NHL Predictions: February 15th Including Dallas Stars vs Colorado Avalanche

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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 Dallas Stars vs Colorado Avalanche

NHL Predictions with Dallas Stars vs Colorado Avalanche

Washington Capitals vs Nashville Predators

Head-to-Head: Capitals 1 – 0 Predators

It’s the final matchup of the regular season between these two clubs. The Capitals took the first bout 5-3 back in December and will look to replicate their result tonight. The Capitals significantly outplayed the Predators in that matchup, but as the Preds have shown us all year, they are an opportunistic team. Despite being outshot 37-20, Nashville kept it within one goal before Carl Hagelin sealed it with an empty netter with a minute to play.

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The Capitals should continue to push the pace and drive the play in this one. They will be wise to not let off the gas if they grab a lead though. As mentioned before, the Predators are an opportunistic bunch and can find ways to claw back into games with minimal chances.

Prediction: Capitals win 3-2

Columbus Blue Jackets vs Calgary Flames

Head-to-Head: Blue Jackets 0 – 1 Flames

It was a spanking for the Blue Jackets when these two teams met two weeks ago. Calgary put on a clinic to the tune of six unanswered goals. Jacob Markstrom picked up his league-leading eighth shutout (he now has 10) and the Flames’ skaters set a franchise record with 62 shots on goal.

The Blue Jackets will look to exact revenge and perhaps flip the script, this time in Calgary’s own barn. But we aren’t about to get our hopes up. Columbus has struggled mightily in their own. They have conceded the third most goals against and have allowed a league-leading 35 shots against per game. Although their offence is in the upper half of the league, Calgary has held its opponents to the second-fewest goals against and second-fewest high-danger scoring chances.

Prediction: Flames win 5-1

Edmonton Oilers vs Los Angeles Kings

Head-to-Head: Oilers 0 – 1 Kings

The Jay Woodcroft era is underway in Edmonton. The Oilers fired head coach Dave Tippett last week and are currently 1-0 under his successor. The Oilers’ struggles go beyond the coach but Edmonton did show new-found energy in its first game with Woodcroft behind the bench. The Oilers injected some size into their lineup with defenceman Markus Niemelainen. His six hits on the night helped set the tempo for a battle against the stingy New York Islanders.

Edmonton came away with a 3-1 victory and finally looked like a much harder team to play against. A critique that has been echoed by the coach’s around the league when describing the Oilers play. They will need to keep up that style of play if they look to take out the Kings and pull within two points of them for the third spot in the Pacific.

Prediction: Oilers win 4-3 OT 

Dallas Stars vs Colorado Avalanche

Head-to-Head: Stars 1 – 1 Avalanche

It’s part two of this home-and-home series between the Stars and Avalanche. Colorado took the first game 4-0, extending a streak of 19 straight games with a point. Colorado is clearly the cream of the crop in the Western Conference. They have established themselves as the team to beat and look to be on cruise control through their regular season.

Dallas would surely like to put the other nights’ performance behind them. With an opportunity to exact some revenge on their division rivals tonight, we expect a much different effort. Dallas’ hopes to takedown the Avs will be made a lot easier if they can get their power play going. Dallas went 0-3 in their last game and have only converted twice in their last 16 attempts.

Colorado has a high octane offence but they aren’t the defensive specialists like other top teams around the league. Dallas needs to exploit that area of weakness and attack the Central Division leaders.

Going into a shoot-out with a team that can run up the score may be a little intimidating. But Dallas lacks the ability to play a shut-down game against a healthy Avalanche team. So countering offence with offence may be their best strategy.

The Stars are still jockeying for a playoff spot in the tight Western Conference. And if they’re to make the final eight, there’s a good chance that a Wild Card berth will result in a first-round date with these Avs. So now is the time for Dallas to learn how to best their division rivals.

Prediction: Avalanche wins 4-3

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