NHL Predictions: November 26 Including Toronto Maple Leafs vs Pittsburgh Penguins

PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 15: Toronto Maple Leafs Goalie Matt Murray (30) makes a blocker save as Pittsburgh Penguins Left Wing Brock McGinn (23) goes to the net during the second period in the NHL game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Toronto Maple Leafs on November 15, 2022, at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. (Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via NHL/Getty Images)

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 Toronto Maple Leafs and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

NHL Predictions: Toronto Maple Leafs vs Pittsburgh Penguins

Washington Capitals vs New Jersey Devils

Head-to-Head Capitals 1-0 Devils

Starting this set of NHL predictions, let’s look at this divisional matchup. Tonight, the Washington Capitals and the New Jersey Devils play each for the second time this season. The first game, on October 24, ended with the Capitals winning by 6-3. The Devils outshot the Capitals in the first game by a large margin however didn’t receive very good netminding for Mackenzie Blackwood, who was pulled after allowing five goals on just 18 shots.

Both teams are coming on the backside of a back-to-back, so there is no advantage for either side regarding possible fatigue. However, the Capitals are coming off an excellent 3-0 victory over the Calgary Flames. T.J. Oshie and Alex Ovechkin lead Washington with a goal and an assist, each in the victory. Goaltender Darcy Kuemper picked up his second shutout of the season. Expect the Capitals to turn to their backup, Charlie Lindgren, for the second game in as many nights. Lindgren holds a record of 2-1-2 and also played in Washington’s first game against New Jersey.

New Jersey had their franchise-record 13-game winning snapped earlier in the week against the Toronto Maple Leafs. However, it didn’t take the Devils long to get back in the win column as they got back to business yesterday against the Buffalo Sabres. The Devils have been playing solid hockey through the season’s first quarter, and they are first in the Metropolitan division. Vitek Vanecek is expected to start in the Devils’ net and has been solid in his first season with the club. Vanecek has a 2.13 GAA and a .917 SV% to go along with a 9-2-1 record.

A quick look at the standings suggests the Devils will take the win. However, the NHL predictions for this game are that Washington will show they still belong at the top of the division with a big win over a divisional rival.

Capitals win 4-3

Philadelphia Flyers vs New York Islanders

Head-to-Head Flyers 0-0 Islanders

The Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders meet for the first time this season. The two clubs played preseason games against each other, and the Islanders won. This is the first of a home-and-home between the Metropolitan division foes.

Philadelphia found success early this season, but now, 20 games into the season are showing their true colours. Their goal-scoring average of 2.5 per game is the worst in the league, and their powerplay isn’t much better. Flyer faithful have not had much to cheer about recently, as Philadelphia has now lost nine straight. Overall, the Flyers are 7-9-5 and sit sixth in the Metro.

The New York Islanders look to be a playoff team this season, as their 15-8-0 record suggests. Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov is expected to start for the Islanders. Varlamov has a 4-3-0 with a 2.97 GAA and a .914 SV% on the season. Mathew Barzal is averaging over a point a game this season, scoring just two goals while piling up 21 assists in 21 games.

All streaks must end, and tonight, the Flyers pick up a win over the Islanders.

Flyers win 3-2

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Pittsburgh Penguins

Head-to-Head Maple Leafs 1-1 Penguins

In our NHL predictions featured game of the night, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Pittsburgh Penguins will be playing each other for the third time this season. The two clubs split the first two meetings as the home team picked up wins in each outing. The Maple Leafs have outscored the Penguins seven to six through the first two contests.

Matt Murray returned from his early season injury the last time these two teams met. Toronto, however, is on the backside of playing back-to-back nights, and Murray started in a victory over the Minnesota Wild yesterday. Expect backup netminder Erik Kallgren to get the start against the Penguins. The Leafs’ four primary offensive weapons have been good this season, and Mitch Marner leads the team with 24 points in 21 games. Auston Matthews has quietly put up nine goals so far and is due to start replicating his scoring prowess from last season.

The Penguins enter the game a fair bit more rested as they sit and wait to play host to the Leafs. In their most recent match, Pittsburgh won over rival Philadelphia by a score of 4-1. Tristan Jarry has seen most of the action in the Penguins’ crease, going 7-3-2 in his 12 starts. Sidney Crosby is producing at high levels leading Pittsburgh with 27 points in 20 games. Pittsburgh is riding a hot streak coming into tonight with five straight wins.

The feature matchup will be well worth tuning into as it will be a tightly contested yet high-scoring game. Even though both teams have been playing excellent hockey of late, Pittsburgh exposes the injury-riddled blueline of the Maple Leafs tonight.

Penguins win 6-5

Main photo:
Embed from Getty Images