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 Edmonton Oilers vs Calgary Flames.
NHL Predictions with Edmonton Oilers vs Calgary Flames
New York Rangers vs Carolina Hurricanes
Series: Hurricanes 2-1 Rangers
Every game in this series has been relatively close on paper, with the winning team either winning by one or two goals. Carolina won Game 1 in overtime 2-1 with Ian Cole scoring the game-winner. The Hurricanes won Game 2 2-0. New York won Game 3 3-1. The shots on goal have been close too until Game 3. The Rangers outshot Carolina 28-26 in Game 1, and the Hurricanes outshot New York 22-21 in Game 2 before Carolina outshot the Rangers 44-33 in Game 3.
New York forward Chris Kreider leads the team in goals these playoffs with six. Mika Zibanejad leads the team in points with 13. The Hurricanes’ point leaders don’t have quite as many. Sebastian Aho leads the team in goals with four, and Teuvo Teravainen leads the team in points with nine.
Carolina and the Rangers finished in first and second place in the Metropolitan Division, respectively. The Hurricanes had six more points than New York and finished third in the league to the Rangers’ seventh-place finish. They also both took their opponents in the first round to seven games.
The series will likely continue to be close, but Carolina should be able to pull away from New York.
Prediction: 3-2 Hurricanes
Edmonton Oilers vs Calgary Flames
Series: Oilers 2-1 Flames
There is no shortage of hatred between these two teams or goals. Fifteen goals were scored in Game 1, when Calgary won 9-6 and Matthew Tkachuk had a hat trick. There has been a little less scoring since then, with eight goals being scored in Game 2 and Edmonton coming out on top 5-3. And there were only five goals scored in Game 3 with the Oilers winning 4-1 and Evander Kane having a hat trick.
Before Monday’s games, Connor McDavid led playoff scoring with 23 points in 10 games. Leon Draisaitl was right behind him in second with 19 points, and Kane was in fourth place with 13 points. The only Flame in the top 10 was Johnny Gaudreau, who was tied with Kane with 13 points.
While Jacob Markstrom led the league in shutouts in the regular season and helped Calgary to a first-place finish in the Pacific Division, he’s had a tough time stopping the Oilers top line and got pulled in Game 3. Mike Smith, despite getting pulled in Game 1, has outplayed Markstrom so far this series.
The Flames are going to need some production from everyone, including their top line, who didn’t bury any of their chances in Game 3, if they are going to beat Edmonton. If they can’t stop McDavid, they’re going to have to score more to extend the series. They’ve proven they’re capable of it before.
Prediction: 5-4 Flames.