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 Vegas Golden Knights vs New York Rangers
NHL Predictions with Vegas Golden Knights vs New York Rangers
Vegas Golden Knights vs New York Rangers
Head-to-Head: Golden Knights 0 – 0 Rangers
The Vegas Golden Knights vs New York Rangers is our featured game of the night as well as the first game to start this evening. The Golden Knights played last night in New Jersey so no doubt they will be a little tired. However, they are still a very solid team and working their way up the Pacific Division standings. They started a little slowly largely due to injuries, however, have been starting to roll lately as they get bodies back. Obviously, Jack Eichel is still a massive name that will be back eventually, but for tonight the Knights will be focusing on banking some more points.
That job won’t be easy though as the Rangers have been one of the best teams in the league so far. Sitting atop of the Metro currently, the Rangers have had a great season. However, as mentioned before, they haven’t been controlling play compared to other top teams. This will make things a very interesting matchup. Laurent Brossoit will likely start for Vegas as Robin Lehner played last night. Look for a solid Rangers offence to take advantage of this.
Prediction: Rangers take it 3-2.
Buffalo Sabres vs Pittsburgh Penguins
Head-to-Head: Sabres 1 – 0 Penguins
This is a tale of two teams going opposite ways. The Sabres started the year surprisingly hot, staying near the top of the division for a bit. However, they have slipped as of late, going 2-6-2 in their last 10. This is what most expected when they traded away the previously mentioned Eichel. It was clear they were in for another long year and that is starting to take shape.
The Penguins, however, are finally starting to get going. They have been crippled with injuries all year but are still very much in the race. With no Evgeni Malkin and a very limited Sidney Crosby, you would assume this team would be sunk. However, they have stayed afloat and now look to push. A breakout season from Evan Rodrigues has gone a long way for that.
Prediction: Penguins win 5-2.
Dallas Stars vs St. Louis Blues
Head-to-Head: Stars 0 – 2 Blues
The Dallas Stars have lost twice to the Blues this season, both being 4-1 games. One of those losses came Tuesday night as these two teams look to meet again. The Stars started very slowly this season but have worked their way over .500 again recently. It was announced Ben Bishop is done playing hockey and 2020 bubble hero Anton Khudobin was waived this past week, meaning their goaltending duo is set now. Look for a bounce-back game tonight.
The Blues have had a solid year, pretty quietly sitting near the top of the Central Division. They don’t look as dominant as their late 2019 form, however, they are a team you would like to avoid on any given night. Picking up Pavel Buchnevich and keeping Vladimir Tarasenko this offseason has worked well. This should be a close game all around.
Prediction: Stars win 4-3 in Overtime.
Washington Capitals vs Winnipeg Jets
Head-to-Head: Capitals 0 – 0 Jets
The Capitals travel to Winnipeg, one of the few places in Canada still committing to full capacity for now. On the ice, the Capitals look to take the momentum of Nicklas Backstrom being back in the lineup and go with it. Alex Ovechkin is having a monster season and it will be interesting to watch this offence play Connor Hellebuyck.
The Jets have struggled compared to expectations this season. After revamping the defence this offseason they still face issues. As well, the forwards aren’t all living up to their expectations either. Currently, in fifth in their division, the Jets need to turn things around quickly. Dallas is close on their heels and there is no guarantee two playoff spots are both from the Central.
Prediction: Jets win 3-1.
Nashville Predators vs Chicago Blackhawks
Predators 0 – 1 Blackhawks
Speaking of Central teams, here are two more to round it all out. The Predators are having a decent year in large thanks to Juuse Saros and a throwback year from Matt Duchene. The Predators are right around the Jets for that wild card slot and will need to bank every point they can to keep competing for it.
The Blackhawks have been much better since their coaching change and even won for Marc-Andre Fleury and his career night. They are approaching a .500 record in points but aren’t quite there yet. A win tonight would put them two under, which is way closer than just about anyone would have expected three weeks in.
Prediction: Blackhawks win 4-2.
Arizona Coyotes vs Anaheim Ducks
Head-to-Head: Coyotes 0 – 1 Ducks
There isn’t a ton to talk about here. The Coyotes are one of the worst teams in the league and they wanted to be that way. It is no surprise they are this bad as they are in an open tank and rebuild. However, the players still have passion as even Phil Kessel dropped the gloves against the Rangers the other night.
Anaheim has been a nice surprise this season and actually sits first in the Pacific right now. Not something most would have guessed in the middle of December. However, they are showing to be a team with a nice mix of youth and experience that can win in different ways.
Prediction: Ducks win 5-2.