NHL Predictions: January 25th Including Vegas Golden Knights vs Carolina Hurricanes

Vegas Golden Knights vs Carolina Hurricanes
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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 Vegas Golden Knights vs Carolina Hurricanes.

NHL Predictions with Vegas Golden Knights vs Carolina Hurricanes

Ottawa Senators vs Buffalo Sabres

Head-to-Head: Senators 0 – 1 Sabres

It was heartbreak in Buffalo this weekend. Sorry to remind anyone who is still reeling from the Chiefs and Bills Classic on Sunday. Hands down one of the greatest NFL games we fans have witnessed. Pure elation for Chiefs fans, and complete disbelief for the Bills. Perhaps a Sabres win can help numb some of that pain… Yeah, probably not. But nevertheless, we must move on in sports and what better way for the Buffalo faithful to move on and forget with a cross border battle between the Sabres and Senators… Oh man, this isn’t fooling anyone. 

The Sabres and Senators met last week in a tightly contested affair that saw 76 combined shots and 34 minutes in penalties handed out between them. It was a spirited engagement between two clubs that are both trying to find their way out of a rebuild. 

Tage Thompson of the Sabres is having himself a nice breakout year. He has already doubled his points totals from last season (38-GP, 14-P) over the same amount of games (38-GP, 28-P). The former 26th overall pick in the 2016 draft finally looks to have elevated his game to the NHL level. He leads all Sabres in points and is two goals behind Jeff Skinner for the team lead. 

Ottawa will counter with their own young, rising stars. Forwards, Drake Batherson and Joshua Norris, are both having career years. In fact, all six players in the Senators top-six are on pace to have career years. This is exactly what Senators management and fans were hoping to see this year. Amazingly though, even with the bump in production from its stars, the Senators still sit second-last in the Eastern Conference with a 12-20-3 record. 

Lots of work is still to be done by both sides. But always entertaining when you get to watch the NHL’s newest stars battle it out on the ice.

Prediction: Senators win 3-2

Dallas Stars vs New Jersey Devils

Head-to-Head: Stars 0 – 0 Devils

The New Jersey Devils are playing their third game in four nights. But luckily for them, the Stars are also on a back-to-back. This could be a pretty sloppy game with a lot of goals.

The Devils record sits at a paltry 15-20-5 and they’ve won just once in their last five games. Much more has been expected from this New Jersey team at the halfway point of their season. A wildcard berth is almost surely out of the cards for this Devils team, which sits 15 points back of the last playoff spot. There may not be much to play for, but there’s always pride. Let’s see the Devils put on a show for their fans at home.

The Dallas Stars make a quick trip north, up to New Jersey after their game vs the Philadelphia Flyers last night. The Stars are right in the playoff mix in the West and will look to keep the momentum going on their road trip. This is the fourth game of their road swing, so fatigue could definitely be setting in. But the opportunity to pounce on a lower team and pick up a crucial two points is much too appealing to allow tiredness to get in the way.  

Prediction: Stars win 5-3

Arizona Coyotes vs Pittsburgh Penguins

Head-to-Head: Coyotes 0 – 0 Penguins

Phil Kessel returns home to where he won his two Stanley Cups. But barring a trade to a contender this year, Kessel won’t be adding to that total this year.

The Arizona Coyotes are, for lack of a better phrase, a lost cause. It’s actually sad to see that this franchise has just failed to get it right on so many ends of it and this year, as they sit last in the Western Conference, is no different. 

The Coyotes have only won three games against teams with a record over .500 this year. So it’s an easy pick to go Penguins here, who have been rolling with finally having Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin healthy. 

The Penguins are in the midst of a five-game winning streak and have leaped over their division rival, Washington Capitals, to take the third seed in the Metropolitan Division. But as hot as they are, and as bad as the Coyotes are, Pittsburgh would be foolish to take the Coyotes lightly. Arizona did just sneak away with a 2-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. 

No sneaking tonight though. 

Prediction: Penguins win 4-1

Vegas Golden Knights vs Carolina Hurricanes

Head-to-Head Golden Knights 0 – 1 Hurricanes 

The Vegas Golden Knights are the back-to-back feature game of the night. And rightfully so, as tonight they play host to one of the hottest teams in the NHL, the Carolina Hurricanes. 

We fans get our second look at what could possibly be a preview of this years Stanley Cup Final. The first matchup did not disappoint. The Hurricanes came away with a 4-2 victory at home and looked good doing it too. Carolina put up 42 shots on goal, on the usually stout defence of the Golden Knights. The Hurricanes are a highly efficient team at five-on-five and well-disciplined, so opponents need to play near-perfect hockey when facing them. But, if there’s any team that can push this powerhouse, it’s the Golden Knights.

Vegas, unfortunately, had a big game against the Capitals last night and will surely be feeling some of the effects from that battle. Vegas will need to lean on their raucous home fans to boost their energy as they look to exact revenge on the ‘Canes tonight. The Golden Knights know that their fire-power doesn’t match the Hurricanes, but they have a defensive game that can definitely frustrate their opponent. It would be surprising to see Vegas allow 40 shots against again, so we should see the ‘Knights tighten up defensively and go with a game plan to try to grind out an ugly win.

That may not sound like the most exciting to watch a defensive affair, but at any moment the Canes can blow this game wide open. This will be a fun back and forth that will leave us on the edge of our seats waiting to see if the Vegas dam can hold back the Hurricanes goal flood long enough.

Prediction: Hurricanes win 3-2

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