NHL Predictions: March 27 Including Tampa Bay Lightning vs New York Islanders

Tampa Bay Lightning vs New York Islanders
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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 Tampa Bay Lightning vs New York Islanders. 

NHL Predictions with Tampa Bay Lightning vs New York Islanders

Tampa Bay Lightning vs New York Islanders

Head-to-Head: Lightning 1-0 Islanders

As we come upon the rematch of the 2020 and 2021 Eastern Conference Final, the Islanders currently have a 2.6% chance of making the playoffs. It’s fair to say we won’t see it play out the same for the third year in a row. The Islanders have really struggled to put the puck into the net this season. Almost all their players are in slumps, especially Matt Barzal who also can’t seem to find the back of the net. Over in Tampa, the defending back-to-back champs look dangerous after loading up with depth pieces at the trade deadline.

Although the Islanders have issues with creating offence, they haven’t got the utmost of luck putting them in the bottom 10 for finishing on chances. The bright spot of their season has been Ilya Sorokin who at times has looked Vezina worthy.  An area the Islanders seem to fail in is exiting their own zone. When leaving their own zone they only have possession 59% of the time, a league-worst. The Islanders seem to put up a fight vs the Lightning but should still be able to close this one out.

Lightning win 4-1

Buffalo Sabres vs New York Rangers

Head-to-Head: Sabres 0-2 Rangers

The Buffalo Sabres are finding their identity. They have possibly made the best locker room acquisition of the year bringing in Buffalo native Alex Tuch. The Rangers are coming off of a huge win vs the division rival Pittsburgh Penguins. A game where they looked dominant in all three zones on special teams and for once, 5v5. In the past five games, the Sabres went 3-1-1 putting up a fight vs three playoff teams. In these five games, Tage Thompson has dominated with five points and three goals.

The Rangers are on an impressive streak too, beating Tampa, Carolina, and Pittsburgh. It’s hard for anyone to explain the Rangers. None of the numbers are in their favour. Igor Shesterkin may simply get into the Hall of Fame because of this single season where he put up some of the best numbers in NHL history. If you can prevent Chris Kreider from being in front of the net, that’s honestly a recipe to win vs the Rangers. Kreider simply stands in front of the net waiting for rebounds and tips, he gets them almost every game. The Rangers really want this win as they’d slot into second in the Metropolitan division.

Rangers win 3-2

Detroit Red Wings vs Pittsburgh Penguins

Head-to-Head: Red Wings 1-0 Penguins

After an all-around, just embarrassing night full of adversity the Penguins will look to rebound vs Detroit who is coming off of a loss to the Islanders. The Penguins have struggled to finish on their chances consistently all season. The Red Wings have struggled defensively and in goal. Hopefully, in this one, we get to see the Moritz Seider vs Sidney Crosby scrums again. Seider is insanely good at the blueline as he only allows 1.5 entries with chances against per game.

The Red Wings can capitalize on one area of weakness in the Penguins game. They have the tendency to clear the puck out of the zone rather than make the plays. If the Red Wings skaters can step up and create a chance from the wall to up the middle this should open up the game. Detroit is underrated as being a fast team with all their young guns. The Penguins will be desperate to maintain their second spot in their division so this should show some urgency.

Penguins win 4-3

Philadelphia Flyers vs Nashville Predators

Head-to-Head: Flyers 0-0 Predators

The Nashville Predators are one of the most fascinating teams in the NHL this season. They’re great at putting the puck in the net, great at keeping it out of the net, great in net, and unlike most teams of this calibre, can throw bodies around. Roman Josi has been something else this season. He’s leading all defensemen with 79 points which is eight among the entire league. He will definitely sit atop the Norris trophy ballots of many.

Like the Rangers, the Predators have outperformed the numbers scoring 25 more goals than they ultimately should have. They’ve been a very good team in their own end limiting and suppressing chances. If they were to allow more chances against they’d still have Juuse Saros to back them up. The Flyers have fared okay since losing their beloved captain. They put up a good fight against the Colorado Avalanche and beat the St Louis Blues. The Flyers are a very bad defensive team. They think Rasmus Ristoleinen will help them, think again Chuck. This should be a physical matchup but expect Nashville to take it to them.

Predators win 5-2

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