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 Carolina Hurricanes vs Pittsburgh Penguins. Be sure to check out the late predictions as well.
NHL Predictions with Carolina Hurricanes vs Pittsburgh Penguins
Carolina Hurricanes vs Pittsburgh Penguins
Head-to-Head: Hurricanes 0-0 Penguins
It’s a key Metropolitan Division matchup between two teams trying to get their hands of a division title. Carolina has gotten brilliant goalie play from Frederik Andersen, who has a .927 save percentage and 2.10 goals-against-average. Andrei Svechnikov leas in goals with 22 while Tony DeAngelo leads with 30 assists.
Pittsburgh is coming off 4-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, but has been great since the start of the year. Tristan Jarry has been making some nice bleeping saves for the Pens. He has a .923 save percentage and 2.25 GAA. Jake Guentzel leads in goals with 25 while Kris Letang has 39 assists.
These teams are close to each other in many statistical categories. This should be a good one and will be a tough call.
Prediction: Penguins win 3-2 in a shootout.
Montreal Canadiens vs New York Islanders
Head-to-Head: Canadiens 0-1 Islanders
Both teams were looking to build off playoff runs last season, but are near the bottom of the standings in the East. Montreal has looked better as of late under new coach Martin St. Louis. Cole Caufield has benefited with four goals and could be a good play in daily fantasy. St. Louis has already helped the Habs effort and it paid off with a win over the Blues.
The Islanders did get a key 4-1 win over Boston as they’ve played better in the last weeks. However, this season seems like a missed opportunity after the great post-seasons of the last two years. Brock Nelson leads the Isles in goals while Mathew Barzal is first in assists with 21.
Montreal has played better, but New York is a little steadier in goal with Ilya Sorokin.
Prediction: Islanders win 4-2.
Florida Panthers vs Chicago Blackhawks
Head-to-Head: Panthers 0-0 Blackhawks
The Eastern-leading Panthers are trying to hold off three other teams for top seed in the conference. Jonathan Huberdeau is playing incredibly with 51 assists and Aleksander Barkov has 22 goals. Sergei Bobrovsky is playing like his old self again with a .919 save percentage and 2.52 goals-against-average. There’s always a possibility of the over being hit when Florida plays. Even if it’s a higher number like a 6.5 some books are giving.
Chicago has lost two straight and three of its last five games. The Blackhawks’ offence has been inconsistent at times and they were shutout 1-0 by the Dallas Stars last game. Alex DeBrincat is on the edge of a 30-goal season while Patrick Kane has 35 assists to lead Chicago. The Hawks penalty kill is only 75-percent effective and that could be a problem against a good offensive team.
Florida’s offence has picked up where it left off after the break. Expect the same in this one.
Prediction: Panthers win 5-2.
New York Rangers vs Ottawa Senators
Head-to-Head: Rangers 1-0 Senators
The Rangers have won three of their last five, but are coming off a shootout loss to the Detroit Red Wings in their last game. Igor Shesterkin is putting up Vezina Trophy like numbers with a ,938 save percentage and 2.05 GAA. Chris Kreider is one of the league’s leading goal-scorers with 33 and Adam Fox has 41 assists. New York is also in the top 10 in power play, goals against and penalty kill.
Ottawa is coming off a 3-2 loss to Boston on Saturday, but have been much better since the turn of the calendar year. Josh Norris and Thomas Chabot lead the team in goals and assists, respectively. The Sens are in the bottom-half of the league in goals for, goals against and power play.
The Rangers let a point slip last game and don’t want that to happen again.
Prediction: Rangers win 3-1.