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 Florida Panthers vs Calgary Flames.
NHL Predictions: January 18th including Florida Panthers vs Calgary Flames
Vancouver Canucks vs Nashville Predators
Head-to-Head: Canucks 0-1 Predators
At the beginning of the season, this one looked to be a write-off, with Nashville being the heavy favorite. That no longer seems to be the case.
It’s hard to deny the positive effect that Bruce Boudreau has had on the Canucks since joining. Vancouver looks like a revitalized team and is getting efficient play from all of their forwards. They have been on a tough stretch of games as of late, facing four of the top seven teams in the NHL. Despite losing three in a row, they have done themselves plenty of justice.
This game is seeing two All Star goaltenders in Thatcher Demko and Juuse Saros square off. Neither of these goaltenders has had fantastic shot suppression in front of them this season, but they have performed admirably nonetheless.
Prediction: Predators win 3-2
Montreal Canadiens vs Dallas Stars
Head-to-Head: Canadiens 0-0 Stars
This game is really as easy as it could get to predict. The Canadiens have been nothing short of atrocious this season, going 7-25-5 and being bottom five in virtually every statistical category. While the Stars haven’t exactly looked like Stanley Cup contenders, it is hard to see them slipping up against arguably the worst team in the league.
Prediction: Stars win 4-1
Tampa Bay Lightning vs Los Angeles Kings
Head-to-Head: Lightning 1-0 Kings
While most would assume that the Lightning would be the favorite in this one, this could make for a good banana peel for the Floridians. Los Angeles is no slack team this season and has relied heavily on their goaltending tandem of Cal Peterson and Jonathan Quick, as well as the scoring abilities of veteran Anze Kopitar.
In the last 10 games, both of these teams has looked like a playoff team. Unsurprisingly, Tampa Bay has picked up where they have left off the last two seasons. They have gone 6-3-1 in the last 10 and 26-9-5 on the season. As for the Kings, a 7-3-0 record in their last 10 has bolstered their surprising season to a 20-14-5 record.
Prediction: Lightning win 3-2
Florida Panthers vs Calgary Flames
Head-to-Head: Panthers 1-0 Flames
For the featured matchup of the season, the Panthers look to keep their hot streak going against the Calgary Flames. The Panthers don’t look like they have any plans to stop scoring anytime soon, something that should be giving Jacob Markstrom serious nightmares leading up to this game.
While the Flames have looked to be a very good team this season and should be well on their way to the playoffs, it is nearly impossible to pick against the Panthers at the moment. When a team is averaging 4.13 GF/GP on the season and has scored 41 goals in their last seven games, you pick them to win nearly every chance you can.
Prediction: Panthers win 6-3