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 Tampa Bay Lightning vs Anaheim Ducks.
NHL Predictions: January 21st including Tampa Bay Lightning vs Anaheim Ducks
Minnesota Wild vs Chicago Blackhawks
Head-to-Head: Wild 0-0 Blackhawks
There really is only one storyline for this game – Kirill Kaprizov is back for the Wild. Despite the fact that both of these teams have been subpar as of late, the return of the young forward is a big boost for Minnesota. Look for Kaprizov to have a major impact on this game, pushing the Wild over the edge and getting back to winning ways.
Prediction: Wild win 4-2
Florida Panthers vs Vancouver Canucks
Head-to-Head: Panthers 1-0 Canucks
This game could make for some very good hockey to watch. Both of these organizations have been hot as of late. Vancouver has been a different team since the arrival of Bruce Boudreau and Florida continues to score nearly at will.
For the Canucks to continue their winning streak to three games, they are going to have to attempt to shut down arguably the best offence in the NHL. A good way to do just that is to outshoot the Panthers, a tall task for an opponent with a corsi-for percentage of over 57 percent. All-Star goaltender Thatcher Demko is going to have a tough task, but if past performances dictate anything, he is up to the challenge.
While Demko will perform admirably, this should ultimately prove too tall of a task to stop the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and company.
Prediction: Panthers win 5-2
St Louis Blues vs Seattle Kraken
Head-to-Head: Blues 1-0 Kraken
This game should make for the most straightforward on the day. The Blues have found their footing, going 7-3-0 in the last 10, making them 23-11-5 on the season. On the other end of the spectrum, the Kraken have had nothing short of a rude welcome to the league. They are 11-23-4 on the season, including only getting three points in the last 10 games.
Prediction: Blues win 4-1
Tampa Bay Lightning vs Anaheim Ducks
Head-to-Head: Lightning 0-0 Ducks
For the featured matchup of the day, the Lightning are taking on the Anaheim Ducks. These two teams are currently on very different streaks. Tampa Bay continues to prove their excellence, and the Ducks are slumping back into mediocrity.
A large part of the current four-game losing streak for Anaheim is being hit hard by COVID cases. They lost Troy Terry, Hampus Lindholm, and John Gibson simultaneously. That is a massive hit for a team that does not have a massive amount of depth. With Gibson and Lindholm back, and Terry looking to return shortly, this streak will likely end soon for the Ducks.
On the other end of the ice, the Lightning are doing what they always do – winning. They are currently on a four-game win streak, which saw them score 19 goals over the stretch. It also doesn’t hurt that they have only given up eight goals during that stretch, with four of them coming in a 6-4 win over the Kings on January 18th.
Prediction: Lightning win 5-2