NHL Predictions: December 18th with Pittsburgh Penguins vs Carolina Hurricanes

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 for NHL Predictions is the Pittsburgh Penguins vs Carolina Hurricanes.

NHL Predictions

Ottawa Senators vs Minnesota Wild

Head-to-Head: Senators 0-1 Wild

The Ottawa Senators have won four straight and have taken some of the pressure off embattled coach D.J. Smith. Ottawa netted a 6-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night. Anton Forsberg will likely draw the start in goal for Ottawa with Cam Talbot going Saturday night.

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The Minnesota Wild did beat the Senators in the first meeting of the season. Minnesota is also on a four-game winning run and Mats Zuccarello got his first hat trick in seven years Friday against the Chicago Blackhawks. Filip Gustavsson is the confirmed starter for the Wild, who are starting to piece it together.

This should be a fun one, but someone has to lose. Minnesota wins a tight one.

Prediction: Wild win 3-2 in a shootout.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs Carolina Hurricanes

Head-to-Head: Penguins 0-1 Hurricanes

Our featured game is a Metropolitan Division showdown of two red-hot teams. Pittsburgh has won seven straight and continue to stay with the pack in the division. The Pens are seventh in goals for and 10th in goals against. Tristan Jarry will likely get the start in net for the Penguins. Evgeni Malkin could be a game-time decision for daily and regular fantasy hockey players.

Carolina is 8-0-2 in its last 10 games as its trying to stay near the top of the Metro. Pyotr Kochetkov likely gets the start with the Canes going to Antti Raanta the night before. Carolina has a pair of shutouts in its last four games and is fourth in goals against. Both teams play smart games in their own end of the ice.

The over/under of six could be tempting, but you may want to avoid that. Pittsburgh sneaks away with the road win.

Prediction: Penguins win 2-1.

New York Rangers vs Chicago Blackhawks

Head-to-Head: Rangers 0-1 Blackhawks

Don’t look now, but the New York Rangers have won six straight games. However, they’ve needed each and every point to keep pace in the division. New York got a rare win from backup Jaroslav Halak, which means Igor Shesterkin gets the call in net. The Blueshirts defence has allowed only one goal in three on the last five games.

It’s looking like the Chicago Blackhawks want a shot at Connor Bedard. Petr Mrazek will likely get the start, but check social media before doing anything with this game. The Hawks have lost six straight and it doesn’t look good with being worst in goals for.

The over/under of six might a smart play with the Rangers offence humming along.

Prediction: Rangers win 5-2.

Winnipeg Jets vs Seattle Kraken

Head-to-Head: Jets 1-0 Kraken

It’s the second of three meetings between the club as the Winnipeg Jets beat the Seattle Kraken, 3-2, in overtime last time. David Rittich likely gets the call with Connor Hellebuyck starting the night before. Winnipeg is middle of the road in goals for, but fifth in goals allowed.

The Kraken are at 100 goals for the season and in the mix in the Pacific Division. Martin Jones likely draws the start for Seattle, which is 29th on the penalty kill. Special teams could tell the story.

It’s a clash of style, but the Jets defence should win out.

Prediction: Jets win 3-2.

Calgary Flames vs San Jose Sharks

Head-to-Head: Flames 0-0 Sharks

The Calgary Flames have been struggling most of the season. They’ve been inconsistent most of the time this year. Calgary has lost five straight and will turn to Daniel Vladar against the San Jose Sharks.

San Jose was expected to struggle, but have won two in a row. Kaapo Kahkonen will get the call, which was confirmed on Friday afternoon. The Sharks do have the third-best penalty kill in the league.

Calgary needs wins and it gets one here.

Prediction: Flames win 4-2.

Be sure to check out our NHL Predictions tomorrow.

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