NHL Predictions: January 4th with New Jersey Devils vs Boston Bruins

New Jersey Devils vs Boston Bruins
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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 New Jersey Devils vs Boston Bruins. Be sure to check out our late predictions as well.

NHL Predictions with New Jersey Devils vs Boston Bruins

New Jersey Devils vs Boston Bruins

Head-to-Head: Devils 0-1 Bruins

Both teams have come out firing sing the holiday/COVID break. New Jersey has won three straight, including wins over the Edmonton Oilers and Washington Capitals. Nico Hischier scored twice and got the overtime-winner as the Devils overcame the Capitals. Andreas Johnsson lead New Jersey with nine goals while Jesper Bratt has 20 assists and 29 points. The Devils power play does struggle at a 14.4-percent success rate coming into Monday’s games. This will be the second of four games this week for New Jersey.

Boston has won two straight as its hanging onto the last wild card spot. There’s some worry that the aging core may be running out of time to make one last Stanley Cup Playoff run. However, they’ve gotten off to a great start since the break with wins over the Buffalo Sabres and Detroit Red Wings. Brad Marchand leads in both goals (11) and assists (19) for the Bruins. Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman have been sharing time in net.

The two teams have gotten off to a promising start, but the Bruins need to keep pace with a win.

Prediction: Bruins win 4-3.

Calgary Flames vs Florida Panthers

Head-to-Head: Flames 0-0 Panthers

Calgary is coming off a pair of wins after dealing with its COVID outbreak. The Flames offence has tallied 11 goals in those two games since the break and Johnny Gaudreau got three points in the 5-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. The defence is second in goals allowed and rebounded after a shaky outing against the Seattle Kraken. Andrew Mangiapane leads the team in goals with 18 and Jacob Markstrom has been great in net with a .930 save percentage and 1.99 goals-against-average.

The Sam Bennett reunion won’t be happening due to his three-game suspension. Florida has also won three games in a row, including a 9-3 pasting of the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Panthers are averaging six goals per game in those three games since the return from the holidays. Jonathan Huberdeau has put up 30 assists and Sergei Bobrovsky has played like the All-Star netminder that he’s been over the past years.

The over seems like a good play, but the Panthers will have just enough offence to get through.

Prediction: Panthers win 5-4

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Columbus Blue Jackets

Head-to-Head: Lightning 0-0 Blue Jackets

The two-time defending champions have lost three straight, but much of that has to do with COVID. Tampa Bay pretty much looks like the Syracuse Crunch with some exceptions. There’s hope players like Anthony Cirelli could be back soon, but the Lightning will have to patch the lineup together as best as they can.

Columbus is coming off a wild 7-4 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes where they gave up seven straight goals. The Jackets also have goalie Elvis Merzlikins dealing with a lower-body injury. It will be hard to tell how Columbus will react to such a collapse the other night. Both teams have shockingly struggled on special teams.

If you do wager, wait til you see the lineups. A full-strength Tampa will have too much.

Prediction: Lightning win 3-2.

San Jose Sharks vs Detroit Red Wings

Head-to-Head: Sharks 0-0 Red Wings

Both teams have shown improvement from dreadful 2020-21 seasons. They’re also coming off loses in their last game. The Sharks are hoping that Adin Hill can be back from COVID protocol. Timo Meier and Tomas Hertl have been solid on offence this season.

Detroit is doing well despite in the bottom-half of the league in power-play effectiveness, penalty killing, goals for and goals against. Moritz Seider has been playing like a Calder Trophy candidate with 18 assists. Captain Dylan Larkin is tops in goals with 15.

Detroit’s offence needs to get going and San Jose will have just enough to get by.

Prediction: Sharks win 3-2 in a shootout.

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