NHL Predictions: October 21 with Tampa Bay Lightning vs Florida Panthers

NHL Predictions

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 Tampa Bay Lightning vs Florida Panthers.

NHL Predictions: Tampa Bay Lightning vs Florida Panthers

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Florida Panthers

Head-to-Head: Lightning 0-0 Panthers

It’s a light night on the ice, but the Battle of Florida is always a big deal. Tampa Bay is off to a very un-Tampa like start at 1-3. However, Steven Stamkos has been on fire to start the season. The Lightning captain already has six goals, so the bad start is not totally on him. Tampa has surrendered 14 goals so far in four games this season. One other problem is the Tampa offence has been held to two goals or less in three games.

Florida has been the opposite of their Sunshine State rivals at 3-1 this season. The offensive load has been shared with Carter Verhaeghe leads in goals with two and newly-acquired Matthew Tkachuk has six points. The Panthers have netted at least three goals per game in each of their contests.

It’s always an intense rivalry, but bury the Lightning at your own peril.

Prediction: Lightning win in a shootout 3-2.

Detroit Red Wings vs Chicago Blackhawks

Head-to-Head: Red Wings 0-0 Blackhawks

It’s an Original Six rivalry that only happens a couple times a year. Detroit has gotten a point in each of their three games so far this season. The Red Wings will be shorthanded with the loss of Tyler Bertuzzi to injury and Jakub Vrana for personal reasons. However, Detroit has responded well under new head coach Derek Lalonde. The Wings are fifth in goals allowed and have a little more defensive structure.

Chicago is coming off a 5-2 win over the San Jose Sharks, who are fellow contenders in the Connor Bedard sweepstakes. If  you have Sam Lafferty as your team’s leading scorer, then please give me the latest lottery numbers. Granted it’s early, but still a stunning stat. Chicago is last in goals for with seven, but do have a decent power play. However, Detroit’s penalty kill hasn’t given up a single goal when down a man.

The Blackhawks will need to cash in their extra-man chances if they want to get a win.

Prediction: Red Wings win 4-1.

Seattle Kraken vs Colorado Avalanche

Head-t0-Head: Kraken 0-0 Avalanche

The last game of our predictions features two teams that love to score goals. Both teams are in the top five of scoring goals so far this season. Seattle is fifth in goals for with 14 and Andre Burakovsky has been loving life in the Emerald City. The Austrian has two goals and three assists for his new team. Seattle’s only problem is that it’s let up 20 goals, which is 29th. Both Martin Jones and Philipp Grubauer have struggled in net for the Kraken.

Colorado is trying to deal without its captain Gabriel Landeskog, who will be out long term. The defending champions in are third in goals for coming into Friday’s game with 17. However, their penalty kill is dead-last in the league. Valeri Nichushkin has been solid with five goals and Nathan MacKinnon has six assists so far this season. The Avalanche are 21st in goals allowed with 14. Alexandar Georgiev should get the start for Colorado, but he’ll need to tighten his numbers up.

It will be interesting to see how the champs do without their captain, but they have a deep enough lineup. The over of 6.5 could be a tempting play.

Prediction: Avalanche win 5-3.

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