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 Florida Panthers and the Boston Bruins.
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NHL Predictions: Florida Panthers vs Boston Bruins
Dallas Stars vs Columbus Blue Jackets
Head to Head: Stars 0-0 Blue Jackets
Tonight’s first matchup on our NHL Predictions is between the Dallas Stars and Columbus Blue Jackets. Dallas is concluding their five game road trip (2-2), and Columbus has lost three games in a row.
This is ass lopsided of a matchup as any. The Stars are a high powered squad. They are second in the league in goals scored, top 10 in both special teams categories, and have the better goaltending. In addition, Columbus has the 29th-ranked power play, giving Dallas an already more significant edge. Columbus is notoriously known for giving up many dreams, and goaltending is their weakest link. If Columbus wants to provide holiday cheer for their faithful fans, they’ll need to display their best performance against one of the best teams in hockey.
Prediction: Stars defeat Blue Jackets 4-1
Detroit Red Wings vs Washington Capitals
Head to Head: Red Wings 0-0 Capitals
Tonights featured matchup is within the Eastern Conference. Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals take on the Detroit Red Wings. Four points separate both teams, and Washington has tightened the gap within their own division.
While Ovechkin has finally scored goal number 800, we are all on watch for 801 and 802. He has scored one goal against Detroit this year and has eight points in five games.
Detroit is on a five-game losing skid. They will be looking to right the ship and the man between the pipes could help. Ville Husso has been good for the wings. He has a 2.61 GAA and a .913 save percentage. With the Wings banged up at forward, it may be tough to emerge victorious.
Prediction: Capitals defeat Red Wings 3-2
Edmonton Oilers vs Nashville Predators
Head to Head: Oilers 1-0 Predators
For the second time in a matter of days, the Edmonton Oilers take on the Nashville Predators. The Oilers took the first matchup 6-3. The big boys led the way in that one, especially Zach Hyman, who posted a hat trick in that matchup.
The big guns for the Oilers are a problem. Shutting them down is as they are a large part of the offensive attack. Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent Hopkins, and Hyman are the only forwards with double-digit points. In order to limit their time and space, Nashville will look to get the pair of Mattias Ekholm and Alexandre Carrier on the ice. As a pair, they have the lowest expected goals against per 60 minutes and are good at limiting chances.
Even with Jusse Saros between the pipes, the Oilers big guns are a handful.
Prediction: Oilers defeat Predators 4-2
Florida Panthers vs Boston Bruins
Head to Head: Panthers 1-1 Bruins
Tonights featured matchup is between the Florida Panthers and the Boston Bruins. They have played twice before, each winning one game and on home ice. Boston looks to continue it’s homestand where they have gone 2-1 in that stretch. Florida is coming off a big win in New Jersey, although they did suffer a big blow losing Aleksander Barkov.
Both of these teams are extremely talented and deep. Each team led by blossoming super star wingers in David Pastrnak (BOS), and Matthew Tkachuk (FLA). But then there comes the supporting cast. Two supporting cast players that are thriving right now are Taylor Hall and Carter Verhaeghe. Hall is hot right now and has 12 points in his last nine games, whereas Verhaeghe has three points in his last five games while leading the team in goals with 16.
One X-factor that will come into play is the special teams’ play. The Boston Bruins can score goals at 5v5, but also the powerplay. It ranks first in the league (84.6% success rate), and they’ve scored the fourth most goals (26). The Panthers kill will need to be at their best for this one.
Sergei Bobrovsky played well against New Jersey and will get the crease against Linus Ullmark. Ullmark has been playing Vezina calibre hockey and will need to in order to secure a victory.
Prediction: Panthers defeat Bruins 4-3