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 Rangers vs New York Islanders.
NHL Predictions: New York Rangers vs New York Islanders
Boston Bruins vs Buffalo Sabres
Head-to-Head: Bruins 1 – 0 Sabres
The Boston Bruins sit fifth in the Atlantic Division just two points in front of their opponent in this contest. The Bruins do have three games in hand on the Buffalo Sabres, so there’s that. They are 9-6 so far this season and are led by Brad Marchand with eight goals and 12 assists in 15 games. David Pastrnak has chipped in five goals and 10 assists to help the offence. In net, Jeremy Swayman and Linus Ullmark have split the work of keeping pucks out of the Bruins’ net. The Boston club is ranked 10th on the power play with a 21.7 percent success rate. Their penalty kill comes in at 83.3 percent, placing them 17th.
The Buffalo Sabres even with a 7-9-2 record are doing better than projections. After all, they did lose Jack Eichel in a blockbuster trade. They are currently riding a three-game losing streak. They have Tage Thompson with eight goals and five assists. Rasmus Dahlin has contributed three goals and nine assists. In net, the Sabres have Craig Anderson with a 4-2 record and a .921 save percentage and a 2.50 goals-against-average. Dustin Tokarski has a 3-4-2 record and is carrying a .900 save percentage, and 3.39 goals-against average The Sabres rank 11th on the power play and 19th on the penalty kill.
Prediction: Bruins win 5-2
St. Louis Blues vs Detroit Red Wings
Head-to-Head: Blues 0 – 0 Red Wings
The St. Louis Blues have a less than attractive 4-5-1 record over their last 10 games. They are second in power-play success at 28.9 percent. We all know that won’t continue. They rank 13th in the penalty kill with an 82 percent ratio. The Blues score 3.33 goals per game, which is the eighth-best in the NHL. They are 10th in goals-against surrendering 2.67 goals a game. They are led by Jordan Kyrou with who has eight goals and 10 assists. David Perron is still a very effective offensive player with six goals and 11 assists. Jordan Binnington has a 7-5-2 record. He carries a .914 save percentage and 2.79 goals-against average.
The Detroit Red Wings have really picked things up this season. They stand 8-9-3 in fourth in the Atlantic Division. The Wings have dropped four straight and will look to end that streak. They too are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games. They have struck it rich with rookie sensation Lucas Raymond. He has tallied seven goals and 12 assists in 20 games and leads the team’s offensive unit. Oh yes, and he’s only 19-years-old. The fourth overall selection in last year’s draft from Sweden has really excelled thus far in the NHL. The Wings are 21st in goals with a 2.70 average and 27th in goals allowed with 3.35 goals against a game.
Prediction: Red Wings win 6-3, with Raymond getting a hat trick
Vegas Golden Knights vs Nashville Predators
Head-to-Head: Golden Knights 0 – 0 Predators
The Vegas Golden Knights are 11-8 and in fourth in the Pacific Division. Considering that they have nine players injured at various degrees, that isn’t really too bad. They have also won seven of their last 10 games. The Golden Knights rank 12th in goals scored with an average of 3.05. They relinquish 3.11 goals a game placing them 20th. It’s the power play that has really struggled with key players being hurt. They are 31st in the man-advantage with just an 11.1 percent success rate. Their penalty kill is 17th with an 80.8 rate. It’s quite amazing they are above the .500 mark with such a limited roster.
The Nashville Predators are sitting fourth in the Central Division with a 10-7-1 record. They have gone 6-3-1 in their last 10 games. The Preds are led by the rejuvenated Matt Duchene who has potted 12 goals and seven assists in 18 games. Following him is Mikael Granlund with four goals and 15 assists. They score 2.72 goals a game and give up 2.78 per game. The Preds power play is excellent with a 28.6 percent success rate. Their penalty kill rates 22nd with a 78.7 percent rate.
Prediction: Predators take this one 4-2
Anaheim Ducks vs Colorado Avalanche
Head-to-Head: Ducks 0 – 0 Avalanche
The Anaheim Ducks have got to be one of the pleasant surprises of this young 2021-22 season. They stand third in the Pacific Division with a 10-6-3 record. They recently enjoyed an eight-game winning streak, but have dropped two straight since then. The story in Anaheim has to be young Troy Terry. He has scored 12 goals already with 10 assists. Terry is shooting at an amazing 27.3 percent accuracy. Then, there’s 36-year-old Ryan Getzlaf who has 19 points with just one goal. That dynamic duo can carry an offence. To have a player like Terry be tied with Connor McDavid in goals is beyond unexpected.
The Colorado Avalanche have finally begun playing like a team favoured to go all the way this season. After a less than impressive 4-5-1 start, they rolled off five straight wins and are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games. Nazem Kadri has gone absolutely berserk with six goals and 17 assists in just 15 games. Newly acquired netminder Darcy Kuemper has picked up his stats. He has a 9-4 record and a .906 save percentage. His goals-against average is coming down and stands at 2.79. The Avs really miss their captain, Nathan MacKinnon, who is out with an injury. The injury bug has disabled the team, but they are stepping up and winning games again.
Prediction: Av’s take it 4-3 in OT
New York Rangers vs New York Islanders
Head-to-Head: Rangers 0 – 0 Islanders
The battle of New York begins with this contest. The Rangers are 11-4-3 and sit third in the Metro with 25 points. The Rangers are 6-2-2 in their last 10 games. They are led by Artemi Panarin with four goals and 15 assists. Then, the fine young defenceman Adam Fox is next with four goals and 14 assists. Chris Kreider has turned on the red goal light 13 times already this season. In goal, Igor Shesterkin has a fine 9-3-2 record carrying a .931 save percentage and a 2.33 goals-against average.
New York Islanders
The Islanders are struggling. They are just 5-8-2 and have lost six straight. You know Lou Lamoriello hates losing, so you can expect some changes hitting them really soon. To make matters worse, they’ve dropped the first two games in their new UBS arena. Not too many wins will come about when a team gives up 3.07 goals a game and can only score 2.07 a game. The Isles power play is really quite powerless with just a 12.2 percent success rate. If they don’t find some offence soon, the chances of getting to the postseason will disappear in a New York minute.
Prediction: The Rangers will extend the Isles misery, 6-2