Welcome back to NHL Predictions, May 8th edition! Each day, the Last Word On Hockey team will break down every game and give our NHL predictions for each game. Today’s NHL Predictions for May 8th features the Montreal Canadiens vs Toronto Maple Leafs. Make sure to stop by tomorrow for another edition of NHL Predictions!
NHL Predictions: Montreal Canadiens vs Toronto Maple Leafs
Tampa Bay Lightning vs Florida Panthers
Head-to-Head: Lightning 4- 2 Panthers
In the Sunshine State, the Tampa Bay Lightning intend to gain a lead in the season series in the Central Division versus the Florida Panthers. Only two games remain on the schedule for each team, and they will be against each other. The Panthers will need to win both games versus Tampa Bay to lock down the second spot in their division for home-ice advantage. Regardless of what happens there, these two powerhouse teams are set to face each other in round one of the playoffs.
On the goaltending side of things, Andrei Vasilevskiy for Tampa Bay is (31-8-1) this season and holds a .928 save percentage with a 2.10 goals-against average. Chris Driedger has been a monster for Florida as the netminder owns a .923 save percentage with a 2.17 goals-against average.
Heading into the two-game mini-series, Florida has won four in a row. Their opponent, Tampa Bay dropped their meeting on Friday night.
Prediction: Panthers win 4-3 OT
Detroit Red Wings vs Columbus Blue Jackets
Head-to-Head: Wings 4- 2 Jackets
Although the Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets won’t participate in the postseason, they will be competing for the seventh spot in the Central. The Blue Jackets lead the Red Wings by one point even though they have one fewer win. Have to love those overtime points! Detroit ended a four-game losing streak on the road on Friday evening versus Columbus in a 5-2 victory. Elvis Merzlikins picked up his second shutout of the season in his last meeting versus Detroit and will get will the start tonight. The netminder has registered a .945 save percentage versus Detroit and owns a career record of 2-2-1 against them.
During the two team’s last four meetings, the Blue Jackets are 3-1. And as well, Columbus holds a 28-4 record over Detroit in their last 32 meetings.
Prediction: Blue Jackets win 4-1
Montreal Canadiens vs Toronto Maple Leafs
Head-to-Head: Canadiens 3- 5 Leafs
In tonight’s featured contest, we head to the North. These two rivals clash for the ninth and final meeting this season. The Toronto Maple Leafs lead the North with 74 points while looking to prolong their current three-game home streak. Sitting fourth in the division with 57 points are the Montreal Canadiens looking for one point tonight to lock up a playoff spot.
The Leafs have earned three of four possible points versus the Canadiens so far during the three-game mini-series. Toronto took the last game with a score of 5-2. Auston Matthews, the league-leading goal scorer with 40 on the season, found the back of the net in his last game. Another offensive threat scoring a goal in his previous game is Mitch Marner, who has scored five goals over his last 10 games.
Tyler Toffoli leads the pack for the Canadiens as the forward has 28 goals and 43 points over 50 games played. Jeff Petry has notched 10 assists throughout his last 10 games, trailing behind Toffoli by two points. Cole Caufield has seven games notched under his belt since making his debut in April while scoring three goals and two of them being game-winners.
Toronto’s played very well over the stretch recording a 6-2-2 record. During their last 10 games, The Maple Leafs equated 3.6 goals per game and conceded 2.4 goals per game with a .907 save percentage. Toronto has been on a tear of recent looking to maintain by being victorious versus Montreal.
Prediction: Leafs Win: 5-3
Carolina Hurricanes vs Nashville Predators
Head-to-Head: Hurricanes 6- 0 Predators
The Nashville Predators will host the Carolina Hurricanes in Music City to close the NHL regular season. Nashville is looking to lock down a playoff spot with a win tonight. However, that could be difficult as the Predators are 0-4 in their last four home games facing an opponent with a winning percentage above .600.
Carolina enters this game in first in the NHL with 80 points in 54 games played. The Hurricanes have been impressive this season and with no doubt are a contending team. Carolina ranks tenth with scoring at 3.22 goals per game and the second-best powerplay, completing 26.4 percent of their opportunities.
Prediction: Hurricanes win 3-1
Anaheim Ducks vs Minnesota Wild
Head-to-Head: Ducks 1- 6 Wild
While the Anaheim Ducks have won three of their last five, Minnesota Wild has lost three of their recent five games. Although dropping three out of five contests, the Wild have still extended their current point streak to five games. Kirill Kaprizov is Minnesota’s goal leader with 27, and was also able to extend his point streak to five games, scoring five goals and three helpers in total. Anaheim may not be joining Minnesota in the postseason; yet the team is working hard to finish the season on a high note. Tonight’s matchup will be each team’s final game of the season. Max Comtois leads Anaheim with 15 goals and 30 points.
Cam Talbot owns an 11-7-2 record versus the Ducks with a .935 save percentage. John Gibson has earned a 7-5-1 career total against Minnesota with a .934 save percentage. If this goaltending matchup occurs this evening, we could be in for a great show!
Prediction: Wild win 5-2