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NHL Predictions: December 10th Including Pittsburgh Penguins vs Washington Capitals

Pittsburgh Penguins vs Washington Capitals

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 Pittsburgh Penguins vs Washington Capitals.

NHL Predictions with Pittsburgh Penguins vs Washington Capitals

New York Rangers vs Buffalo Sabres

Head-to-Head: Rangers 1 – 0 Sabres

The last meeting between these two teams was on November 21st. The Rangers scored with 0.7 seconds remaining in the third period to beat the Sabres 5-4.

Since then, the Rangers and Artemi Panarin have been surging. They have won seven of their past 8 games, a span in which Panarin has accumulated 15 points. Five of those wins belong to starting goaltender Igor Shesterkin, who will likely be out for this one as he continues to nurse a lower-body injury. Alexandar Georgiev, who has played better of late, should take the cage tonight.

The Sabres are having some goaltending issues of their own. With highly touted prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen starting the last game, Buffalo has now used five goalies this season in just 25 games. Both Craig Anderson and Dustin Tokarski are unavailable for tonight, so the Sabres will be looking for their first win from one of Luukkonen, Malcolm Subban or Aaron Dell. Regardless of who it is, earning it will be a tall task against an offensively potent Rangers’ squad.

Prediction: Rangers win 6-3

Nashville Predators vs New Jersey Devils

Head-to-Head: Predators 1 – 0 Devils

The Predators and Devils come into tonight’s game in similar positions in their respective divisional standings. Both teams are and will likely continue to be on the bubble to make the postseason.

Nashville is coming off a game last night against the New York Islanders. Travel won’t be an issue, but they will be playing their third road game in four nights. Unlike past years, the top players for the Preds have been producing consistently. Mikael Granlund, Filip Forsberg, Matt Duchene, Ryan Johansen and captain Roman Josi are all either over, at or near a point per game pace.

The Devils, on the other hand, are playing their third of a three-game homestand. Last game, they blanked the free-falling Philadelphia Flyers thanks to the stellar play of Mackenzie Blackwood, who picked up his second shutout of the season. He holds a 5-3-3 record with a 2.81 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage this season. Blackwood, along with their hottest forward Jesper Bratt (11 points in his last nine games) will look to pick up back-to-back wins for the first time since November 11.

Prediction: Devils win 4-2

Pittsburgh Penguins vs Washington Capitals

Head-to-Head: Penguins 0 – 1 Capitals

 Both the Penguins and the Capitals enter action tonight with a 7-2-1 record in the past 10 games.

These bitter rivals have had one prior meeting this season. Like tonight, it was also at Capital One Arena. The Capitals crushed the Penguins 6-1. The lone goal scorer for the Pens in that game was Jake Guentzel, who was recently deemed week-to-week with a lower-body injury. It’s an unfortunate injury, as Guentzel currently holds the longest active point streak in the NHL at 13 games. Over that span, he’s accumulated 19 points. The injury forced Head Coach Mike Sullivan to shuffle up his lines. Kasperi Kapanen, who has 14 points this season, will join Evan Rodrigues and Sidney Crosby on the top line.

As always, the focus when these two sides meet is Sidney Crosby vs Alex Ovechkin. Crosby has 28 goals and 52 assists for 80 points in 61 career games against the Capitals. Ovechkin has 36 goals and 30 assists for 66 points in 66 games against the Penguins.

Ovi’s impressive season is well documented. He sits third in the league scoring 41 points in 26 games. When you’re putting up these kinds of numbers at 36-years-old, you cast a pretty large shadow. One of those players out of the limelight has been Evgeny Kuznetsov. He has 28 points in 26 games this season. Kuznetsov is a question mark for tonight after leaving practice yesterday with a lower-body injury.

Prediction: Capitals win 4-3 in overtime

Main Photo:
Embed from Getty Images


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