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
Edmonton Oilers vs Calgary Flames
Series: Oilers 3-1 Flames
Game 4 started out horribly for Calgary. Jacob Markstrom came out of the crease to play the puck and misplayed it directly to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who easily scored before Markstrom could get back into position just 21 seconds into the game. Things got worse before they got better for the Flames. Zach Hyman added a power-play goal and Evander Kane got on the board to make it 3-0.
For a while, it almost looked as if Markstrom and Mike Smith had switched places, with Markstrom’s bad play and giving up multiple goals and Smith stopping all of Calgary’s shots in the first period, but the Flames got two in the second from an Elias Lindholm power-play goal and Mikael Backlund and another in the third from Rasmus Andersson to tie it. Andersson didn’t just score any old goal. He cleared the puck from their blue line on the penalty kill, and it went in. Edmonton came back to win, but it certainly was exciting.
Both teams are going to be playing desperate hockey in Game 5. The Oilers want to make the Western Conference Final for the first time since 2005-06. And Calgary’s down to their last chance. Johnny Gaudreau is set to become an unrestricted free agent, and Matthew Tkachuk is set to become a restricted free agent, so next year’s team might be without one of its 100-point players.
Prediction: 5-4 Flames
Carolina Hurricanes vs New York Rangers
Series: Hurricanes 2-2 Rangers
Game 4 of this series was the highest scoring one yet. New York came out on top 4-1. Andrew Copp led the Rangers with three points in the win. Igor Shesterkin continued to stand on his head, stopping 30 of 31 of the Hurricanes’ shots. Despite Carolina outshooting New York 31-28, it was the first game of the series that has been won by more than two goals. Carolina continued its streak of losing on the road in the playoffs, losing its fifth straight.
In the penalty minutes category, the Hurricanes had 27 compared to the Rangers’ 13. New York capitalized on one of their power-play chances. One thing that didn’t help was when Steven Lorentz and Jacob Trouba fought in the first period, Lorentz came away with two minutes for instigating, five for fighting and 10 for misconduct, while Trouba only got five. There are going to be some extra-curricular activities in this series, and while there’s some speculation about the Trouba-Lorentz incident, the Hurricanes will need to try to stay more disciplined in Game 5.
Now that they’re back home for Game 5, they should be able to take another series lead.
Prediction: 3-1 Hurricanes