NHL Predictions: April 26th Featuring Carolina Hurricanes vs Dallas Stars

Carolina Hurricanes vs Dallas Stars

Welcome back to NHL Predictions, April 26nd edition! Each day, the Last Word On Hockey team will break down every game and give our NHL predictions for each. This is the first set of games featuring the Carolina Hurricanes vs Dallas Stars. Be sure and check out the other NHL Predictions for today, too.

NHL Predictions: With Carolina Hurricanes vs Dallas Stars

Vancouver Canucks vs Ottawa Senators

Head-to-Head: Canucks 6 – 1 Senators

The cellar dwellers in the North Division will square off twice more tonight and Wednesday. The Vancouver Canucks (19-19-3) are to play 15 games in the next 24 days to wrap up their COVID troubled season. That is a lot of hockey. They have managed to win three of their last four since coming back from their pause. Goaltender Braden Holtby has won all three of his starts, stopping 100 of the 107 shots he has faced. This team is playing for pride and, like all players at this time of year, for jobs next year.

The Ottawa Senators (17-27-4) also come into the third game in this four-game series in good form. They have won four of the past six outscoring their opponents 17-10. They have also managed two shut-outs, one against these Canucks on Thursday (3-0). That is the only win Ottawa has against Vancouver this season. They have lost the other six games. Two teams with nothing to lose. Should make for a fun game.

Prediction: 4-3 Canucks

Carolina Hurricanes vs Dallas Stars

Head-to-Head: Hurricanes 5 – 1 Stars

This two-game series that starts tonight has huge playoff implications in the Central Division. The Carolina Hurricanes (31-10-6) sit atop the division, just a single point clear of the Florida Panthers and just two points up on the Tampa Bay Lightning. With just nine games left every game is that much more important. Carolina is 4-0-2 in their last six allowing an average of two goals per contest. The tandem of Petr Mrazek, Alex Nedeljkovic and James Reimer have been stellar. They are ranked fourth in goals allowed per game (2.38) and third in save percentage (.917) in the NHL.

The Dallas Stars (20-15-12) have been slowly creeping closer to the fourth and final playoff spot in the Central. They are just two points back of the Nashville Predators with two games in hand, but only nine games left in the season. They are 10-4 in the month of April but have a very difficult schedule to close out the season. These two games vs the Hurricanes, a game vs the Panthers, and three games vs the Lightning. A win tonight would go a long way to getting into the playoffs and a chance to return to the Stanley Cup Final. Their playoffs start now.

Prediction: 2-1 Stars

Florida Panthers vs Nashville Predators

Head-to-Head: Panthers 4 – 2 Predators

Another crucial two games series in the Central Division. The Florida Panthers (31-13-5) would very much like to take over the Hurricanes and win home ice in the playoffs. The Panthers are 8-4-1 in April relying heavily on the dynamic duo of Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov. There has been a platoon situation in the net late in the season though. Both Sergei Bobrovsky and Chris Driedger have seen equal playing time this month. Driedger has the better stats on the season with a 2.13 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage.

The Nashville Predators (26-21-2) cling to the fourth playoff spot by the slimmest of margins. Just seven games remain on their 2021 schedule and they are just two points ahead of the Stars. They have a 7-4-1 record in April and have found ways to win despite a rash of injuries, including Filip Forsberg (out since March 25th). The Pred’s hopes lie in the hands of Juuse Saros between the pipes. He has been outstanding for Nashville this season. Saros in 17-9-1 with a 2.27 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage. You need a hot goaltender this time of year.

Prediction: 3-2 Panthers

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