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 Colorado Avalanche vs Edmonton Oilers.
NHL Predictions With Colorado Avalanche vs Edmonton Oilers
Ottawa Senators vs Columbus Blue Jackets
Head-to-Head: Senators 1 – 1 Blue Jackets
In their last game, the Ottawa Senators managed to scrape by the Vancouver Canucks. Adam Gaudette scored the shootout-winning goal against Vancouver, with Filip Gustavsson stopping four of five shooters. Tim Stützle leads the team with nine points through his last five games. On the other hand, the Columbus Blue Jackets have been struggling lately, entering this contest on a three-game losing streak. Despite the team’s overall lack of success, Jake Bean and Jack Roslovic each recorded three points during that stretch. Though the Blue Jackets hasn’t had much luck leading up to tonight’s game, they should be able to take advantage of the Senators’ inconsistency – particularly in goal – to get a win.
Prediction: Blue Jackets win, 4-3
Seattle Kraken vs Minnesota Wild
Head-to-Head: Kraken 1 – 1 Wild
Things are looking up for the Seattle Kraken. Though they remain at the bottom of the Pacific Division, they are on a three-game winning streak that includes an upset over the Colorado Avalanche. Since his NHL debut, Matthew Beniers has been scoring at a point-per-game pace for the Kraken, with two goals and two assists in four games. The Minnesota Wild, with a playoff spot secured, have a two-game winning streak of their own. Cam Talbot shut out the Montreal Canadiens in his last start, stopping all 26 shots he faced. Although the Kraken recently defeated a playoff-bound team, it’d be hard to envision them beating the Wild.
Prediction: Wild win, 4-2
Colorado Avalanche vs Edmonton Oilers
Head-to-Head: Avalanche 2 – 0 Oilers
The Colorado Avalanche are headed to the postseason in style, owning the best record in the Western Conference. However, they haven’t been quite so formidable as of late, having dropped two games in a row – including one to the Kraken. That was a rough night for Pavel Francouz, who allowed three goals on just 29 shots. Cale Makar, though, continues to score at a speedy pace, with two goals and five points through his last five games. Nathan MacKinnon has eight points of his own during that stretch.
Conversely, the Edmonton Oilers have yet to secure a playoff berth. They’re certainly on the right track, though, as they head into this game having won three consecutive games in decisive fashion. Although the usual suspects have been contributing to the Oilers’ recent success – Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl have five points each through their last five games – the team has also been seeing others step up. Of Edmonton’s 13 goals in its most recent three games, 10 were from different players.
Although Colorad0 has swept the head-to-head thus far, the differences between a team that has already secured its future and a team still gunning for its own playoff berth could play a role in tonight’s game. As a result, there should an opening for the Oilers to upset the Avalanche.
Prediction: Oilers win, 5-3
Washington Capitals vs Arizona Coyotes
Head-to-Head: Capitals 1 – 0 Coyotes
The Washington Capitals and Arizona Coyotes are in very different situations as the season draws to a close. The Capitals are headed to the postseason, while the Coyotes are set to get the first overall pick in the draft. Entering tonight’s game, Arizona has lost a current league-high eight games in a row, whereas Washington only dropped its last game. For the Capitals, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Alex Ovechkin each have seven points through their last five games; five of Ovechkin’s were goals. On the Coyotes’ end, Karel Vejmelka has performed as well as could be expected of him in his latest two starts. He allowed nine goals in total, but on a whopping 91 shots, even carrying Arizona to overtime against the Chicago Blackhawks. Nevertheless, a goaltender alone will not be enough to stop the Capitals today.
Prediction: Capitals win, 6-2