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 Colorado Avalanche vs Philadelphia Flyers.
NHL Predictions with Colorado Avalanche vs Philadelphia Flyers
Ottawa Senators vs New Jersey Devils
Head-to-Head: Senators 0 – 0 Devils
The Ottawa Senators enter tonight’s matchup on a two-game winning streak, a rarity for them this season. Both wins came against quality opponents as well, with victories against the Colorado Avalanche and the Carolina Hurricanes. It’s a little bit of momentum for a bottom-dwelling, rebuilding team that could desperately use some.
The New Jersey Devils find themselves in the opposite situation. They’ve given up 18 goals in the last three games, accumulating a three-game losing streak in the process. That streak reached an exclamation point on Friday night, when the Devils lost to the Winnipeg Jets 8-4, in a game where they were actually winning 4-3 at one point.
One thing that is similar between these two teams is that they both give up a lot of goals, and each team has below-average goaltending. That should lead to a high-scoring affair tonight if nothing else. Andreas Johnsson has been on a bit of a hot streak as of late for the Devils with seven points in his last five games. That might just be enough to nudge the Devils past the Senators.
Prediction: Devils win 5-4
Anaheim Ducks vs Washington Capitals
Head-to-Head: Ducks 1 – 0 Capitals
Just a couple of weeks ago, the Washington Capitals visited the Anaheim Ducks in southern California. Surprisingly, the Ducks walked away with a 3-2 win. Since then, the Ducks have actually held their own in the Pacific Division and currently sit in the third spot. The Capitals were a big test and the Ducks continued to prove in that game that this streak of good play is not a smoke and mirrors act. They’ll face an equally tough task this evening.
Yes, the Ducks have held their own since that 3-2 win, but the Capitals have been just as good in their own right. They’ve elevated their game, going 6-2-2 in their last 10 and snapping up first place in the Metropolitan Division from the Hurricanes in the process. During that time, Alex Ovechkin scored his 750th goal in a net-filling flurry that seems to be gaining momentum with each passing game.
To date, the Capitals still only have one regulation loss at home, showing what a tough out they can be with the matchup advantage. That is likely to cause a fit for Anaheim, who are an underwhelming 4-4-2 on the road. That’ll be the difference in this one.
Prediction: Capitals win 4-2
Arizona Coyotes vs Dallas Stars
Head-to-Head: Coyotes 0 – 1 Stars
The Dallas Stars are one of the hottest teams in hockey with a six-game winning streak. That’s more wins than the Arizona Coyotes have -n the entire season. The Coyotes remain the league’s punching bag with only five wins and a monumental minus 46 goal differential.
Arizona has given up 12 goals in their last two games, which will be welcome news for Joe Pavelski who has nine points in his last five. He should be able to pick up at least a couple more tonight and maybe climb to a point per game total on the season.
Prediction: Stars win 5-2
Pittsburgh Penguins vs Seattle Kraken
Head-to-Head: Penguins 0 – 0 Kraken
Early in the season, the Seattle Kraken looked like a genuine expansion team, which resulted in very few wins. This was despite the fact that the team had good underlying numbers. The key was a disastrous team save percentage that was sinking them quicker than they could bail the water out. Recently, Seattle’s goaltending has started to improve ever so slightly. That’s helped give the team a 5-4-1 record in their last 10. It’s not much, but it’s a start to a climb out of the basement of the Pacific. Suddenly, the Kraken no longer look like that easy of an out.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have been in a dog fight all year. They’ve been dealt numerous unfortunate hands this year between covid and injuries. Despite that, they’ve persisted and remain firmly in the Eastern Conference playoff mix. Sidney Crosby recently made his return to the lineup and now has nine points in his last five games. He’ll be a huge boost to the team’s chances as the season progress, especially if he can keep up this rate of production. Tristan Jarry remains excellent for Pittsburgh and he very well might be the toughest test for Seattle, who are still without Jordan Eberle.
The Kraken have been better as of late, but Crosby and Jarry give Pittsburgh the advantage on the scoresheet and in the blue paint.
Prediction: Penguins win 3-2 in OT
Los Angeles Kings vs Vancouver Canucks
Head-to-Head: Kings 0 – 0 Canucks
The Bruce Boudreau era begins in British Columbia. After a poor season last year, and an even worse start to this season, Travis Green’s days in Vancouver. In his place, veteran coach Bruce Boudreau steps in. The Canucks are hoping that his experience and… intensity… will be enough to cattle prod this team back into respectability.
They’ll get as good of a chance as any to get off to a good start with the Los Angeles Kings in town. After a hot start to the season, the Kings haven’t been very good as of late. Prior to their game against the Edmonton Oilers, the Kings were 3-4-3 in their last 10, with an offence sinking to one of the worst groups in the league, and a defence that just hasn’t been able to keep up. They’ll be on the second half of a back-to-back this evening.
One thing that will be worth monitoring with Vancouver’s coaching change is the performance of Elias Pettersson. By his standards, this season has been poor. A new coach may just be what he needs to get his game revived.
Prediction: Canucks win 3-1
Colorado Avalanche vs Philadelphia Flyers
Head-to-Head: Avalanche 0 – 0 Flyers
The Colorado Avalanche’s last 10 games: 7-2-1
The Philadelphia Flyers’ last 10 games: 1-7-2
One of these things is not like the other. In Colorado, everything is humming. Gabriel Landeskog is producing, Nathan MacKinnon is dishing out apples like a pie dispensary, and Cale Makar continues to look phenomenal. It’s scary to think how good this team could be with even a tad bit better goaltending.
Things are pretty scary in Philadelphia too, but not in a good way. They are rapidly plummeting out of the playoff race and once again causing their fans to scream for change. Those calls may have a bit more juice this time, as this was a year when Philadelphia was supposed to take a step. Their offseason was full of bold moves, but they haven’t made any difference. This is quickly evaporating into yet another lost season for the Flyers.
As a result, this matchup couldn’t come at a worse time for Philadelphia. The Avalanche tend to give up a few more goals than they’d like, but based on recent play, it won’t matter. This Avalanche team is far superior and this one could get out of hand early.
Prediction: Avalanche win 7-2