Welcome back to NHL Predictions, April 21st 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 lone set of NHL Predictions for April 21st, featuring the Montreal Canadiens vs Edmonton Oilers.
Montreal Canadiens vs Edmonton Oilers
Head-to-Head: Canadiens 5-2 Oilers
The Montreal Canadiens have played fairly well against the Edmonton Oilers, but this game will be a challenge. Montreal will be without goalie Carey Price and Brendan Gallagher due to injuries. The Habs were beaten 4-1 in the last meeting when Price exited with a concussion. Montreal is trying to keep the Calgary Flames off their tail for the last playoff spot in the North Division.
Connor McDavid is continuing his march towards picking up another Hart Trophy after getting his 50th assist. Mike Smith made 22 saves in the victory on Monday nights against Montreal. Both teams are in the top half in goals allow with Montreal ninth and Edmonton 11th. However, the Oilers power play, which is ranked third, is deadly.
Jake Allen is thrust back into the starting role and he’ll have a lot of work stopping the Oilers attack.
Prediction: Oilers win 4-2.
Nashville Predators vs Chicago Blackhawks
Head-to-Head: Predators 6-0 Blackhawks
The Nashville Predators have dominated the Chicago Blackhawks the entire season. Nashville continues to hold the last post-season spot despite many injuries. Matt Duchene did return to the lineup with a goal in 5-2 win on Monday and Eeli Tolvanen practiced on Tuesday. The latter’s return would boost a power play that’s 22nd in the league.
Chicago does have wins in three of its last five despite the loss to Nashville. Alex DeBrincat has 23 goals on the season and scored in the last meeting between the two clubs. Patrick Kane leads the team in assists with 42 and has 15 goals of his own.
The temptation to pick Chicago is there, but Nashville has their number.
Prediction: Predators win 3-2 in overtime.
Minnesota Wild vs Arizona Coyotes
Head-to-Head: Wild 6-1 Coyotes
This is the last meeting between the clubs that hold the last two playoff spots in the West Division. The Wild have won five of the last six meetings between the club. Kevin Fiala got a goal and an assist and Cam Talbot made 22 saves in the win.
Goals from Alex Gologoski and Christian Fischer weren’t enough for the Coyotes to stop the Wild. Arizona’s struggles in scoring (22nd in goals for) and stopping goals (23rd in goals allowed) aren’t the recipe to stop a solid Minnesota offence.
The Wild’s depth looks to be what will carry them in this game.
Prediction: Wild win 4-1.
San Jose Sharks vs Vegas Golden Knights
Head-to-Head: Sharks 0-6 Golden Knights
The San Jose Sharks may be celebrating Patrick Marleau breaking Gordie Howe‘s record for most games played. However, the Vegas Golden Knights have feasted on them all six times this season. Mark Stone scored twice for the Knights in a 3-2 shootout win on Monday. Martin Jones has played well, but the Sharks have pressed the reset button.
Prediction: Golden Knights win 5-2.