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 for NHL Predictions is the Pittsburgh Penguins vs Montreal Canadiens.
Anaheim Ducks vs New York Rangers
Head-to-Head: Ducks 0 – 0 Rangers
The Anaheim Ducks look to rebound after game one of their New York road trip, which saw them lose 7-1 to an Islanders team that dismantled them. However, today will be no easier. The New York Rangers look like they could be one of the best teams in the league this year. To some that may not be surprising.
After all, this is a team fresh off of an Eastern Conference Finals appearance. However, there were some serious questions about their 5v5 play last year. So far, they look like a very strong team. They currently have a 2-1-0 record but with Igor Shesterkin expected to play, look for this one to be a low-scoring game.
Prediction: Rangers win 3-2.
Arizona Coyotes vs Toronto Maple Leafs
Head-to-Head: Coyotes 0 – 0 Maple Leafs
The Arizona Coyotes have a brutal schedule to start the season. Because of building availability, or lack thereof, they spend most of their opening season on the road. This includes a six-game road trip to start the year, of which this is game three today. Regardless, the Coyotes have struggled as much as we would have guessed. It is no secret this team is tanking, and the results have shown that.
For Toronto, they have had a mixed bag of results. They lost to a Montreal Canadiens team on opening night, but that loss may have been a little overblown as they rattled off two good wins after. The Toronto Maple Leafs goaltending will be interesting to watch as Matt Murray is already on Long-Term Injury Reserve. Look for the Leafs offence to carry the load tonight.
Prediction: Leafs win 5-2.
Florida Panthers vs Boston Bruins
Head-to-Head: Panthers 0 – 0 Bruins
A massive matchup in the Atlantic division, these two teams may be fighting for a playoff spot or seeding with each other all season. Boston currently leads the Atlantic with a 2-0 record and 11 goals for plus just five against. However, one of those games was against the previously mentioned tanking Coyotes. Today, they will look to play a Florida team that is also 2-0 but has had much closer games.
So far, the Boston Bruins injuries haven’t set them back. But that could change against a deep and talented Florida team. The real question will be how Florida’s goalies stand up against what will be a potent Bruins powerplay. Staying out of the box may be key for Florida here.
Prediction: Panthers win 4-3 in Overtime.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs Montreal Canadiens
Head-to-Head: Penguins 0 – 0 Canadiens
Today’s NHL Predictions featured matchup is a return for Jeff Petry. The defenceman was flipped this summer in a trade that saw the Canadiens try to get younger, and the Penguins wanting to stay competitive. The Canadiens won their home opener against the Leafs, but have fallen to 1-2-0 since. This defence core is a serious issue with its lack of experience. They are playing multiple rookies due to injuries, which may be beneficial long-term, but will lead to some pain at times this season.
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) October 13, 2022
For the Penguins, they just seemingly keep on rolling. 2-0-0 start with 12 goals for and four goals against. They too have played the Coyotes which sways that number a little bit, but you can only play the teams your schedule gives you. Tristan Jarry has had a solid start to this early year and the Penguins will look for that to continue. The Pens team is one that has talent up and down the lineup, and the defence core looks refreshed too. The Penguins will need to focus on shutting down the young guns on Montreal’s offence. Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield have already connected a few times this season and are undeniably Montreal’s most dangerous duo.
Prediction: Canadiens win 5-4 in a shootout.
Vancouver Canucks vs Washington Capitals
Head-to-Head: Canucks 0 – 0 Capitals
The Washington Capitals signings continue into the year as Sonny Milano is now a part of the team. They will be looking for him to provide some extra depth out there as they weather some injuries early on. Specifically to Nicklas Backstrom, who is expected to miss a lot of this season. It is a huge loss and the added depth of Milano and Connor Brown, are meant to help cover that loss. So far, the Capitals haven’t looked great. But it is still early. No doubt they also expect more out of Darcy Kuemper.
The Vancouver Canucks are one of seven teams still looking for their first win of the 2022-23 season. They have only played two games but it hasn’t gone quite the way they would hope. Look for the names of Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes to lead by example. As well as a strong game from Thatcher Demko.
Prediction: Canucks win 4-2.