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 Pittsburgh Penguins.
NHL Predictions with Vegas Golden Knights vs Pittsburgh Penguins
Vegas Golden Knights vs Pittsburgh Penguins
Head-to-Head: Golden Knights 0-0 Penguins
As the Penguins play has been drying up, the Golden Knights have been heating up. The Penguins have immensely struggled to generate any sort of offence the past two games in addition to just atrocious defensive play by all skaters. Luckily they’ve received amazing goaltending from the baker himself, Louis Domingue and Tristan Jarry.
The Golden Knights are deadly offensive even as they still await the debut of Jack Eichel. Vegas dominates on the blue line and net-front when creating offence. Ultimately, if the Penguins get back to the play of their 10 game win streak, this could be an awesome game to tune in to.
The Penguins will need to focus on shutting down the Knights’ first line of William Karlsson, Reilly Smith, and Jonathan Marchessault. This line is deadly, generating offence at an insane rate of over 2.5 goals a game. With this, the Penguins should deploy the line of Teddy Blueger, Brock McGinn, and Zach Aston-Reese. All in all, the Golden Knights suffer defensively so if the Penguins can get Bryan Rust back, the Penguins should be able to steal two points because of their dominant offence.
Penguins win 4-3
Chicago Blackhawks vs Seattle Kraken
Head-to-Head: Blackhawks 1-0 Kraken
After a big win over the Anaheim Ducks and four straight wins, the Blackhawks are getting a sniff of the Western Conference wild-card race. In the standings, they may look out of it but really they’re only seven points out of the second wildcard spot. The most notable win out of the four games was the Vegas game where they won 2-1. The Kraken has nothing going for them with six straight losses. Both these teams are bottom of the league offensively but are sound defensively.
When hearing this you may be confused because of how many goals against they have, it all comes down to their league-worst goaltending in Philipp Grubauer. The Kraken will need to use their defensive ability to defend star Alex Debrincat who’s had a great season with 23 goals up there with All-Stars Auston Matthews and Alex Ovechkin. The Blackhawks should continue their streak with a win over Seattle at Climate Pledge Arena.
Blackhawks win 3-1
Philadelphia Flyers vs New York Islanders
Head-to-Head: Flyers 0-0 Islanders
It’s fair to say both these teams have a very slim chance of getting anywhere near the postseason. It’s easy to see why as both teams are below average offensively and defensively. The one bright spot is their young goaltenders who have managed to steal some wins for each team. The Islanders’ offensive performance can really be summed up by their last 2-0 loss against the Washington Capitals. They don’t generate offence really at all which is why they’ve struggled this season. They’re also towards the bottom of the league defensively. The Flyers are the exact same except even worse than the Islanders.
In conclusion, this will either be a snooze fest or a super tight game as both teams are extremely physical. The Flyers should look to defend versus the Islanders’ first line as they’re the most dominant offensively. The Islanders on the other hand should look to capitalize against the Nick Seeler–Keith Yandle pairing as they’re pretty brutal defensively. This one will be a good game to watch as both goalies will put on a good show with these two mediocre teams. Expect the Islanders to come out on top versus the Flyers abysmal defensive play.
Islanders win 2-0
Nashville Predators vs St Louis Blues
Head-to-Head: Predators 1-0 Blues
Both the Predators and Blues are heavily in the race for a Central Division championship. These two teams are separated by two points with Nashville having a game in hand. After an embarrassing performance by Jordan Binnington against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, the Blues look to play some better defence vs the scorching Predators. The Predators have been surprisingly sound defensively.
The Blues are dangerous at creating offence from the slot so the Predators will look to defend that area of the ice for Vezina and Hart candidate Juuse Saros. The Predators will absolutely need to send out a defensive line vs the Blues young line in Jordan Kyrou, Robert Thomas, and Brandon Saad. If the Predators can shut down the Blues offence with their consistently reliable defensive core while getting a great performance from Saros, they should set themselves up for success.
Predators win 4-2
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