NHL Predictions: Dec 12th with Florida Panthers vs Colorado Avalanche

Florida Panthers vs Colorado Avalanche
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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 Florida Panthers vs Colorado Avalanche.

NHL Predictions: December 12th including Florida Panthers vs Colorado Avalanche

Anaheim Ducks vs St Louis Blues

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

This matchup could have been the game of the night, but with John Gibson getting the nod yesterday against the Penguins, Anthony Stolarz will be in between the pipes. That is not too slight Stolarz, but Gibson is the clear number one.

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What that being said, Stolarz has been a reliable enough backup this season. In seven starts he has gone 4-2-1 with a 2.42 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage. He has also managed to snag two shutouts this season. Stolarz will, however, have his work cut out for him against the Blues. In their last 10 games, the Blues have been cranking out 3.39 goals per game.

Prediction: St Louis wins 4-3

Nashville Predators vs New York Rangers

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

While this matchup didn’t get picked as the featured game of the day, it certainly is one to watch. Both of these teams have been on a roll as of late. In the last 10 games, the Predators have gone 7-3-0 and are currently on a four-game winning streak while New York is 8-2-0 in the same time span.

For Nashville, they are getting stellar play from the likes of Roman Josi and Mikael Granlund, who both have 27 points in 27 games. On top of that, they have Matt Duchene, Ryan Johansen, and Filip Forsberg on an almost point-per-game pace as well.

For the Rangers, the usual suspects are leading the way in points. Artemi Panarin has 32 points in 26 games and Adam Fox has 29 in 26. They are also getting Vezina Trophy level play from Igor Shesterkin, who currently has a 13-3-2 record with a .937 save percentage and a 2.05 goals-against average.

Prediction: New York wins 4-3

Minnesota Wild vs Vegas Golden Knights

Head-to-Head: Minnesota 0-1 Vegas

Both of these teams have been playing relatively well this season in regards to expectations. One far more so than the other.

Minnesota is currently 19-6-1 on the season, including going 8-1-1 in their last 10 thanks to an eight-game winning streak. The streak of fantastic performances is on the back of Kirill Kaprizov, who has 32 points in 26 games, and goaltender Cam Talbot (15-5-0, .920 save percentage, 2.59 goals-against average).

For Vegas, they have played relatively well, especially considering they sent their Vezina Trophy-winning goalie Marc-Andre Fleury to Chicago prior to the season starting. They have not gotten very good goaltending this season, and have often been hit by injuries, so their 15-11-0 record is better than it could be.

Prediction: Minnesota wins 4-2

Carolina Hurricanes vs Vancouver Canucks

Head-to-Head: Carolina 0-0 Vancouver

This matchup is certainly the most straightforward of the evening. Carolina is one of the best teams in the NHL this season and the Canucks are not. Even despite their current three-game winning streak, Vancouver is going to find it very tough to get a point from this game.

Prediction: Carolina wins 4-2

Florida Panthers vs Colorado Avalanche

Head-to-Head: Florida 1-0 Colorado

For the featured matchup of the day, it is the Florida Panthers vs Colorado Avalanche. There is plenty to dissect in this game that could make for quite the matchup.

The first talking point is goaltending, and both have fantastic goalies to boot. For the Panthers, Sergei Bobrovsky has turned the clock back and is looking like a Vezina-level goalie again. He has a 12-1-2 record to go with his .922 save percentage and a 2.32 goals-against average. On the other end of the ice is Darcy Kuemper. Kuemper hasn’t been nearly as impressive this season but seems to be working in the right direction. Despite his .904 save percentage, he is still sporting a respectable 11-5-0 record.

Offensively, the Avalanche have an astounding six players performing at over a point-per-game pace. It is hard to pinpoint anyone who will make the difference, but Cale Makar and Nazem Kadri are the ones to watch. For Florida, the usual suspects of Jonathan Huberdeau and Aaron Ekblad are leading the way, but watch out for Sam Reinhart. Reinhart has 20 points in 26 games this season, with four of those goals coming from the last 10 games.

At the end of the day, the biggest difference in this game will be what goaltender will show up.

Prediction: Avalanche win 5-3

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