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 Carolina Hurricanes and the New Jersey Devils.
NHL Predictions: Carolina Hurricanes vs New Jersey Devils
New York Rangers vs Florida Panthers
Head to Head: Rangers 0-0 Panthers
The first of today’s game for NHL Predictions is between the New York Rangers and the Florida Panthers. Both teams are coming off losses recently and are looking to the start the new year with winning.
Florida sits nicely out of the Atlantic and needs to get back to playoff form. Matthew Tkachuk continues to lead the way and will look to do entering the new year. The Rangers sit in the middle of the pack in the tightly contested metropolitan division. One player finding his form is Igor Shesterkin. In the month of December he finished with a 7-2-2 record, 2.14 GAA and a .927 save percentage. His 11.2 goals saved above expected ranks ninth in the league and is why he takes the Rangers to victory.
Prediction: Rangers defeat Panthers 3-2
Carolina Hurricanes vs New Jersey Devils
Head to Head: Hurricanes 1-0 Devils
Tonight’s featured matchup on the NHL Predictions is a crucial Metropolitan Division showdown. The Carolina Hurricanes begin their road trip in the tri-state area against the New Jersey Devils. Carolina took the first meeting in a 4-1 victory on home ice.
Take Warning; the Carolina Hurricanes have been the hottest team in hockey. They have not lost in regulation since November 23. In addition, their only loss came in overtime against the Anaheim Ducks. New Jersey has been on a losing streak only winning twice since December sixth.
Both teams are smothering defensively and they rank second and third in average goals against per game. Both are in the top five in high danger chances against. Just a massive testament to their defensive play. Both teams will need that, as both teams have stud forwards. Sebastian Aho, Martin Necas, Jack Hughes, and Nico Hischier highlight this matchup.
The key to the game will be goaltending. Pyotr Kochetkov has been everything you could ask for, and Antti Raanta is coming off back-to-back shutouts. The Devils will need Vitek Vanecek or Mackenzie Blackwood to be at their best to counter their opponent. It does not help the Devils averaged 2.42 goals per game in the month of December. Entering the new year they’ll need that to improve to get back to their winning ways.
Prediction: Hurricanes defeat Devils 4-2
Hischier, Noesen lead Devils to win over Hurricanes. MORE: https://t.co/ABNIWBx5m6 pic.twitter.com/7TXyBQD8hJ
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) February 16, 2018