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 Edmonton Oilers vs Minnesota Wild.
NHL Predictions With Edmonton Oilers vs Minnesota Wild
Pittsburgh Penguins vs New York Islanders
Head-to-Head: Penguins 1 – 0 Islanders
The Pittsburgh Penguins are slumping at the wrong time. After going 3-6-1 in their last 10, the Pens are at risk of falling into the Wild Card spot of the Eastern Conference. The Washington Capitals sit four points back of them with two games in hand. There is no ideal first-round matchup in the ultra-competitive Eastern Conference, but a potential first-round date with the high-flying Florida Panthers is not ideal.
The Penguins may find themselves without the services of Evgeni Malkin for this one. Malkin delivered a cross-check to the face of Mark Borowiecki and it bloodied him up pretty good. He is scheduled for a meeting with Player Safety this afternoon and awaits their ruling.
The Islanders still have a mathematical chance at making the playoffs but it’ll take a miracle. Essentially they need to win out and Washington needs to lose out. So the Islanders will be looking to play the part of spoiler. The Islanders use a stout defensive approach to frustrate offensively minded teams like the Penguins. So expect a tight, low-scoring game tonight.
Prediction: Penguins win 2-1 OT
Ottawa Senators vs Detroit Red Wings
Head-to-Head: Senators 2 – 0 Red Wings
These matchups will surely hold a lot more meaning sometime in the future. Both clubs have plenty of budding stars on the rise, and as their young players mature, these teams will become more complete and begin to compete in this top-heavy Eastern Conference. But tonight, there are no playoff implications on the line.
The Sens and Red Wings have provided us with some entertaining games in their season series thus far. The Sens have taken the first two matchups, both by scores of 5-2. The defence is suspect for both squads so we can expect some goals from their stars tonight.
Neither team has been rolling as of late, so this is a prime game for both teams to get out of their funk. Despite not having anything to play for, other than pride, this should still be a highly entertaining game to tune into.
Prediction: Senators win 4-3
San Jose Sharks vs Nashville Predators
Head-to-Head: Sharks 0 – 2 Predators
It was a night to forget for the Sharks the last time these clubs faced off with one another. The Predators put up a whopping eight goals on the Sharks, chasing goalie Alex Stalock from his crease by the third period.
Nashville may not replicate that performance tonight, but they will be highly motivated too. The playoff race in the Western Conference is heating up and the Preds are fighting for their lives in the Wild Card. Six of the Predators’ last seven opponents have been Eastern Conference teams, so they’ve been slugging along trying to make up any ground in their conference. They have the Edmonton Oilers, St. Louis Blues, and Calgary Flames over the next eight days. Crucial matchups for the Preds but ones that offer a golden opportunity to make up some ground in the standings.
Prediction: Predators win 4-1
Edmonton Oilers vs Minnesota Wild
Head-to-Head: Oilers 0 – 2 Wild
The Minnesota Wild have feasted on the Oilers this season. They’ve won their two previous matchups by a combined score of 11-4.
But this is a different Oilers team from last. They made some solid depth moves to their roster at the trade deadline and has been playing a more complete game. Goaltending has been more consistent and the defence is less porous. If anything, they will be a much tougher opponent to score on.
As always, the Oilers will lean on their top two lines, anchored by Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. But they will need that bottom six to make some noise tonight against the very deep Wild if they want any chance at coming out on top.
The Wild have been dialled in for most of their season and will approach this matchup like any other. The added depth of the Oilers will not shake the Wild and they will counter the Oilers’ depth with depth of their own. Edmonton will need to keep their eye out for Kyrill the Thrill. Kyrill Kaprizov is hot as of late, having scored 10 goals in his last 10 games and currently sports a three-game goal streak. Edmonton’s defence will be busy shadowing that man tonight as they look to end his goal streak.
This will be a good litmus test for both clubs as they prep for the final stretch of the season. This is much-watch hockey tonight!
Prediction: Wild win 4-2
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