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 Boston Bruins. Be sure to check out our other two sets of predictions for the later games.
NHL Predictions with Pittsburgh Penguins vs Boston Bruins
Chicago Blackhawks vs Nashville Predators
Head-to-Head: Blackhawks 0-3 Predators
Chicago is coming with a 5-4 win over the San Jose Sharks to eliminate San Jose from the Stanley Cup Playoff race. However, iit’s a small consolation to a Blackhawks team that is playing out the string. Kevin Lankinen will get the call in net as the Hawks try to play spoiler and salvage a game from the season-series.
Juuse Saros hasn’t been confirmed, but should get the call. Nashville is holding onto one of the wild card spots, in the West, but goals have been an issue. The Predators haven’t scored more than three goals in the last five games. However, they could get healthy against a Blackhawks team that’s 25th in goals against.
Nashville is looking to get some separation in the standings and will want points here.
Prediction: Predators win 3-1.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs Boston Bruins
Head-to-Head: Penguins 1-0 Bruins
Our feature game has two teams battling for positioning in their respective divisions. Tristan Jarry probably starts in net, but it’s not confirmed as of press time. The Pens did salvage the backend of a home-and-home with a 6-3 win over the New York Islanders. Pittsburgh is likely locked into a first-round matchup with the New York Rangers, but still wants home ice.
Boston will go with Jeremy Swayman in net for this pivotal game. The Bruins are three points in back of the Toronto Maple Leafs for the automatic post-season spot in the Atlantic. Boston has lost three straight and is trying to stop the bleeding going into the second season. They’ve scored two goals or less in their last four.
The under could be a smart play, but Boston looks smart because they’ve got home ice.
Prediction: Bruins win 3-2 in a shootout.
Detroit Red Wings vs New York Rangers
Head-to-Head: Red Wings 1-1 Rangers
It’s the final encounter of the season between these “Original Six” teams. Both previous games have gone the distance with the Wings winning a shootout in the first matchup. The Blueshirts countered with a 5-4 overtime win thanks to Andrew Copp. Detroit likely starts Alex Nedeljkovic in this one. The Wings have won three of their last, including a 3-0 shutout of Carolina.
Chris Kreider got to the 50-goal mark earlier in the week for a Rangers team that’s got four victories in their last five. Alexandar Georgiev is the tentative starter to give Igor Shesterkin some rest. New York’s trade deadline acquisitions have been solid and made them better on defence.
New York has been much better since those deals and that trend should continue.
Prediction: Rangers win 4-2.
Minnesota Wild vs St. Louis Blues
Head-to-Head: Wild 2-0 Blues
It’s the final regular season meeting for the two teams and goals have been plenty. The Blues have been red-hot with seven straight victories and have been putting up at least four goals in the last five. Vladimir Tarasenko has gotten hot in the last couple of games, so he could be smart for your daily fantasy needs despite him wanting to be traded earlier in the season. Jordan Binnington is penciled in as the starter, but not confirmed.
Marc-Andre Fleury is the likely starter in this one as the Wild try to get a win versus their probable first-round opponents. Both teams are in the top five of goals, so the over could be a safe play depending on where you look. Kirill Kaprizov is only nine points off 100 for the season.
This should be a goal-filled game, but the Wild finally get that win.
Prediction: Wild win 5-4.
Vegas Golden Knights vs Edmonton Oilers
Head-to-Head: Golden Knights 1-2 Oilers
The Knights are still two points off a Wild Card spot, but are coming off a huge 6-1 rout of the Calgary Flames. Vegas has won three of its last five games. Robin Lehner may not be able to start due to a family emergency, so Logan Thompson could get the start. Vegas does have an average of over five goals a game in its last three.
Mike Smith is the unconfirmed starter as of this time for the Oilers. Edmonton stopped a two-game losing streak thanks to a Leon Draisaitl hat trick in a win over Nashville. The Oilers are four points ahead of the Los Angeles Kings for second in the Pacific and would love points here.
The goalie matchup makes this tough to gauge, but the Oilers scratch out a win.
Predicition: Oilers win 3-2 in overtime.