Welcome back to another day of NHL Predictions. Each day, we will take a look at the games that are happening and give our predictions for each one. There are two games today. Today’s featured game is the Tampa Bay Lightning vs Carolina Hurricanes. Be sure to check back tomorrow for more NHL predictions.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs Carolina Hurricanes
In Round One we saw the defending Stanley Cup Champions finish off their heated rivals the Florida Panthers in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. There are two ways this series will go. Either one team will completely dominate or it will be right down to the wire one or two goal games. Tampa is a team that looks hard to shut down but in their first-round series, we saw Florida give them a run for their money by being just a physical as Tampa was. Carolina can’t match the Lightning’s physicality but it’ll definitely be something to pay attention to. Tampa will run you down in the corners and offensively while Carolina is fast and has some great blueline pieces. This should be another really fun series between the two teams as they both have very loud fans in the building. Expect PNC Arena to be rocking.
Carolina will look to shut down star Nikita Kucherov. Since returning from injury he’s led the playoffs with 11 points in six games. Carolina will also look to continue generating high danger chances on elite goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiyas he won’t be easy to solve. Tampa will need to focus on Carolina’s elite offensive drivers in Sebastian Aho, Jordan Staal, and Martin Necas. The biggest key for Carolina will be to shut down Tampa Bay’s powerplay which is overly dominant and capitalizes on most of their chances. Hence why they lead the league in powerplay percentage. Tampa Bay on the other hand will mainly look to capitalize on the powerplay which has been rolling all playoffs. If Carolina can stop the Tampa powerplay, Nikita Kucherov, and crack Andrei Vasilevskiy, they should have some success in this series. We all know how good Tampa will be.
Prediction: Tampa wins 5-2
Vegas Golden Knights vs Colorado Avalanche
As this series starts there’s much talk about the Avalanche running over the Golden Knights. Although Colorado ran through the St Louis Blues sweeping them in four games, Vegas had a completely different route. They finished off the strong surging Minnesota Wild in Game 7 of the first round who if maybe had better goaltending in game 7, could’ve upset the Golden Knights. Like all the second-round series, it will either be super tight or any team can walk over each other. Colorado seems like a different animal this year with the development of their defence corps, the depth they display down the lineup, and the evolution of Philipp Grubauer.
This will be a fast-paced series as we see the offensive juggernaut Colorado team take on the overall dominant Vegas team. One thing Vegas will have the upper hand on is goaltending. Marc Andre Fleury is 36 years old and having one of his best seasons while in the conversation for the Vezina trophy. The Golden Knights will look to shutdown playoff performer Nathan MacKinnon as he looks to continue his dominant play this year already collecting nine points in four games. Colorado will need to contain the Golden Knights offence from generating chances as they are second in the league for goals for this playoffs. Both teams are offensive powerhouses of the league but Colorado has the advantage on the backend which will be effective in shutting down the Vegas offence. Expect many high-scoring games during this series.
Prediction: Colorado wins 3-1