NHL Predictions: November 13th Including St Louis Blues vs Carolina Hurricanes

St Louis Blues vs Carolina Hurricanes

Welcome back to another day of NHL Predictions. Each day, Last Word on Hockey takes a look at the games that are happening and gives our predictions for each one. Breaking down head-to-head and other factors that may play in. We also have a featured game of the day, which is considered must-watch TV. Today’s featured game is the St Louis Blues vs Carolina Hurricanes.

NHL Predictions with St Louis Blues vs Carolina Hurricanes

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Buffalo Sabres

Head-to-Head: Maple Leafs 0 – 0 Sabres

Both of these teams enter into tonight’s affair on the second half of back-to-backs. That puts both teams on nearly equal footing in terms of rest. At the time of this writing, the goaltending matchup hasn’t yet been confirmed, but if Jack Campbell doesn’t start, the Buffalo Sabres might have the advantage in between the pipes. That feels very strange to type, but it’s true. Craig Anderson has been good for the Sabres, with a 4-2 record and a .921 save percentage. With Petr Mrazek hurt, the Toronto Maple Leafs may turn to rookie Joseph Woll to make his first-ever NHL start.

That edge in the crease isn’t enough to tip the scales in Buffalo’s favour though. The gap between these two teams is still vast. The Sabres have lost five in a row at the time of this writing (could be six after their game against the Edmonton Oilers) and find themselves near the bottom of the league in expected goals percentage. The Leafs, however, are trending upwards. The high-powered offence of Toronto is starting to click, and they should be more than capable of slicing and dicing a suspect Sabres’ blue-line.

Prediction: Leafs win 4-1

Los Angeles Kings vs Winnipeg Jets

Head-to-Head: Kings 0 – 1 Jets

Who had the Los Angeles Kings compiling a seven-game winning streak on this year’s bingo card? Anyone? How about a seven-game heater after starting the season with a record of 1-5-1. Yeah, absolutely no one predicted that. The Kings are cruising as of late. They are a few key components to their success. Both Cal Petersen and Jonathan Quick have been excellent in net, which is a big part of the story. Additionally, Phil Danault has fit like a glove. He has nine points in 14 games, including six in his last five, and has already developed a significant role on the team.

The Kings will get a major test against the Winnipeg Jets tonight. The Jets have already beaten the Kings a couple of weeks ago, and themselves are 7-1-2 in their last 10. Winnipeg is a battle-tested, veteran team with superb goaltending. They know how to win in several different facets and will have the advantage of being at home. Kyle Connor, who has 10 goals in 13 games, will be depended on to crack the Kings’ tricky combination in the net.

This game has the makings of a tight, back and forth affair, but the Jets at home should be able to stop Los Angeles’ streak at seven.

Prediction: Jets win 3-2 in OT

Montreal Canadiens vs Detroit Red Wings

Head-to-Head: Canadiens 2 – 0 Red Wings

This will be the third and final matchup of the season between these two squads. In both of the previous games, the Montreal Canadiens were surprisingly dominant, winning 6-1 and 3-0. Those two wins represent exactly half of the Canadiens’ four total wins on the season. Even though the Canadiens have had a brutal start, they look like they hold the Detroit Red Wings’ kryptonite.

Things may be trending slightly upwards for the Canadiens. On Tuesday, they earned a point against the red-hot Kings. Then on Thursday, they beat a very good Calgary Flames team. That’s a nice piece of momentum for the team to carry into Detroit. The Red Wings, on the other hand, followed up a decisive victory against the Oilers with a 2-0 loss against the Washington Capitals on Thursday. The Capitals thoroughly outplayed the Red Wings, reminding them that despite their third-place position in the Atlantic, they still have a long way to go.

Both of these teams give up more goals than they score, and are among the worst in terms of special teams in the league. Although that would typically indicate a low-event game, this may be one of those where players who need a breakout finally get one. Josh Anderson desperately needs to get his game in gear, and this looks like the place to do it. The Canadiens keep their momentum rolling and Anderson picks up a couple.

Prediction: Canadiens win 3-1

St Louis Blues vs Carolina Hurricanes

Head-to-Head: Blues 0 – 0 Hurricanes

This was the type of matchup that was lacking in last year’s divisional segregation. The St. Louis Blues represent one of the Western Conference’s best teams, whereas the Carolina Hurricanes represent one of the best teams from the East. It’s a great opportunity to watch two heavyweights slug it out and gauge how the two conferences stack up.

The Blues are on the road in Carolina, where the Hurricanes are a perfect 5-0. That would typically give an edge to the Hurricanes, but they are playing on the second half of a back-to-back. In that regard, we’ll consider the rest/road factor close to a draw.

One player worth keeping an eye on is Blues’ forward, Jordan Kyrou. He had a breakout season last year, scoring 14 goals in 55 games. This season, he’s already a quarter of the way to that mark, with five goals in 12 games. This includes three in his last three games. His possession metrics are excellent, even relative to his teammates, and he is looking like he will be a major difference-maker for the Blues on a nightly basis. He is heating up at the right time for this game.

The Hurricanes have plenty of firepower to counter. One of those players is Tony DeAngelo. DeAngelo has started to emerge recently for the ‘Canes, with six points in his last five games (as of the morning of Nov. 12th). In his last three games, he’s played more than 20 minutes a night. On the season, he is sporting a whopping 65.5% Corsi For at all strengths. 65.5%! Even on a Hurricanes team that is usually stacked in that regard, it is still +16.5% relative to his teammates. That’s incredibly impressive. The Blues will have no choice but to make a point of trying to shut down DeAngelo.

This game should be excellent. Each squad is averaging 3.5 goals or more per game, while also being top six in the league in terms of goals against. It’s going to be a close one, but the Blues will have the extra day of rest and a slight edge in special teams. That may just be enough.

Prediction: Blues win 4-3 in OT

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