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 New York Islanders vs Tampa Bay Lightning.
NHL Predictions With New York Islanders vs Tampa Bay Lightning
Detroit Red Wings vs Columbus Blue Jackets
Head-to-Head: Red Wings 1 – 0 Blue Jackets
Tonight we have a battle between two rebuilding clubs that have both seen some nice, early-season success. The Columbus Blue Jackets made a statement when they beat the Colorado Avalanche in back-to-back games last week. Cole Sillinger went off in those games with three goals and an assist in the home-and-home series. The 12th overall pick in last year’s draft is providing some great secondary scoring for a Columbus team that has lacked scoring depth in recent years.
The Detroit Red Wings will look to replicate their performance the last time these two teams met. Detroit took the first game of the season series 4-1 back at home. Head coach Jeff Blashill has been comfortable with alternating starts with his goalies, so tonight should see Thomas Greiss between the pipes. Greiss has been streaky this year but he has played remarkably well in his last two starts, stopping 65 of 69 shots.
This will be the fourth and final game of Columbus’s homestand. After going 1-2, they’ll be motivated to close it out on a winning note before hitting the road for a week. Whatever the motivation, this will be a highly entertaining affair between two young and exciting clubs.
Columbus wins 4-2
New York Islanders vs Tampa Bay Lightning
Head-to-Head: Islanders 0 – 0 Lightning
It’s a quiet one on the NHL schedule tonight with only two games. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t noise to be made in the standings. Tonight’s featured game is between two teams we expected to be duking it out for Eastern Conference supremacy. Unfortunately for the Islanders, they have struggled out the gate and now find themselves at the bottom of the Metropolitan Division standings and third last in the east.
New York hasn’t been a bad team per se, they’ve just been a one-sided team. The Islanders are still the defensive powerhouse we’re used to seeing. The Boatmen have recorded three shutout wins in their last seven games but have only mustered a paltry 2.3 goals-for in that span. Going up against an offensive juggernaut like the Lightning means you gotta find a way to score. I don’t think this team has figured that out this season but they will do their best to shut down and frustrate the Lightning stars.
The Tampa Bay Lightning are beginning to pick it up as a team after a slow-is start to begin the season. The Lightning have picked up points in seven straight games, going 5-0-2. The top-six group for the Lightning have been rolling as of late and are carrying this offence in the absence of Nikita Kucherov. Tampa Bay will look to keep pace in the tough Atlantic Division and a win tonight followed by a Detroit loss will have the Lightning leapfrog them to third place in the Atlantic. Expect Tampa’s stars to do what they do tonight.
Tampa wins 4-1
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