NHL Predictions: November 20th Including Pittsburgh Penguins vs Toronto Maple Leafs

Pittsburgh Penguins vs Toronto Maple Leafs
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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 Pittsburgh Penguins vs Toronto Maple Leafs

NHL Predictions: Pittsburgh Penguins vs Toronto Maple Leafs

New Jersey Devils vs Tampa Bay Lightning 

Head-to-Head: Devils 0 – Lightning 0

The Lightning enter the game on a roll. The defending Stanley Cup Champions look like the champs. Tampa Bay has gained points in nine straight games including winning their last three games. The Lightning are doing this without Nikita Kucherov in the lineup. Steven Stamkos has really stepped up his game with goals in four of his last five games. This has allowed the Lightning to remain in third place in the Atlantic Division. Tampa Bay has played really well against the Devils winning four of the last five games including the last three on home ice. So history is not on the Devils side. New Jersey is entering the game on a three-game losing streak. Keep an eye on a player like Dawson Mercer for the Devils as he has gotten himself in the Calder Trophy race. Despite the Devils being a much-improved hockey team, the Lightning are just superior and get the win in the end.

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Prediction: Lightning win 5-2 

Carolina Hurricanes vs Los Angeles Kings 

Head-to-Head: Hurricanes 0 – Kings 0

The Hurricanes are 2-0 to begin their seven-game road trip. Carolina is entering this game with the Kings on a three-game winning streak and has won four of their last five games. The Hurricanes sit atop a very tough Metro Division. Many experts pegged the Hurricanes to finish either first or second in the division. But nobody expected this especially with the changes on defence and in between the pipes. Frederik Andersen is playing really well for the Hurricanes. Tony DeAngelo has fit into Rod Brind’Amour‘s system really nicely. Carolina has five players with 10 or more points including Andrei Svechnikov, who leads the team with 18 points.

The Kings on the other hand have been a nice surprise this season to begin the season. Currently, in eighth place in the Pacific Division, the Kings have seen a resurgence in Jonathan Quick. Not to mention the addition of Philip Danault has helped Anze Kopitar‘s game. This should be a good match-up between two teams that play close games. Carolina continues to find ways to score goals late in games. Look for them to do it again against Los Angeles.

Prediction: Carolina Wins 2-1

Pittsburgh Penguins vs Toronto Maple Leafs

Head-to-Head: Penguins 1 – Maple Leafs 0

The featured game of the night sees the Penguins visiting the Maple Leafs. Toronto is looking for some revenge after Pittsburgh defeated Toronto by a score of 7-1 back in October. That is when the Penguins were not even healthy. Not to mention Toronto was struggling. However, the Penguins are getting healthier and beat up on a weaker Montreal Canadiens team on Thursday night. Sidney Crosby finally scored his first goal of the season being reunited with Bryan Rust and Jake Guentzel. Guentzel leads all Penguins with 13 points and is tied for the team lead in goals with six alongside Evan Rodrigues. The Penguins are trying to get back on track before they slip even further in the Metro Division. A win over the Maple Leafs will help their cause.

Toronto on the other hand is playing a lot better than they did in October. Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner are lightning the lamp. Matthews has found his scoring touch after a slow start recording at least a point in eight of his last nine games. He is one behind John Tavares for the goal lead with seven. Marner is finding his game as well, he and Matthews are tied with 15 points each. Jack Campbell has assumed the starter’s role. Not only has he put himself in the Vezina Trophy conversation but the goaltender conversation for Team USA, if the NHL does go to the Olympics.  With the way they are playing, look for the Maple Leafs to get some revenge.

Prediction: Maple Leafs win 3-2 

Minnesota Wild vs Florida Panthers 

Head-to-Head: Wild 0 – Panthers  0

Another fun game to watch on a Saturday will be the Panthers vs Wild. After a sluggish road trip, the Panthers returned home and have two straight games. They continue to win games despite not having Aleksander Barkov in the lineup. Sam Bennett, Jonathan Huberdeau, and Anthony Duclair have really picked up the slack. Spencer Knight has found his game once again and Sergei Bobrovsky looks like the player of old. The Panthers play has kept them in first place in the Atlantic Division. The Wild start a three-game road trip traveling cross country twice. Kirill Kaprizov is looking like the player from a year ago and has the Wild positioned in first place in the Central Division. Behind Kaprizov the Wild are getting goal scoring from a committee. The Wild are for real, but the Panthers are so good on home ice with a record of 9-0 to start the season. Look for them to continue the winning streak.

Prediction: Panthers win 4-2 

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