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 Edmonton Oilers vs Washington Capitals.
NHL Predictions: February 2nd including Edmonton Oilers vs Washington Capitals
Los Angeles Kings vs Detroit Red Wings
Head-to-Head: Kings 1-0 Red Wings
This is the second, and final, meeting for these two teams this season. Both have made massive strives, and are well outplaying preseason expectations. The Kings have found themselves in the playoff hunt, and Detroit has pushed itself back into respectability, floating around the .500-mark for the season so far.
For the Kings, the story of the season has been the play of ageless wonder Anze Kopitar. Kopitar, 34, has continued to perform at just under a point-per-game pace with 41 points in 46 games this season. Unfortunately for the Kings, he is the only skater even near a point-per-game pace, with Alex Iafallo the closest, with 28 points in 44 games.
As for the Red Wings, they have seen massively improved play this season for a myriad of reasons. Dylan Larkin continues to do what he always does – produce goals. Outside of Larkin, the Red Wings have gotten some fantastic play from their rookies in Lucas Raymond (11-24-35) and Moritz Seider (4-25-29). This promising young Detroit offence could pose a threat for whoever is in the net for the Kings.
Prediction: Kings win 3-2
Minnesota Wild vs Chicago Blackhawks
Head-to-Head: Wild 2-0 Blackhawks
This game is undoubtedly going to be a lot less close than the previous one in the day’s games. The Wild have been one of the best teams in the league this season, and Chicago is about as average as it comes. This makes for some good hockey to watch if you’re a Minnesota fan.
The tape of the game is pretty simple – Minnesota is scoring nearly four goals per game, and Chicago is in the bottom 10 defences in the league. When you have someone as talented as Kirill Kaprizov in the mix, it is hard to pick against them.
Prediction: Wild win 5-2
Calgary Flames vs Arizona Coyotes
Head-to-Head: Flames 0-0 Coyotes
While this one isn’t nearly as far apart in talent as the last game here, it certainly doesn’t make for a tough game to predict.
The Coyotes have shown glimpses of promise here and there sprinkled in between bouts of atrocious play this season. It remains to be seen what Coyotes team will show up in this one. It will either be the one who lost five games in a row or the one who was able to end Colorado’s double-digit win streak. This is literally anyone’s guess.
As for the Flames, they are on the back half of a back-to-back, but that won’t mean much to this one. They have enough talent in Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk to score at will against an opposing defense that is allowing nearly four goals a game this season.
Prediction: Flames win 4-1
Edmonton Oilers vs Washington Capitals
Head-to-Head: Oilers 0-0 Capitals
The NHL will be wrapping games up prior to the All-Star break with quite the game. In the featured matchup of the day, it is the Edmonton Oilers vs Washington Capitals. On paper, this is a very intriguing game for any hockey fan.
Despite the fact that both of these teams have been quite average as of late, it is hard to see past the star power at play here. The Oilers recently signed Evander Kane to help give their offence a boost, and it seems to be doing just that. When you play on a line with Connor McDavid, however, it is hard not to be involved in the scoring.
On the other end of the ice, Nicklas Backstrom continues to impress after his return from injury, operating at around a point-per-game pace already. When you have a player of that calibre looking like themselves immediately after returning from injury, it is going to give you a massive boost. Expect to see Ilya Samsonov in the net, as Vitek Vanecek left last night’s game against the Penguins in the first period after colliding with Kasperi Kapanen.
If Edmonton can play even an ounce of defence, they should steal a win here.
Prediction: Oilers win 4-3
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