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 between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Boston Bruins.
Carolina Hurricanes vs Pittsburgh Penguins
Head to Head: Hurricanes 0 – 0 Penguins
The first game on our NHL Predictions is within the Metropolitan Division. Both the Carolina Hurricanes and the Pittsburgh Penguins are separated by two points in the tightly contested division. This has the makings of being a good hockey game.
This game is littered with great talent up front for both teams. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Jake Guentzel are the big guns to watch for. The top six is what gets it done in Carolina with Sebastian Aho, Andrei Svechnikov, and a rejuvenated Martin Necas. You just appreciate this kind of talent and want to tune in for it.
This game will come down to the men between the pipes given the talent up front. With Frederik Andersen injured, it will be Pyotr Kochetkov in net for Carolina. The young Russian netminder has a 2-1-3 record and a 2.33 GAA and a .913 save percentage. Tristan Jarry should be in line to start. His goals against average is 2.90 and .914 save percentage. Should be a great matchup where the points matter even this early into the season.
Prediction: Penguins defeat Hurricanes 4-3
San Jose Sharks vs Montreal Canadiens
Head to Head: Sharks 0 – 0 Canadiens
This game on our NHL Predictions features interconference play. The San Jose Sharks travel into Canada to take on the Montreal Canadiens. Both teams are currently in the basement of their respective divisions, but each team is trending in opposite directions.
Montreal enters play tonight, winning its last two games, whereas San Jose has lost its previous three games. These teams are not must-watch hockey, but if you love talent and individual players this is the match for you. Erik Karlsson looks like his old self and is tied for third in the league in points (32). The Habs’ youthful movement has taken over, especially on their top line. Cole Caufield, Nick Suzuki, and Kirby Dach have been great as a line and should give a Sharks team who has allowed the most goals at even strength (66).
Prediction: Canadiens defeat Sharks 4-2
New York Islanders vs Philadelphia Flyers
Head to Head: Islanders 1 – 0 Flyers
A rematch from this weekend, only this time it is in the city of Brotherly Love. Although there was no love between these two teams at the end of the last game. The New York Islanders took the two points after a commanding win on home ice (5-2 final score). Things have not gone the Philadelphia Flyers‘ way as of late. After a strong start, they are 0-7-3 in their last 10 and have struggled mightily.
The Islanders are trending upward. They find themselves in second place in their division and have won four in a row. Brock Nelson and Mathew Barzal carry the load offensively, but they are great defensively allowing 2.57 goals against per game. That doesn’t bode well for a Flyers team who struggles to find the back of the net. The edge goes to the Islanders across the board, especially if Ilya Sorokin is in the net.
Prediction: Islanders defeat Flyers 5-3
Tampa Bay Lightning vs Boston Bruins
Head to Head: Lightning 0 – 1 Bruins
Tonight’s featured matchup is between two juggernauts in the Atlantic Division. For the second time in a matter of a week, the Tampa Bay Lightning will play the Boston Bruins. In the first matchup between the two teams, the Bruins emerged victorious 5-3. It was a memorable game for the Bruins as captain Patrice Bergeron recorded his 1000th point.
When you look at both teams you think of the offensive firepower. Tampa Bay can be as lethal as anybody with Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, and Brayden Point. They have depth with contributions coming from Alex Killorn, Nick Paul, and Brandon Hagel. Shockingly, they are middle of the pack scoring 69 goals.
The Boston Bruins have been one of the best teams all season. They lead the league in goals scored (84) and lead the league is goals against (47). David Pastrnak is paving the way with 32 points. Boston has ten players that have double-digit point totals, and contributions are everywhere. Two deep teams with firepower up and down the lineup.
The one key thing to factor in is the play on the back end. Both teams essentially have two number-one defensemen. For the Bruins Hampus Lindholm and Charlie McAvoy are playing great hockey. However, on the other end, Mikhail Sergachev and Victor Hedman lead the charge. Not only are they capable of shutting down opposing top players, but the offence from the back end is also there.
The goaltending matchup is as good as any. Linus Ullmark is playing top-tier hockey, and Andrei Vasilevskiy is still one of the best goalies in the game. The two went head to head last game, and Ullmark reigned supreme. With Tampa entering the second of a back-to-back, Boston will have fresh legs in this pivotal showdown.
Prediction: Bruins defeat Lightning 4-3
The Boss is locked in. 🔒 pic.twitter.com/w7bXM9zMb2
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) November 28, 2022