NHL Predictions: January 18th with Carolina Hurricanes vs Boston Bruins

Carolina Hurricanes 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 Carolina Hurricanes vs Boston Bruins. 

NHL Predictions Featuring Carolina Hurricanes vs Boston Bruins

Carolina Hurricanes vs Boston Bruins

Head-to-Head: Hurricanes 1-0 Bruins

Two of the hottest teams in the Eastern Conference collide tonight in a marquee matchup. The Boston Bruins are riding an impressive five-game winning streak into this game with wins against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, and Nashville Predators in the process. Brad Marchand has simply been outstanding during this stretch with 12 points and eight goals. Add in Taylor Hall who is consistently producing points and strong possession, and suddenly this Bruins team looks like a legitimate threat to any opponent.

The Carolina Hurricanes ran into a little trouble recently against the Florida Panthers and Columbus Blue Jackets but rebounded with a 4-1 win against the Vancouver Canucks. Carolina’s elite goal-scoring mixed with superb goal-suppressing make them one of the league’s most dynamic teams and will serve as a great barometer for the Bruins. If the Bruins win, that’ll be three wins against three elite opponents in six games. If the Hurricanes win, it’ll be their first win against a “contender” in a couple of weeks, mostly due to schedule.

Carolina’s number one penalty kill will help keep Boston’s offence somewhat in check, but the Bruins are hot, they’re at home, and they’ve been playing better teams as of late. They’ll be sharp and get the W.

Prediction: Bruins win 4-3 

Buffalo Sabres vs Ottawa Senators

Head-to-Head: Sabres 0-0 Senators

Two of the league’s youngest teams face off in a matchup of bottom-dwellers. There’s not too much happening in this one other than some jockeying in the Shane Wright lottery. The Ottawa Senators have only played 31 games so far, the second-fewest in the league by some margin. That partially explains their lack of points in the standings, but they are also well below .500. The good news is that as of late, the Sens have really picked it up. They are 6-3-1 in their last 10 and have won two straight against the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers.

The Buffalo Sabres don’t have much at all going on for them as they embark on yet another rebuild, but Jeff Skinner has four goals in his last five games which is at least one positive story going into the game.

Not a lot on the line in this one, but Ottawa’s young talent is still a lot of fun to watch and should power them to a win on home ice.

Prediction: Senators win 4-1

Winnipeg Jets vs Washington Capitals

Head-to-Head: Jets 0-1 Capitals

The Washington Capitals have really started to struggle as of late. They have one win in their last six while their offence has dried up and their defence has been far too porous. Their recent skid has the Pittsburgh Penguins, who were just recently several lengths back, suddenly within striking distance of overtaking third place in the Metro any day now. The Capitals have had some recent Covid issues which certainly isn’t helping things, but that’ll likely continue tonight with John Carlson recently added to the protocol list. That’ll be a significant loss.

The Winnipeg Jets have finally started to find some life after their recent coaching change and now have four wins in their last five. Their special teams remain relatively weak still and their offence and defence remain as close to league average as possible, but as a team, they are at least finding ways to win now.

Still, even though the Jets have been better as of late, they have trouble winning on the road. The Capitals, even with the Covid factor, should have the edge in this one, but it’ll be close.

Prediction: Capitals win 3-2 (OT)

New York Islanders vs Philadelphia Flyers

Head-to-Head: Islanders 1-0 Flyers

The classic back-to-back, home and home. These types of games were a bit more common last season, but we’re seeing it again now due to a couple of other postponements. The Philadelphia Flyers remain one of the league’s biggest disappointments this season. They spent their offseason completely re-tooling but the results have been much of the same. They have an underwhelming 13-17-7 record, and prior to the results of last night’s game, have lost seven in a row. Their offence and defence are both near the bottom of the barrel and this season will have the entire franchise wondering, “what’s next”? Tough to say.

After a horrible start to the season, the New York Islanders are finally trending in the right direction. They are 6-3-1 in their last 10 but face a staggering climb up the standings. They are last in the Eastern Conference, thanks to only 30 games played, and will face a very busy schedule the rest of the way. Their team defence is finally starting to look like normal, as they’ve started to consistently keep their opponents to two or fewer goals per game, with a couple of blips here and there.

With the Islanders defence starting to shine, the Flyers won’t have the ability to outscore their mistakes. That, plus the fact that the Flyers are a lacklustre 6-8-3 at home has New York in a great spot for a win.

Prediction: Islanders win 3-1

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