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 Washington Capitals vs Carolina Hurricanes.
NHL Predictions with Washington Capitals vs Carolina Hurricanes
Philadelphia Flyers vs Ottawa Senators
Head-to-Head: Flyers 1-0 Senators
The Philadelphia Flyers enter tonight’s tilt with a bit of momentum while on the second half of a back-to-back. They just beat a playoff-contending Nashville Predators team last night and looked good doing so. It may have also been Claude Giroux‘s final game with the Flyers, as he now sits out awaiting an imminent trade.
The Ottawa Senators have no momentum, whatsoever. They’ve lost three in a row, plus their best defenceman, Thomas Chabot just suffered a broken hand. Even with the best advantage, the Senators look vulnerable.
Prediction: Flyers win 5-3
Boston Bruins vs Winnipeg Jets
Head-to-Head: Bruins 1-0 Jets
The Winnipeg Jets aren’t entirely out of the playoff race in the western conference, even if it is unlikely. They’ve certainly helped themselves with a recent 6-3-1 stretch. Kyle Connor is on fire and leading the way, with points in five straight games. In the Jets last game, a win against the St. Louis Blues, Connor logged 24:36 in ice time. He scored once, notched two assists, and was plus-three. He’s driving the Jets’ surge at a crucial point in the season.
The Boston Bruins have been even better as they continue their hunt for third place in the Atlantic Division. They are 7-2-1 in their last 10. The Bruins are a great road team as well, winning five of their last seven away games.
With each team playing some of their better hockey as of late, this one should be close. The Bruins have a slight edge in special teams and have been better throughout the year, so they have the advantage.
Prediction: Bruins win 3-2 (OT)
Buffalo Sabres vs Calgary Flames
Head-to-Head: Sabres 0-1 Flames
Prior to their meeting against the Edmonton Oilers last night, the Buffalo Sabres had won two big games in a row. The Oilers put a stop to their fun, winning 6-1. Now they have to face a red-hot Calgary Flames team that’s won three of their last four.
When these two teams last met in November, Calgary won 5-0. Expect a similar situation here as the Flames lengthen out their lead in the first place of the Pacific Division.
Prediction: Flames win 5-1
Florida Panthers vs Anaheim Ducks
Head-to-Head: Panthers 0-0 Ducks
The Florida Panthers are starting to make splashes as the trade deadline nears. They’ve already traded for Ben Chiarot and at the time of this writing are heavily rumoured to be trading for Claude Giroux. They already have the best goal differential in the league, so this is a case of the rich getting richer.
That’s bad news for the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks are well out of the playoff race, and a weak 2-6-2 in their last 10. They are struggling mightily down the stretch and that’s going to be a poor mix against a hungry Panthers squad.
Prediction: Panthers win 5-2
Colorado Avalanche vs San Jose Sharks
Head-to-Head: Avalanche 1-0 Sharks
This is another mismatch of significant proportions. Not only are the San Jose Sharks on the second half of a back-to-back, having already lost last night, but they’ll be up against one of the league’s top teams.
The Colorado Avalanche is a force to be reckoned with this year. They have the most wins in the league, 43, the second-best goal differential, and star players who are buzzing. That includes Nathan MacKinnon who has nine points in his last five games.
Avalanche should win this one in a romp.
Prediction: Avalanche win 5-1
Washington Capitals vs Carolina Hurricanes
Head-to-Head: Capitals 2-0 Hurricanes
This is one of those matchups that has incredible intrigue due to the possibility of it being a potential playoff series. The Carolina Hurricanes are first in the Metropolitan Division, while their division rivals are slugging it out in the wild card. If things stay the same, and wild card positioning plays out, these two could very well face off in the first round.
With that possibility in mind, the Hurricanes have to be starving for a win tonight. The Capitals have already beat them in two games this season. A third and final win in the season series would surely act as a mental advantage to a veteran Capitals team, should they meet in the postseason.
The Hurricanes will be running a bit uphill to try and accomplish that. They’ve lost two straight, including a loss last night to the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Capitals, on the other hand, are buzzing. They have points in seven straight, including six wins.
The Hurricanes don’t have the momentum but they do have an edge being at home where they are 23-4-2. That’ll keep this game close, forcing the Capitals to go to overtime for the fourth time in their last five games. At three on three, Alex Ovechkin stays hot and wins it on the road.
Prediction: Capitals win 3-2 (OT)
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