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 Edmonton Oilers.
NHL Predictions With Minnesota Wild vs Edmonton Oilers
Buffalo Sabres vs Columbus Blue Jackets
Head-to-Head: Sabres 0 – 2 Blue Jackets
While the Buffalo Sabres are struggling to stay afloat in the Atlantic Division, the Columbus Blue Jackets are stuck in limbo in the Metropolitan Division. There’s a healthy gap between them and the trailing New York Islanders – but also a large space between them and the fourth-place Capitals. In the Blue Jackets’ latest victory, Patrik Laine logged a hat trick to extend his point streak to eight games. For the Sabres, keep an eye on Tage Thompson, who leads the team in points with 37 after scoring a hat trick against the Colorado Avalanche. Buffalo has kept up with better teams than Columbus, so an upset might be in the cards for them tonight.
Prediction: Sabres win, 4-3
Dallas Stars vs Arizona Coyotes
Head-to-Head: Stars 2 – 0 Coyotes
With a narrow victory over the Chicago Blackhawks, the Dallas Stars extended their current winning streak to two. In that game, Jason Robertson and Jacob Peterson scored shootout goals. For his part, Jake Oettinger shut out the Blackhawks and stopped five of six of Chicago’s shootout attempts. Conversely, the Arizona Coyotes remain chaotic as usual. Sometimes, they look surprisingly good – a one-goal loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning and a shootout win over the Avalanche, for example. But more often than not, it makes sense that they’re at the bottom of the Central Division. Coming off the first game of a back-to-back won’t help their case against the Stars.
Prediction: Stars win, 3-1
Vegas Golden Knights vs San Jose Sharks
Head-to-Head: Golden Knights 0 – 0 Sharks
The Vegas Golden Knights and San Jose Sharks – Pacific Division rivals – will kick off their season series tonight. The Golden Knights sit near the top of the division with a three-game losing streak, and the Sharks have fallen to seventh with a five-game losing streak of their own. On Vegas’ end, Jack Eichel will be the player to watch for the Golden Knights. In his first two games this season, he recorded an assist. For San Jose, Timo Meier will look to reestablish his scoring touch. Prior to the Sharks’ last game, he had not recorded a point since late January. With Golden Knights reeling, the Sharks will have a good opportunity to get back on their feet.
Prediction: Sharks win, 3-2
Minnesota Wild vs Edmonton Oilers
Head-to-Head: Wild 1 – 0 Oilers
Both the Minnesota Wild and Edmonton Oilers are in the top halves of their respective divisions. But while the Oilers have put together a winning record under new head coach Jay Woodcroft, the Wild are on a two-game losing streak. The teams’ last meeting fell in early December, with Minnesota putting together a convincing 4-1 victory. However, that game was amidst the first of Edmonton’s two extended losing streaks – and the Oilers have rebounded nicely since then.
Edmonton’s high-powered offence has been firing on all cylinders in recent wins. As usual, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are racking up points at a scary pace – they combined for two goals and two assists in the Oilers’ 7-3 demolition of the Anaheim Ducks. More surprising, though, is the resurgence of Evander Kane, who has proved to be a productive scorer after being signed by Edmonton less than a month ago.
Minnesota’s own star, Kirill Kaprizov, has also been living up to his reputation. He has eight points – four goals and four assists – through his last five games, and leads the Wild in every scoring category. Also not to be overlooked is Matt Boldy, who with 15 NHL games under his belt is nearly at a point-per-game pace.
With these teams both being very good, tonight’s contest could really go either way. But after suffering two out-of-character losses, it should be about time for the Wild to bounce back.
Prediction: Wild win, 6-5