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 New York Rangers.
NHL Predictions with Colorado Avalanche vs New York Rangers
Colorado Avalanche vs New York Rangers
Head-to-Head: Avalanche 0 – 0 Rangers
It’s the first of two meetings within a week for the two teams. Colorado has a great offence with 91 goals, which is second-best in the league prior to Tuesday. Defenceman Cale Makar leads the team in goals with 11 while Nazem Kadri is off to a hot start with 31 points. Goals allowed have been a problem as they’ve given up 76th for 24th in the league.
The Rangers may have to go with the untested Adam Huska due to them playing back-to-back games. Keith Kinkaid was still in COVID protocol and Alexandar Georgiev started Tuesday against the Chicago Blackhawks. New York has been red-hot going into Tuesday’s games and Chris Kreider (16 goals) and Adam Fox (25 points) have been part of it.
Colorado’s defensive struggles are known, but the unknown about the Rangers goalie. It’s a lot to ask an untested player like Huska or someone coming off a back-to-back like Georgiev to start.
Prediction: Avalanche win 5-3.
Philadelphia Flyers vs New Jersey Devils
Head-to-Head: Flyers 0-1 Devils
This is the second of three matchups this season between the Metro Division teams. The Devils downed the Flyers 5-2 thanks to two goals and two assists by Andreas Johnsson. Philadelphia is riding the struggle bus with nine straight losses. It will be the first game for the Flyers under interim coach Mike Yeo after Alain Vigneault got fired. Philly is in the bottom half of goals (56) and goals allowed (77).
New Jersey is also riding a four-game losing streak with the last win coming against Philadelphia. The Devils have given up over five goals per game and scored just over two during this slide.
Someone does have to win this game and it’ll be hard to see how the Flyers will react to new leadership.
Prediction: Devils win 3-2.
Boston Bruins vs Vancouver Canucks
Head-to-Head: Bruins 1-0 Canucks
Boston rallied in the previous meeting to beat back Vancouver, 3-2. David Pastrnak‘s late power-play goal and Linus Ullmark made 36 saves to get the victory. The Bruins have lost three of their last five games. Brad Marchand leads the team in goals, but his last goal came against the Canucks on Nov. 28.
Bruce Boudreau is now at the helm in Vancouver and it responded with a 4-0 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Fantasy players may want to be aware that Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser and Quinn Hughes will get more opportunities. Boudreau loves riding his top offensive players and playing an up-tempo game. It will test Boston’s steady defence and likely put shots on either Ullmark or Jeremy Swayman.
Boston does have a solid defence and that should carry them through in an important game to stay close in the Wild Card standings.
Prediction: Bruins win 3-2.
Dallas Stars vs Vegas Golden Knights
Head-to-Head: Stars 0-1 Golden Knights
The Stars come in with a torrid seven-game winning streak. Dallas’ defence has been stingy in its last five with a goals-against of under two. Braden Holtby and Jake Oettinger seem to be the goaltending combination going forward for the Stars. The Stars may be 23rd in goals for with 23, but they’re fifth in goals allowed with 58. Dallas also has an effective power play with a 26.2 percent success rate that’s good enough for fourth in the NHL.
Vegas did win the first meeting of the season in overtime thanks to Evgenii Dadonov sealing the 3-2 win. The Golden Knights have victories in three of their last five games. Vegas is seventh in goals for with 80 scored this season. Reilly Smith leads the way in goals for the club with 10.
Whoever scores first may likely dictate things. Vegas has been better at home as of late.
Prediction: Golden Knights win 4-2.