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 Minnesota Wild vs Colorado Avalanche.
NHL Predictions With Minnesota Wild vs Colorado Avalanche
Detroit Red Wings vs Buffalo Sabres
Head-to-Head: Red Wings 3 – 0 Sabres
Though the Buffalo Sabres sit just a single spot behind the Detroit Red Wings in the Atlantic Division, the teams are separated by 11 standings points. In their last meeting two days ago, Detroit’s Alex Nedeljkovic put up a 22-save shutout, while Lucas Raymond added a goal and assist for a 4-0 Red Wings win. Currently, the Sabres are struggling with goaltending. With Craig Anderson, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, Dustin Tokarski, and Malcolm Subban out, they have had to rely on Aaron Dell and Michael Houser in net. Dell averages a .889 save percentage, while Houser has yet to play a game this season. This game should be another decisive win for the Red Wings.
Prediction: Red Wings win, 4-1
Minnesota Wild vs Colorado Avalanche
Head-to-Head: Wild 0 – 1 Avalanche
Since a disappointing loss to the St. Louis Blues at the Winter Classic, the Minnesota Wild have regained their footing. The Wild enter tonight’s contest on a three-game win streak, including a shootout victory over the Washington Capitals. For their part, the Colorado Avalanche are first in the Central Division, coming in with two consecutive wins of their own.
Minnesota’s Mats Zuccarello has had points in his last five games – three goals and five assists. Even more impressively, Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog currently holds a 15-game point streak, with eight goals and 14 assists in that stretch. For the Wild, Matt Boldy has been producing at a point-per-game pace in his first three NHL games. Colorado’s Cale Makar has 36 points and 38 blocks through 31 contests.
Both the Wild and the Avalanche are talented, competitive teams. However, given Colorado’s record of defeating even better opponents than Minnesota, bet on an Avalanche win tonight.
Prediction: Avalanche win, 6-4
Montreal Canadiens vs Arizona Coyotes
Head-to-Head: Canadiens 0 – 0 Coyotes
Tonight, the Montreal Canadiens and Arizona Coyotes will clash in the battle for the NHL’s basement. Both teams sit at the very bottoms of their respective divisions, with neither having more than 10 wins. On Montreal’s end, the absence of Jake Allen will complicate the goalie situation. Sam Montembeault came in after Allen’s injury and got the start against the Chicago Blackhawks a day later. This may force the Canadiens to go with Cayden Primeau, who has only played three games this season. For the Coyotes, a quick bounce-back will be necessary after a 5-0 smashing from the Avalanche. Clayton Keller and Phil Kessel both have four points in their last five games. Though neither team looks good at the moment, the Coyotes may have a slight edge.
Prediction: Coyotes win, 2-1
Los Angeles Kings vs San Jose Sharks
Head-to-Head: Kings 0 – 0 Sharks
The Los Angeles Kings have sneaked into the top of the Pacific Division, with a four-game win streak under their belts. In contrast, the San Jose Sharks have lost their last two contests. For the Kings, Anze Kopitar has been heating up. He has two goals and three assists in his three most recent games. Cal Petersen has been excellent in net, recording wins with above .944 save percentages in his last three starts. On the other hand, Timo Meier has five points through five games for the Sharks. Note that San Jose’s latest loss was in overtime to the Pittsburgh Penguins – a formidable opponent. The Sharks will likely be able to keep the score close, but ultimately this one should go the Kings’ way.
Prediction: Kings win, 3-2
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