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 Washington Capitals.
NHL Predictions with Vegas Golden Knights vs Washington Capitals
Anaheim Ducks vs Boston Bruins
Head-to-Head Ducks 0 – 0 Bruins
The Anaheim Ducks are rolling into TD Garden to visit the Boston Bruins on a winning note. Having finally righted the ship after a four-game losing skid, the young Ducks found a way to stifle one of the NHL’s best teams in the Tampa Bay Lightning. A decisive 5-1 win will provide a nice boost for a club that was shut out in back-to-back games before that offensive outburst vs the Lightning.
Since the return of Tuukka Rask, the Bruins have navigated their crease with a “one game on, one game off” approach. So with Rask having played the previous game, we should see Linus Ullmark between the pipes for this one. Ullmark has won his past seven starts and always gives his club a good chance to win. Brad Marchand also looked no worse for wear on Saturday night. After being labelled as a game-time decision following an upper-body injury in their game vs Washington, Marchand looked good in warmups and logged 19 minutes in ice time to go with one assist. Bruins will have a nice and healthy lineup heading into the final game of their seven-game homestand (5-1)
Prediction: Bruins win 5-2
Los Angeles Kings vs New York Rangers
Head-to-Head: Kings 1 – 0 Rangers
The Kings and Rangers battled it out in a close one earlier this month. Los Angeles came out flying at home and peppered back up goalie Alexandar Georgiev with 39 shots en route to the 3-1 victory.
On paper, the Rangers have a clear advantage. Especially offensively with Chris Kreider leading the team with 29 goals. They sport one of the best goaltending duos in hockey and their special teams dominate on both ends of the ice. The Rangers also boast a lethal home record of 12-3-2 and are unbeaten at the Garden in their last four.
The Kings unfortunately are the victims of tough scheduling as they played last night against the New Jersey Devils. Despite winning their first season matchup, the Kings will need every edge they can get to take down the Kings of New York.
Prediction: Rangers win 3-1
Dallas Stars vs Philidelphia Flyers
Head-to-Head: Stars 1 – 0 Flyers
The Flyers are quickly losing hold of their season as they’ve spiralled to an 11 game losing streak. Just to show how bad it’s been, the Flyers haven’t won in regulation since December 14. The Flyers have really struggled to remain healthy this year and the recent lower-body injury to Kevin Hayes now adds to an already depleted middle of the ice for Philidelphia. Philly will need to lean heavily on the top line and goaltender if they want to knock off the Stars.
The Dallas Stars have kicked off their four-game road trip with back-to-back 5-4 wins. The Stars have begun to find their rhythm in the power play. And as a result, have seen their goals-for-per-game (GF/GP) climb from 30th to 18th in the league from the start of November. But the Stars still lack any consistent goaltending. Rookie Jake Oetinger had a nice start to his NHL career but has been shaky in his last couple of starts. He will look to rebound here against a Flyers team that sits 27th in the league for GF/PG.
Prediction: Stars win 4-3
Vegas Golden Knights vs Washington Capitals
Head-to-Head: Knights 0 – 0 Capitals
Tonight’s feature matchup pits the Pacific Division-leading Golden Knights against the Eastern juggernaut, Capitals.
We all know what to expect from the Capitals at this point. They are a team that pushes the play and relies on their high octane offence to pile up the goals and wins. And that offence is continued to be led by the ageless Alex Ovechkin. OV, at the age of 36, leads the league in goals and points with 29 and 58 respectively. But what is most impressive is how the Great 8 has compiled these points. In years past his numbers were boosted by the Caps lethal power play, but this year only 13 of his 58 points have come from the man advantage. His effectiveness at five on five this year has been the most efficient we’ve seen in his career. Always scary to see a guy like Ovechkin evolve his game and find new ways to attack you.
The Golden Knights find themselves positioned nicely atop the Pacific Division standings. A place they have grown accustomed to ever since joining the league. Unfortunately for the Golden Knights, they will be without star forward Mark Stone for this one. Stone did not accompany the team for its road trip due to Covid Protocols. Vegas will continue to lean on its other weapons, like Jonathan Marchessault, who has three goals and three assists in the team’s last five games.
Prediction: Capitals win 5-2
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