Welcome back to NHL Predictions, April 27th 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 27th, featuring the Boston Bruins vs Pittsburgh Penguins. Be sure to check out the other slate of games today.
NHL Predictions: Boston Bruins vs Pittsburgh Penguins
New York Islanders vs Washington Capitals
Head-to-Head: Islanders 3 – 4 Capitals
Two playoff-bound teams go head-to-head yet again as the second-place Washington Capitals take on the third-place New York Islanders. The Capitals go into tonight’s bout having won their last two contests. The Islanders, in contrast, sport a two-game losing streak.
These teams’ last meeting went solidly in Washington’s favour. The Islanders were not able to generate any offence at even strength, with two of their three goals coming on the man advantage and the other being a shorthanded tally off the penalty kill. Even against a brutally physical team like the Capitals, relying on the power play as the main source of scoring is not a feasible strategy. Given that the Islanders’ current offensive struggles, it’s likely that the Capitals will walk away with another dominant win this time around.
Prediction: Capitals win, 4-1
Philadelphia Flyers vs New Jersey Devils
Head-to-Head: Flyers 3 – 1 Devils
Tonight, the Philadelphia Flyers take on the New Jersey Devils in the second round of a four-game series. The Devils will be out for revenge after a disheartening loss in the first contest, while the Flyers will be looking to build momentum off of their win.
The third-period comeback has become a staple of Flyers hockey this season, and in the last game, it actually worked. Claude Giroux scored two goals in a span of 22 seconds to force overtime, where Philadelphia eked out a win in a shootout. However, the Devils controlled play for the majority of the game with their speed and energy. They produced many more dangerous chances and, in that regard, probably deserved to win. The Flyers squeaked by that time, but it’s hard to picture them getting another win if the Devils keep pressuring the way they did on Sunday.
Prediction: Devils win, 3-1
Buffalo Sabres vs New York Rangers
Head-to-Head: Sabres 2 – 5 Rangers
Currently, the New York Rangers are four points behind the Boston Bruins in the East Division standings. With just seven games left in the regular season, the Rangers will do anything to close that gap and keep their slim playoff hopes alive. The Buffalo Sabres, as the division’s weakest team, present a prime opportunity for the Rangers to pick up points.
Despite having controlled possession for most of Sunday’s game, the Sabres fell short as New York clinched a 6-3 victory. Mika Zibanejad scored his third hat trick of the season and Adam Fox recorded three assists. A particularly rough night from Sabres’ goaltender Dustin Tokarski didn’t help in that regard. With the Rangers’ postseason hopes at stake, expect tonight’s game to look a lot like the last.
Prediction: Rangers win, 5-3
Boston Bruins vs Pittsburgh Penguins
Head-to-Head: Bruins 3 – 4 Penguins
The last meeting between the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins was an extremely close one, tied at zero for the majority of the game. After a Jake Guentzel goal gave the Penguins a narrow lead early in the third period, Pittsburgh managed to hang on until the end.
While the score was ultimately extremely close, the underlying numbers tell a different story. The Penguins controlled possession for nearly the entirety of the game and were rewarded with eleven high-danger scoring chances. It was a testament to young Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman’s performance that only one of those chances found the back of the net.
This contest is especially high-stakes for Boston. Having lost their past two games, the Bruins are now only hanging onto the East’s fourth and final playoff bid by four points. They need all the wins they can get to increase their lead, but Pittsburgh isn’t going to be an easy opponent to overcome. If Penguins generate quality chances as they did on Sunday – and Tristan Jarry stays solid – it’s likely that they’ll come away with the win tonight.
Prediction: Penguins win, 2-0
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