NHL Predictions: Dec 9th with Tampa Bay Lightning vs Toronto Maple Leafs

Tampa Bay Lightning 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 Tampa Bay Lightning vs Toronto Maple Leafs.

NHL Predictions: December 9th with Tampa Bay Lightning vs Toronto Maple Leafs

Anaheim Ducks vs Columbus Blue Jackets

Head-to-Head: Anaheim 0-0 Columbus

While this is not the most prolific matchup for the night, it could still make for a good watch. Especially for those who want to see what Trevor Zegras and Sonny Milano do for an encore. Both Columbus and Anaheim are vastly exceeding expectations this season, albeit for different reasons.

Both teams have been buoyed by solid goaltending from John Gibson and Elvis Merzlikins respectively. On top of that, they also both have a forward performing above what is expected in Troy Terry and Boone Jenner. On paper and in their storylines, they are having extremely similar seasons.

Prediction: Columbus with 3-1

Chicago Blackhawks vs Montreal Canadiens

Head-to-Head: Chicago 0-0 Montreal

Neither of these teams are having great seasons, but bad has different levels to it and this is the perfect game to show just that. Chicago had a franchise historically bad start to the season and Montreal continues to lament in their losing streak.

The difference in this game should, and likely will be the goaltending performances. And with the way that Marc-Andre Fleury has been playing as of late, his performance should get Chicago another win to continue their climb out of the basement.

Prediction: Chicago wins 2-0

 Nashville Predators vs New York Islanders

Head-to-Head: Nashville 1-0 New York

In the second of their two meetings this season, the Predators play host to the Islanders. In the first meeting, Nashville pulled out a 3-2 win and that may just be enough writing on the wall for the game ahead.

Prior to this season, this matchup would have been seen as another two points for what the Islanders. But with how they have played this season and the fact that they are 1-6-3 in their last 10 games, this seems as straightforward as a win could be for Nashville.

Prediction: Nashville wins 3-2

Detroit Red Wings vs St Louis Blues

Head-to-Head: Detroit 1-0 St Louis

Much like the prior matchup, this would have seemed an easy prediction prior to the start of this season.

The Red Wings seem to be making major strides in what is one of the more major rebuilds in recent hockey history. This has been ushered forward by the promising play of the likes of Mortiz Seider and Lucas Raymond, two young players who add a bit of excitement to Hockey Town again.

On the other end of the spectrum is a team that was widely seen as a serious contender. A team that has been relatively average thus far in St Louis. The Blues have been solid offensively this season, but their defensive play has been an anchor. In their last 10 games. In the last 10, they have allowed 2.84 goals per game and have a mid-pack penalty kill (81.9%, 13th).

Prediction: St Louis wins 4-2

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Toronto Maple Leafs

Head-to-Head: Tampa Bay 0-1 Toronto

In the first matchup of their respective seasons, Toronto and Tampa Bay produced a much more defensive game than was expected. Back on November 4th Toronto pulled off a 2-1 win courtesy of goals from William Nylander and John Tavares as Andrei Vasilevskiy saved 32 of 34 shots.

With Tampa Bay having yesterday off, expect Vasilevskiy to get the start again and once again perform admirably. While Toronto has plenty of firepower, the Russian netminder has continued his dominance this season, and this game should be no exception to that.

Prediction: Tampa Bay wins 3-1

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