grzelcyk, and backup goaltender Jaroslav Halak are all on injured reserve. This game will be a close one, but the Washington Capitals will come out on top.
Prediction: Capitals win 4-3.