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 Carolina Hurricanes.
NHL Predictions with Minnesota Wild vs Carolina Hurricanes
Minnesota Wild vs Carolina Hurricanes
Head-to-Head: Wild 0-0 Hurricanes
This is the first meeting between the two teams this season. They were supposed to play each other in December, but the game was postponed.
The Hurricanes shutout the Boston Bruins 6-0 in their last game. The Hurricanes are led by Sebastian Aho and Andrei Svechnikov. Aho has 48 points in 42 games, and Svechnikov has 42 points in 42 games.
Both teams have been having good seasons and are currently in playoff spots. The Hurricanes have an edge, earning 67 points in 45 games. The Wild have 59 points in 42 games. Both teams have been exciting to watch this season, and this matchup should be just as exciting.
Prediction: 4-3 OT Hurricanes
Vancouver Canucks vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
Head-to-Head: Canucks 0-0 Maple Leafs
This is the first meeting between the two teams this season.
The Canucks lost their last game 6-3 to the New York Islanders. The Canucks are led by J.T. Miller, who has 46 points in 46 games. Their next top scorer, Quinn Hughes, was placed on the COVID-19 list Monday.
The Maple Leafs also lost their last game 5-2 to the Calgary Flames. The Leafs are led by Auston Matthews, who has 54 points in 41 games. John Tavares, William Nylander, Mitch Marner and Morgan Rielly all have 40 or more points.
The Leafs are in a playoff spot, while the Canucks are battling for a wild-card spot. Without their top-scoring defencemen, the Canucks will need other players to step up if they want to beat Matthews, one of the top scorers in the league this season and the Maple Leafs.
Prediction: 4-1 Maple Leafs
St. Louis Blues vs. Chicago Blackhawks
Head-to-Head: Blackhawks 1-1 Blues
The Blues and Blackhawks have split their season series so far this season. In their last game on Nov. 26, the Blackhawks won 3-2 in overtime. Alex DeBrincat scored the game-winning goal.
The Blues come into the game on a two-game losing streak, including a game before the All-Star break. Most recently, they lost to the New Jersey Devils 7-4 on Thursday. The Blues are led by recent All-Star Jordan Kyrou and Vladimir Tarasenko. Kyrou had 42 points in 41 games, and Tarasenko has 40 points in 41 games.
The Blackhawks won their last game 4-1 against the Edmonton Oilers. The Blackhawks are led by Patrick Kane and recent All-Star DeBrincat. Kane has 43 points in 43 games, and DeBrincat has 39 points in 47 games.
The Blues are in a wild-card spot but have been struggling lately, and the Blackhawks have a slim chance of making the playoffs.
Prediction: 3-2 Blues
Calgary Flames vs. New York Islanders
Head-to-Head: Flames 1-0 Islanders
This is the second game of a back-to-back for the Islanders. They played the Oilers on Friday night. Before the game against the Oilers, they won their game against the Canucks 6-3.
The Flames are in a playoff spot, while the Islanders are fighting for a wild-card spot. Mathew Barzal leads the Islanders in points.
While both teams have talented players, the Flames have been playing much better than the Islanders recently.
Prediction: 4-2 Flames.
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