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 Dallas Stars.
NHL Predictions with Edmonton Oilers vs Dallas Stars
Chicago Blackhawks vs Arizona Coyotes
Head-to-Head: Blackhawks 1 – 2 Coyotes
Well, what’s there to say about these two teams? It’s been a dreadful season for both clubs and the 82-game mark can’t come soon enough. In their last 20 games combined, Arizona and Chicago have combined for a measly three wins between them. Oof.
But these can still be productive times. As a coach, you get to experiment with various lineups and get different looks as you look towards next season. Speaking of next season, the Coyotes still find themselves neck and neck with the Montreal Canadiens for the best odds in the Draft Lottery. A loss here will keep the Coyotes two points back of Montreal and remain in the league basement with five games to go.
Prediction: Blackhawks win 4-1
Washington Capitals vs Vegas Golden Knights
Head-to-Head: Capitals 0 – 1 Golden Knights
It’s the final meeting of the season between the two teams that battled for Stanley Cup supremacy back in 2018. The Capitals have already booked their ticket back to the Stanley Cup playoffs but the Vegas Golden Knights are desperately trying to lock in their spot.
Vegas sits five points back of third place in the Pacific Division and four back of the final Wild Card spot, albeit playing one extra game than the Dallas Stars. Vegas has almost no margin of error left in their season if they want to make the dance. They let a golden opportunity slip away at home after letting the New Jersey Devils come into their barn and steal two points in a 3-2 loss. This is a must-win for Vegas tonight.
As for the Caps, pressure on them is a little less than their counterparts. Washington is locked in for their eighth consecutive trip to the postseason but there is still some seeding to be determined. A win here would leapfrog the Caps over the Pittsburgh Penguins, from the Wild Card spot to third in the Metropolitan Division. Will that be a better scenario for the Caps in their first-round matchup? Honestly, there’s no favourable matchup in the Eastern Conference. It’s a stacked conference and any team the Caps play will make life difficult for them as they try to get past the first round for the first time since winning the Cup in 2018.
Prediction: Golden Knights win 3-2 OT
Colorado Avalanche vs Seattle Kraken
Head-to-Head: Avalanche 2 – 0 Kraken
The Avalanche had a nine-game winning streak snapped the other night, thanks to the Washington Capitals. It was the second nine-game winning streak of the season for Colorado. They’ve been able to run away with the Western Conference and sit atop the standings with no risk of losing their lofty status.
There are still accolades to play for, however. The President’s Trophy is still up for grabs, as the Florida Panthers are tied at 116 points apiece with the Av’s. As we all know though, President’s Trophy wins don’t guarantee playoff success. It’s been almost a decade since we last saw a President’s Trophy winner hoist the Stanley Cup, back in 2013 was the last time it happened.
Prediction: Avalanche win 6-2
Edmonton Oilers vs Dallas Stars
Head-to-Head: Oilers 0 – 2 Stars
The Edmonton Oilers have struggled mightily against the Stars since season. They will look to salvage the season series with a win tonight, but more importantly, they look to lock up a playoff spot tonight. A win, followed by a Vegas regulation loss tonight, will secure Edmonton’s spot in the playoffs. It will also provide some much-needed cushion for home-ice advantage in the first round.
Their opponent is still up in the air. It looked to be a lock to play the Los Angeles Kings, but recent surges by Vegas has made things interesting down the stretch. But that’s for the future Oilers to worry about. Right now it’s about getting locked in for the playoffs and putting together a strong, convincing showing against another playoff team tonight.
The Dallas Stars know how paramount this game is. The playoff race in the West is so tight and there is no room for error now. The Stars have had the Oilers’ number this year and will look to press on the Edmonton team again tonight and deprive the Oilers of locking in their playoff spot and help cement their own place in the Wild Card. Dallas has had an up and down season but they are so close to getting in the playoffs now, I don’t think they’ll let this opportunity slip.
With both teams having so much to play for tonight, expect this game to have all the makings of a playoff atmosphere!
Prediction: Stars win 4-2.