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 St Louis Blues vs Calgary Flames.
NHL Predictions with St Louis Blues vs Calgary Flames
St Louis Blues vs Calgary Flames
Head-to-Head: Flames 1-0 Blues
On Monday, the Flames completely humiliated the Blues, winning 7-1. Matthew Tkachuk led the way with five assists and Johnny Gaudreau added one goal and three assists.
Thursday’s St. Louis Blues vs Calgary Flames game will be the second of a back-to-back for Calgary. The Flames played the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday night. Gaudreau, Tkachuk and Elias Lindholm lead the team in points.
Before the loss Monday, the Blues had won their previous three games. Jordan Kyrou, Vladimir Tarasenko and Pavel Buchnevich lead the team in points. Kyrou has 41 points in 38 games, Tarasenko has 38 points in 38 games and Buchnevich has 36 points in 36 games. Starting goaltender Jordan Binnington has been struggling. But backup Ville Husso has been a bright spot. Binnington started against the Flames on Monday and gave up seven goals on 35 shots. Husso came on in relief of Binnington in the third period and stopped all 13 shots he faced. No matter who starts Thursday, expect the Blues to do everything they can from being embarrassed again.
The Blues are in a playoff spot, but the Flames are still trying to secure a wild-card spot.
Prediction: 3-1 Blues
Pittsburgh Penguins vs Seattle Kraken
Head-to-Head: Penguins 1-0 Kraken
This will be the second time the teams face off against each other. The first time, the Penguins came out on top 6-1 on Dec. 6, and Jake Guentzel and Jeff Carter both had two goals. Pittsburgh comes into the game on a six-game winning streak.
The Penguins are led by Guentzel, Kris Letang and Sidney Crosby. Guentzel has 40 points in 36 games, Letang has 37 points in 28 games and Crosby has 34 points in 30 games. Plus, Pittsburgh just got Evgeni Malkin back this month from a knee injury. The Penguins are one of the best teams in the league, with 59 points in 42 games.
The Kraken lost their last game. Jared McCann, Jordan Eberle and Yanni Gourde lead Seattle in points. McCann has 25 points in 37 games, Eberle has 24 points in 40 games and Gourde has 22 points in 34 games. The Kraken, with just 30 points in 42 games, are one of the worst teams in the league.
Prediction: 4-2 Penguins
Columbus Blue Jackets vs New York Rangers
Head-to-Head: Rangers 2-0 Blue Jackets
The Rangers have won both games they’ve played against the Blue Jackets this season. First, they won 4-0 on Oct. 29, with Chris Kreider scoring two goals. Then, New York beat the Blue Jackets 5-3 on Nov. 13, with Kreider and Artemi Panarin scoring two goals each. The Rangers have four players with 40+ points. Adam Fox leads the way with 46 points in 43 games, Panarin has 45 points in 38 games, Kreider has 43 points in 43 games and Mika Zibanejad has 42 points in 43 games.
This is the second game of a back-to-back for the Blue Jackets. They played the Flames on Wednesday night. Boone Jenner, Oliver Bjorkstrand and Jakub Voracek lead Columbus in points.
The Rangers are one of the best teams in the league, but the Blue Jackets are fighting for a spot in the playoffs.
Prediction: 3-1 Rangers
Winnipeg Jets vs Vancouver Canucks
Head-to-Head: Canucks 2-0 Jets
The Canucks have come out on top both times they’ve played the Jets this season. First, winning 3-2 on Nov. 19 and next winning 4-3 in a shootout on Dec. 10, where Nils Hoglander had two goals.
Vancouver has lost its past three games but has gotten a point out of two of those. The Canucks are led by J.T. Miller and Quinn Hughes. Miller has 40 points in 40 games, and Hughes has 32 points in 41 games. Both Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser have not been putting up their usual numbers, and Vancouver is dealing with quite a few players still in COVID-19 protocol.
The Jets have lost their past five games. Winnipeg is led by Kyle Connor, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Mark Scheifele. Connor has 42 points in 39 games, Dubois has 30 points in 39 games and Scheifele has 28 points in 33 games. Both teams have 41 points, although the jets have played three fewer games.
Prediction: 3-2 OT Canucks
Edmonton Oilers vs Nashville Predators
Head-to-Head: Oilers 1-0 Predators
The Oilers won the previous meeting between the two teams 5-2 on Nov. 3, in which Leon Draisaitl had two goals an assist.
Edmonton has won its past two games. Draisaitl and Connor McDavid lead the team in points. Draisaitl has 59 points in 38 games, and McDavid has 57 points in 37 games.
The Predators come into the game on a three-game winning streak. Nashville’s top three leaders in points are Roman Josi, who has 43 points in 42 games, Matt Duchene, who has 39 points in 40 games and Mikael Granlund, who has 36 points in 42 games.
Despite the star power on the Oilers, the Predators are one of the best teams in the league and the Oilers are on the outside looking in.
Prediction: 2-1 Predators
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