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 Washington Capitals vs Florida Panthers.
NHL Predictions With Washington Capitals vs Florida Panthers
San Jose Sharks vs New Jersey Devils
Head-to-Head: Sharks 0 – 1 Devils
This game is a tough one to pick. Both teams have shown the ability to take down the top teams of the NHL but also falter immensely against lower-tiered clubs. Both the Sharks and Devils sit about .500 on the year and have been trading wins and losses with their opponents regularly. Now in a situation like this, we are usually more inclined to side with the team that is hosting a team that has to travel multiple time zones for a game. But that method of thinking hasn’t proven to be consistent this year.
The Sharks are being led by forward, Timo Meier, who has picked up his point pace since returning from injury earlier this month. Timo has feasted on teams that are in the middle of the pack and no reason won’t continue tonight. The Devils haven’t had quite the level of consistent goaltending as they had hoped. Sharks look poised to feast on the Devils in this one.
Prediction: Sharks win 3-2
Detroit Red Wings vs Boston Bruins
Head-to-Head: Red Wings 0 – 1 Bruins
On the eve of Player Safety coming down on the Bruins’ Brad Marchand for a slew foot, the Red Wings now have a new sense of hope coming into TD Garden. Boston’s leading scorer will miss three games and his absence leave a gaping hole to fill on the top line. It’s not confirmed yet, but Taylor Hall may get the bump up to the first line with Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak. The Bruins are a top-heavy team and will need to look for some depth scoring in this one.
The Red Wings have only one win on the road since October 27. Their last road win came against Buffalo on November 6th but has been 0-4 since. The last time they were in Boston they were run out of the building after the Bruins whipped them 5-1. Not many things are pointing towards Detroit to win this one but they are getting better goaltending out of Alex Nedeljkovic. Detroit should keep this game much closer than 5-1 and could probably eke out a win.
Prediction: Red Wings win 4-3 in OT
Washington Capitals vs Florida Panthers
Head-to-Head: Capitals 1 – 1 Panthers
It’s been an even split so far in the season series between these two clubs. Both games have been decided by one goal: a 5-4 OT win for Florida in Florida, and a 4-3 victory for Washington in Washington. So now we are tasked with the difficult job of picking a victor in the third meeting between these two titans of hockey.
Not much separates the Capitals and the Panthers. There is a lot of offensive power up front, and both clubs are anchored by solid goaltending. The Panthers had an opportunity to set an NHL record for most home wins to start a season, with 12 straight but were foiled by the Seattle Kraken 4-1. Florida is now staring down the barrel of a three-game losing streak for just the second time this year. The ‘Cats will rely on their immense depth to pull them out of this mini-slump sooner rather than later.
But it won’t be an easy task for the team out of South Florida. Alex Ovechkin is a man on a mission. The Great 8 is on the “Great Chase” for Wayne Gretzky’s goal record. And that extra motivation has Ovechkin on pace to have a career year at the ripe old age of 36. It’s truly remarkable what we are witnessing. So sit back and enjoy the ride. This game is must-watch hockey. Expecting another close one here.
Prediction: Florida wins 4-3 in OT
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