Welcome back to NHL Predictions, April 19th edition! Each day, the Last Word On Hockey team will break down every game and give our NHL predictions for each. This is the second set of games featuring the Montreal Canadiens vs Edmonton Oilers. Be sure and check out the early NHL Predictions for today, too.
NHL Predictions Featuring Montreal Canadiens vs Edmonton Oilers
Minnesota Wild vs Arizona Coyotes
Head-to-Head: Wild 5 – 1 Coyotes
The Wild (27-13-3) will wrap up their season series with Arizona tonight and Wednesday. They have done very well against the Coyotes this year, winning five of six matchups. It hasn’t even been close, as the Wild have out scored them 22-9 in the 6 games including two shutout victories. Minnesota looks to be locked into the third-place spot in the Central Division. They are 12 points clear of the Coyotes and seven points back of the second-place Vegas Golden Knights. Wild forward Nick Bjugstad joined the team on this road trip and could return in this series.
The Arizona Coyotes (20-20-5) are in a fight for their playoff lives. They are clinging to the fourth place spot in the Central, just a single point ahead of the St. Louis Blues. Arizona has also played two more games. There is little room for error with just 11 games remaining on their schedule. They managed to snap a five-game losing streak on Saturday with a 3-2 win over the Blues. Seems the Coyotes are punching well above their weight. They are 22nd in the NHL in goals per game (2.62) and 22nd in goals against per game (3.02).
Prediction: 4-2 Wild
Montreal Canadiens vs Edmonton Oilers
Head-to-Head: Canadiens 4 – 1 Oilers
The Montreal Canadiens (19-14-9) are cautiously/comfortably in fourth in the North Division. Six points clear of the Calgary Flames with two games in hand, they have some wiggle room. But they are entering the most important part of their schedule. Two games against the Oilers (tonight and Wednesday) followed by three games at Calgary. They have only won two of their last seven games and have been outscored 23-11 in those contests. They lost to the Ottawa Senators 4-0 on Saturday. It’s a five alarm fire and the Oilers are coming in with cans of gasoline.
The Edmonton Oilers (26-15-2) have their sites set on getting home ice in the first round of the North Division playoffs. And they are not ruling out winning the division. Six points back of the first place Toronto Maple Leafs and three back of the Winnipeg Jets, they have games in hand on both. They have won four of their last six including a 3-0 win against the Jets on Saturday. Still, the Canadiens have had their number this year winning four of five. Can the NHL’s number one and two leading scorers Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl find a way to solve the Habs?
Prediction: 4-2 Oilers
Ottawa Senators vs Calgary Flames
Head-to-Head: Senators 5 – 2 Flames
The Senators (15-26-4) will try and play spoiler in their final 11 games of the season. They have managed to come out on top of some wild games against the Flames winning five of seven. In those games they have averaged 3.72 goals per contest, more than a goal above their average of 2.67. The future looks bright in Ottawa, if they can find some steady goaltending.
The Flames (19-22-3) season rests on these next four games at home. This game against the Senators, then three straight vs the Canadiens, who they are chasing in the standings. They had a three game winning streak snapped Saturday, that included wins over the Leafs, Habs and Oilers. They have had two days rest for this one and will get four days of rest before facing the Habs. Coach Darryl Sutter should have his team mentally prepared. Will the results be seen on the ice?
Prediction: 3-2 Flames
San Jose Sharks vs Vegas Golden Knights
Head-to-Head: Sharks 0 – 5 Knights
The Sharks (18-22-4) are not out of the playoff race in the West Division. They are five points out of fourth with one game in hand. Problem is they have lost five games in a row and have been outscored 20-7. Bigger problem their next two games are against the Golden Knights who have won all five contests this year. Good news? Patrick Marleau will be playing in his 1768th game which will set a new NHL record for games played. This will break Gordie Howe‘s record that has stood for over 40 years. They should be up for this one.
The Knights (31-11-2) will not be breaking out the party favours and confetti. They are tied with the Colorado Avalanche for first place in the West. They want home ice advantage in the playoffs and are a focused group right now. Vegas has won six games in a row steaming rolling their foes 27-11. Third in the NHL in goals per game (3.30). First in the NHL in goals against (2.19). The third best penalty kill in the league (84.68 percent). The only flaw they have is the 24th ranked power play (17.05 percent). We still wouldn’t recommend taking penalties.
Prediction: 5-3 Golden Knights