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 Los Angeles Kings. Be sure to check out our other set of predictions, as well.
NHL Predictions with Pittsburgh Penguins vs Los Angeles Kings
Seattle Kraken vs St. Louis Blues
Head-to-Head: Kraken 0-0 Blues
It’s the inaugural meeting between the two clubs in the Arch City. Seattle is coming off a 5-2 loss to the Dallas Stars on Wednesday night. Chris Driedger likely draws the start with it being back-to-back games. The Kraken are last in the league in goals allowed with 130 and 23rd in goal for with 97.
St. Louis has wins in four of its last five, but has been off since Jan. 9. Jordan Binnington likely gets the start with all that time off. The Blues leading goalscorer is Jordan Kyrou with 14 goals in his breakout campaign. Seattle should be worried if they go shorthanded because the St. Louis power play is second in the league.
The Blues are rested and in the hunt in the Central. A main concern could be rust, but they should overcome it.
Prediction: Blues win 5-1.
Buffalo Sabres vs Nashville Predators
Head-to-Head: Sabres 0-0 Predators
Another year and another bad season for the Sabres. Buffalo likely starts Aaron Dell in net after the constant struggles with injuries in net. The Sabres are in the bottom-half of the league in goals allowed (28th) and goals for (25th).
Nashville continues to play well despite injuries and constant lineup shuffles. Juuse Saros may start, but it could be a chance to give backup David Rittich a game in net. The Predators are 3-1 in the last four against the Sabres.
The struggles in goal for Buffalo are too large to ignore as the main concern should be if Nashville covers the over/under or spread.
Prediction: Predators win 4-2.
Montreal Canadiens vs. Chicago Blackhawks
Head-to-Head: Blackhawks 1-0 Canadiens
The Habs will be face with plenty of back-to-back games after having so many moved so far in the 2021-22 campaign Samuel Montembeault likely draws the starting assignment with the 5-1 loss to the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night. Montreal is last in power play and second-last in goals for and goals against.
Chicago has won two straight after a three-game losing skid. The Blackhawks are just looking for some sort of consistency this season. Marc-Andre Fleury probably gets the start for Chicago, which is also in the lower part of the league in most categories.
Montreal is hoping all of this leads to getting a high draft pick. Chicago is still trying to figure out if they’re in or out of the post-season race.
Prediction: Blackhawks win 3-2.
Ottawa Senators vs. Calgary Flames
Head-to-Head: Senators 0-1 Flames
It’s the first game for Ottawa since New Year’s Day when it got blown out by Toronto, 6-0. Keep an eye on how the Senators look early to get a read on the betting line. Will Ottawa be rusty or will it have extra jump in its step?
Calgary has lost three straight and also hasn’t played since Jan. 7. This is a team in need of a win and might be going all in at the deadline to ensure a long Stanley Cup Playoff run.
It’s going to be interesting to see which team gets out to an early lead. Don’t be surprised with extremes of zero offence or a wild shootout.
Prediction: Flames win 2-1.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs Los Angeles Kings
Head-to-Head: Penguins 0-0 Kings
Our feature game has two teams that have won four of their last five. Pittsburgh welcomed Evgeni Malkin back to the lineup with a 4-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks. The Pens get a lot of headlines for their offence with Jake Guentzel, Sidney Crosby and Malkin. However, their penalty kill is at the top of the league with 90.7 kill rate.
Los Angeles is third in the wild and weird Pacific Division and got a key 3-1 win over the New York Rangers in its last game. Jonathan Quick has returned to form that made him a dangerous goalie last decade with a .921 save percentage.
This will be a tight one and the under may be the play at 5.5. Pittsburgh gets just enough to win this one.
Prediction: Penguins win 3-2.
New York Rangers vs San Jose Sharks
Head-to-Head: Rangers 1-0 Sharks
New York is continuing its West Coast road trip with a game they need to get points for. The Rangers got 1-0 win in the other meeting thanks a Ryan Strome power play goal. Alexandar Georgiev could get a start to give Igor Shesterkin a break. New York does have Ryan Reaves, Barclay Goodrow and Dryden Hunt in COVID protocol at this time.
San Jose earned an overtime win against the Detroit Red Wings last time out. They’ve won three of the last five like the Rangers have. Adin Hill could get the call in net as the Sharks look to make it four in a row.
New York did get Artemi Panarin back last game and that should help them get the road wim.
Prediction: Rangers win 4-2.