NHL Predictions for April 24 Featuring Ottawa Senators vs Vancouver Canucks

Ottawa Senators vs Vancouver Canucks

Teams have started booking themselves into playoff spots, believe it or not. Over half the league is down to single-digits for remaining games, and chases are getting hot! We’re highlighting the Arizona Coyotes vs Los Angeles Kings as two teams feeling the countdown…

Predictions Featuring Ottawa Senators vs Vancouver Canucks

Minnesota Wild vs San Jose Sharks

Head-to-Head: Wild 4 – 3 Sharks

The Minnesota Wild and San Jose Sharks have played it tight all season long – despite the 26-19 goal differential. Their last two games are the only ones not to have an empty-net goal scored or shootout, and the Sharks have been bitten by their goaltending several times. With that weakness, their only option is to try to score their way out of trouble. That’s hard to do against the always-tight Wild system. That system’s made all the more dangerous with not-so-secret weapon Kirill Kaprizov added to it. Minnesota is comfortably in the third playoff slot in the Honda West division, with little chance of moving up. San Jose, on the other hand, is one of four teams within reach of the final place. Is that enough to push them to victory? Only if the goaltending holds.

Prediction: It doesn’t. Minnesota wins 5-3.

Ottawa Senators vs Vancouver Canucks

Head-to-Head: Senators 1 – 5 Canucks

The Ottawa Senators have been on a bit of a Revenge Tour, picking up wins against the Winnipeg Jets, Montreal Canadiens, Calgary Flames, and Vancouver Canucks in their last five games. A newly confident Matt Murray has three wins and two shutouts in his four games back after going a month between games. Against Vancouver specifically, the last three games were a shutout win, an overtime loss, and a shootout loss. That’s a 1-2 record in name only. As for the Canucks, they came back from their COVID-ravaged break with two inspiring wins against the Toronto Maple Leafs but ran out of juice against the Sens. Can they get it back in time against an equally-inspired team?

Prediction: Barely. Vancouver wins a squeaker 3-2.

Featured Match: Arizona Coyotes vs Los Angeles Kings

Head-to-Head: Coyotes 2 – 3 Kings

As of right this second, the Arizona Coyotes are in the playoffs – and this time it’s without a qualifier. After breaking their seven-year drought last season, they are locked in a dogfight with the St. Louis Blues this time out. The Blues have three games in hand and are just one point back, but who needs technicalities? The Coyotes have stumbled badly with seven losses in eight games, and need to right the ship quickly. They can’t do it in head-to-head matches against the Blues, as those are all played. They’ll have to make up their ground against the Sharks, Vegas Golden Knights, and Los Angeles Kings.

The Coyotes don’t just have to hold off the Blues, either. The Kings are just five points back with four games in hand, so they aren’t out of the fight either. But they do have a ways to go… It’s fair to say that Dustin Brown has aged better than Jonathan Quick. Brown is the leading goal-scorer for the Kings this season with 16, though just one against Arizona so far. The offence has been led by the veterans, with Drew Doughty‘s resurgence and Anze Kopitar‘s consistency hallmarks for the next generation. That transition has already happened in goal, with Calvin Petersen taking firm grasp of the starter’s role. But Petersen’s stumbled, too, getting his first win in six games recently against the Anaheim Ducks. If LA wants to leapfrog the four teams ahead of them, they need to do in in the next 13 games.

Prediction: Arizona evens the series. Coyotes win 4-2.

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