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 Minnesota Wild vs New York Rangers.
NHL Predictions with Minnesota Wild vs New York Rangers
Detroit Red Wings vs Pittsburgh Penguins
Head-to-Head: Red Wings 0-0 Penguins
Detroit is coming off three straight losses and the defence has struggled in those defeats. The Red Wings are coming off an 8-5 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. Detroit has yielded at least four goals in those losses. The Wings are 21st in goals for and the penalty kill and 28th in goals against and power play.
Pittsburgh is making a charge up the Metropolitan Division standings and is second in the wide-open division. The Penguins have won six straight coming into Thursday’s game against the Seattle Kraken. Casey DeSmith likely draws the start with Tristan Jarry going the night before. The Pens are fifth in goals against and seventh in goals for.
This seems like a mismatch and Pittsburgh has been red-hot.
Prediction: Penguins win 4-1
Minnesota Wild vs New York Rangers
Head-to-Head: Wild 0-0 Rangers
Both teams are coming into Thursday with wins in four of the last five. The Wild are fifth in goals scored with 145 and eighth in goals against with 112. Kirill Kaprizov has avoided the sophomore jinx with 17 goals and 32 assists. Kaapo Kahkonen likely gets the start in the pipes for Minnesota.
The Rangers have been just as good this part of the season coming into Thursday’s game with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Igor Shesterkin probably starts with Alexandar Georgiev starting against Columbus. Chris Kreider leads the league with 30 goals and has been a monster on the power play. New York’s special teams is in the top 10.
This should be a fun one and the over could be a strong play.
Prediction: Rangers win 4-3
Colorado Avalanche vs Chicago Blackhawks
Head-to-Head: Avalanche 3-0 Blackhawks
It’s the final meeting of the season between the two Central Division teams. Colorado has won all three meetings so far, including a showstopping goal by Cale Makar in the last encounter. The Avs could be without Nathan MacKinnon after his nasty injury against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night. Nazem Kadri continues to have a strong season with 16 goals and 39 assists.
Chicago did win a wild 8-5 game against Detroit on Wednesday. The Blackhawks had lost three straight prior to that game. Chicago’s defence is 27th in goals against and will be hard-pressed to stop a Colorado offence that’s solid even without MacKinnon. Alex DeBrincat leads the Blackhawks in goals with 26.
Colorado may be smarting after the loss to Boston, but has found a way to beat Chicago all season.
Prediction: Avalanche win 3-1
Washington Capitals vs Dallas Stars
Head-to-Head: Capitals 0-0 Stars
Washington has lost three of its last five and the offence has struggled in recent games. Ilya Samsonov likely draws the start, but check social media to confirm if you want to play him in daily fantasy play. The Caps are ninth in goals scored, but their usually potent power play is stuck in 30th. Alex Ovechkin is leading in goals and assists with 29 in both categories.
Dallas has won four in a row and inserted itself back into the Stanley Cup Playoff conversation. The Stars have scored five goals in three of those victories. Joe Pavelski continues to defy his age with 19 goals and 29 assists. Braden Holtby and Jake Oettinger have played well in the net in recent weeks.
It’s tough to pick against Dallas, but Washington can bounce back if its offence wakes up.
Prediction: Capitals win 4-2
Boston Bruins vs Arizona Coyotes
Head-to-Head: Bruins 0-0 Coyotes
Boston is coming off a huge win in Denver over Colorado. The Bruins are looking to have a more secure playoff spot. Tuukka Rask might get the call after Linus Ullmark played on Wednesday. Brad Marchand leads in goals (21) and assists (25) for 46 points.
Arizona has lost three straight and its defence has struggled. The Coyotes have given up 17 goals over the last three games for a mark over five goals per game. Arizona is in the 30s in goals for, goals against, power play and penalty kill.
The B’s are playing well and should get the road win.
Prediction: Bruins win 4-1