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 Pittsburgh Penguins vs New York Rangers.
NHL Predictions With Pittsburgh Penguins vs New York Rangers
Nashville Predators vs Ottawa Senators
Head-to-Head: Predators 1-0 Senators
The games on Thursday start with a match between the Nashville Predators and the Ottawa Senators. Both teams are on a hot streak right now. Ottawa has a three-game winning streak and Nashville won three of their past four, including a 6-2 against Minnesota. However, this should be an easy game for the Predators, considering that Ottawa is currently 27th in the league. But that’s also a really important game for Nashville, who’s sitting in the first wild card spot for the Western Conference. They’re only a point ahead of the Dallas Stars and two ahead of the Vegas Golden Knights. If they want to hold on to that playoff spot, they’ll need to win as many games as they can. Ottawa may put on a show but Nashville will come out as the winners.
Prediction: Nashville wins, 6-1
Pittsburgh Penguins vs New York Rangers
Head-to-Head: Penguins 1-2 Rangers
This should be a really interesting game between two strong teams. The New York Rangers are only two points behind the Carolina Hurricanes for first place in the Metropolitan Division. And the Pittsburgh Penguins are sitting comfortably in third place. But that doesn’t mean they won’t want to catch up with the two above them. All three of their first matchups were really entertaining games and two of them were extremely balanced.
The Penguins come into this game with a two-game losing streak while the Rangers are fresh out of a 3-1 win against the Devils. Things can get really interesting between these two teams. However, Pittsburgh is a bit more desperate to gain momentum to finish their season in a good spot. they’re the favourites to take this one home.
Prediction: Pittsburgh wins, 3-2
Philadelphia Flyers vs Columbus Blue Jackets
Columbus is coming from a fresh win against the Flyers to break a seven-game losing streak. Prior to that, they hadn’t won since March 19 and this was their only win in eight games. This should give them momentum entering the game this Thursday.
Now, Philadelphia only has three wins in their last 10 games, which is not ideal. But they’re starting Martin Jones – who, for the first time since 2017-18, has a .902 save percentage. He can be a factor for them to win this game.
The reality is that both these teams are having a really bad season. And an especially bad ending for it. Both are desperate to get a win and continue rolling to an already dead-end season. When looking at their season series. Columbus has won both games. This should be good enough for Philly to do a big push and guarantee the win – even if it’s just for honour.
Prediction: Philadelphia wins, 3-1
Montreal Canadiens vs New Jersey Devils
Head-to-Head: Canadiens 0-2
Both teams are coming from big losses. The Canadiens lost 6-3 to the Senators on Tuesday and the Devils lost 3-1 against the Rangers. They’re also on a four-game losing streak and without their superstar Jack Hughes, who’ll miss the rest of the season with a lower-body injury. Things are not good right now.
Also, besides not having Hughes, they might also not have Nathan Bastian, who missed the game against the Rangers on Tuesday. The reason why he missed the game was not disclosed by the team but it’s still suspicious
Montreal, on the other hand, will have Carey Price joining the team for the road trip. Even though he’s not expected to play, Price is still a huge presence for the Canadiens and always makes a difference. They also made a big push to win the game on Saturday against the back-to-back champions Tampa Bay Lightning. The entire pack could be a motivator for them entering this game.
With Price back with the team and facing a team that is missing a few of their important pieces, Montreal has a shot at taking this one. It won’t be easy, as the Devils will push to break the streak but it can be done.
Prediction: Montreal wins, 5-4 (OT)
Buffalo Sabres vs Carolina Hurricanes
Head-to-Head: Sabres 1-1 Hurricanes
The Sabres are on a roll. Looking back at their season, things weren’t easy but the past month was more than anyone expected from them. They have a 6-1-3 record in their past 10 games, including a 4-2 win against Carolina on Tuesday. They’re feeling good and that can be a huge factor entering this game.
Carolina, on the other hand, is on a two-game losing streak and has a 4-3-3 record in their past 10. This can also be a big motivating factor for them to win the game. Including, of course, the game against Buffalo. They’re currently sitting first in the Metropolitan Division and second in the Eastern Conference. They’re one of the best teams in the league and have a really strong roster. Everything is in their favour.
But, as shown on Tuesday, the game between these two teams can be really balanced and fun to watch. Carolina is looking to clinch their playoff spot and Buffalo is just trying to have fun to end the season on the bright side of things. Both know how to entertain the crowd. But, even though Buffalo is surfing a wave of good vibes and lots of points, Carolina should be the winner of their last encounter of the season.
Prediction: Carolina wins, 4-3
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