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 Washington Capitals.
NHL Predictions With Carolina Hurricanes vs Washington Capitals
Carolina Hurricanes vs Washington Capitals
Head-to-Head: Hurricanes 0 – 3 Capitals
Two Metropolitan Division rivals clash for the final time this season as the first-place Carolina Hurricanes take on the fourth-place Washington Capitals. On paper, Carolina’s record makes them the stronger team. However, in all three previous meetings, Washington came away with the win.
Entering tonight’s matchup, the Capitals are on a two-game winning streak. After a ceremony celebrating his 1000th career point, Nicklas Backstrom recorded a goal and an assist to lift Washington to a 4-3 victory against the New Jersey Devils. John Carlson was also instrumental to that win, adding two assists to the other three points he had scored in his last five games. For the Hurricanes, 13 different players recorded a point in a dominant 7-2 win over the St. Louis Blues. It was the first time since mid-February that Carolina had scored more than four goals. (Interestingly enough, the Capitals recorded four goals in each win over the Hurricanes.)
It’s important to note that, while these teams’ first two meetings went decisively the Capitals’ way, their third game ended in a shootout. If that trend is any indication, Carolina might be able to find their footing the fourth time around and finally log a win against Washington.
Prediction: Hurricanes win, 4-3
Vancouver Canucks vs St. Louis Blues
Head-to-Head: Canucks 0 – 1 Blues
Trailing the Vegas Golden Knights by just three standings points, the Vancouver Canucks are far from out of the playoff picture. A win over the Dallas Stars (who are also right behind Vegas) took them one step closer to that goal. In that game, Thatcher Demko put together a standout performance, allowing just one goal on 36 shots. For the St. Louis Blues, it’s been a rough road as of late, as they enter this contest on a two-game losing streak. Pavel Buchnevich recorded a two-goal night against the Hurricanes, bringing him to four points through the last five games. Expect the Canucks to take advantage of the faltering Blues to continue their pursuit of a playoff spot.
Prediction: Canucks win, 3-2
Buffalo Sabres vs Chicago Blackhawks
Head-to-Head: Sabres 0 – 0 Blackhawks
The Buffalo Sabres are to the Atlantic what the Chicago Blackhawks are to the Central. Neither team has had much success this season, and both float around the bottoms of their respective divisions. For the Blackhawks, Alex DeBrincat continues to produce offensively, with a goal and assist in each of his last three games. On the Sabres’ end, Jeff Skinner recorded two goals in Buffalo’s narrow shootout loss to the Capitals. Dustin Tokarski was solid in that game, saving 37 of 40 shots for a .925. Though these teams are pretty equally matched, the Sabres should edge out the Blackhawks in this one.
Prediction: Sabres win, 5-3
Arizona Coyotes vs Edmonton Oilers
Head-to-Head: Coyotes 0 – 2 Oilers
The Arizona Coyotes are in the Central Division’s basement, while the Edmonton Oilers are on the upswing, sitting third in the Pacific Division. In their last contest, the Oilers’ struggling goaltenders took centre stage once more as Edmonton fell to the Calgary Flames in a high-scoring loss. Mike Smith allowed four goals on 26 shots before being pulled for Mikko Koskinen, who allowed five goals on 12 shots. Arizona also lost to the Flames recently, as Karel Vejmelka also had a rough game, putting up a .879 save percentage. Although Edmonton often has difficulties finding consistency, there’s no reason to believe they shouldn’t be able to defeat the Coyotes.
Prediction: Oilers win, 6-3
Seattle Kraken vs Los Angeles Kings
Head-to-Head: Kraken 0 – 2 Kings
The Seattle Kraken and Los Angeles Kings are in polar opposite positions in the Pacific Division. The Kraken are currently in last place, while the Kings trail only the Flames. These two teams last met just two days ago, when the Los Angeles, predictably, came out on top. Daniel Sprong scored a goal in that matchup – he’s recorded one in each of his first two games with the Kraken. For the Kings, Anze Kopitar had a goal and an assist. He has six points through his last five games. Bet on Los Angeles to get another win in tonight’s contest.
Prediction: Kings win, 4-3