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 Ottawa Senators vs Tampa Bay Lightning.
NHL Predictions with Ottawa Senators vs Tampa Bay Lightning
Edmonton Oilers vs Philadelphia Flyers
Head-to-Head: Oilers 0 – 1 Flyers
The Edmonton Oilers continue their five-game road trip with a stop in the City of Brotherly Love. The Oilers have gone 1-2 after enduring a brutal first leg that included games against the Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, and Tampa Bay Lightning.
Oilers have been playing more complete hockey since new coach Jay Woodcroft took over. They will need to dig deep and put together a full 60 minutes in this one and not let fatigue get the best of them.
The Flyers season continues to spiral downward. They have only managed three wins in their last 22 games. Injuries have plagued them all season long but this team still has good players on it and losing that many games are just not acceptable.
The Flyers showed some good compete on Saturday against the Washington Capitals in a 2-1 win. Let’s see if they can continue that momentum tonight.
Prediction: Oilers win 3-2
New Jersey Devils vs Columbus Blue Jackets
Head-to-Head: Devils 1 – 2 Blue Jackets
This is the fourth and final meeting of the season between these two clubs. Their season series has remained very close, so we can expect another tightly contested contest in this one.
New Jersey is coming off a big home win against the Vancouver Canucks last night. The Devils put on a clinic, running up the score against the Western Canadian team, 7-2.
Jack Hughes of the Devils continues his coming out season, and leads the Devils in offence with 11 points in their last five games.
Patrik Laine had an 11 game point streak snapped on the weekend and has now been held off the scoresheet in two straight games.
Both these teams are heavily reliant on their stars producing to help register wins. Laine typically runs hot and cold, so with consecutive games off the stat sheet, we may be in the middle of his cold spell.
Prediction: Devils win 3-2
Carolina Hurricanes vs Detroit Red Wings
Head-to-Head: Hurricanes 1 – 0 Red Wings
On paper, this matchup is completely lopsided. But in the game of hockey, anything can happen on any given night. That being said, no one is about to hold their breath waiting on Detroit to beat up the Hurricanes.
Carolina is arguably the most complete team in the NHL right now. Head Coach Rod Brind’Amour has the Hurricanes dialled into his system, and it’s a darn near impossible system to beat. The defence smothers you and keeps you to low percentage perimeter shots all game, and the offence is explosive and can pounce on you at any moment’s notice.
Detroit is a young team that is still navigating its way out of its rebuild. Tonight’s game will be a good measuring stick as to how far the Red Wings are coming along.
Prediction: Hurricanes win 4-1
Ottawa Senators vs Tampa Bay Lightning
Head-to-Head: Senators 1 – 2 Lightning
Tonight’s feature matchup is the finale of the season series between these polar opposite clubs. Tampa is fine-tuning their play as they gear up for another deep playoff run. Whereas the Senators are chugging along, looking to build off the positives of yet another rebuilding campaign.
That said, the games between these two have been closely fought. Other than a 4-0 outlier, shutout performance by the Sens over the Lightning, these two teams have kept it rather interesting in their meetups. The NHL is not a league where teams will ever roll over for their opponent. No matter how lost a season may be, there is always tons of pride in the locker room and players that want to stick it to the other team.
Ottawa is no different and will look to play spoiler tonight and hurt Tampa Bay’s chances to climb atop the Atlantic Division standings.
It won’t be an easy task, mind you. The Bolts are surging right now. 4 straight wins has Tampa coming into this one with plenty of swagger. As you could have guessed, Tampa’s offence is being led by Nikita Kucherov, who has three straight multi-point games and 24 points in his last 15 games.
Ottawa’s goalies best be prepared for a heavy workload tonight.
Prediction: Lightning wins 4-1