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 Winnipeg Jets.
NHL Predictions: Tampa Bay Lightning vs Winnipeg Jets
Nashville Predators vs Washington Capitals
Head-to-Head: Predators 0-0 Capitals
The Nashville Predators visit the Washington Capitals as both teams are playing for the second time in as many nights. The Capital continued to score in bunches as they picked up a 6-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Capitals got T.J. Oshie back after being sidelined for the previous six games. Oshie scored two goals in his return to the lineup. The Predators spoiled Max Pacioretty‘s debut with the Carolina Hurricanes as they topped the Canes 5-3. Predators starting goalie Juuse Saros set a franchise record with 64 saves against the Hurricanes. Nashville has picked up points in their last four games, while Washington is 7-1-2 in their last ten.
Washington win 5-4
Florida Panthers vs Detroit Red Wings
Head-to-Head: Panthers 1-0 Red Wings
The Detroit Red Wings host a divisional foe as the Florida Panthers pay a visit to Little Caesers Arena. This will be the second contest between the two teams, as Florida rolled to a 5-1 victory in the first meeting.
The Panthers’ season has not gone well, and they currently sit in seventh place in the Atlantic Division. The Panthers lead the league in average shots per game with 36.3. However, they rank 25th with a 9% shooting percentage. Matthew Tkachuk has not disappointed in his first season with Florida, leading the team with 20 goals and 27 assists for 47 points in 36 games.
The Red Wings have struggled with a 3-5-2 record over the last ten games. Detroit lost 5-1 to the New Jersey Devils in their previous outing. The Red Wings have confirmed that Ville Husso will get the start in the net. He has a 12-7-5 record, including three shutouts, a 2.94 GAA, and a .904 SV% this season.
Panthers win 4-2
Tampa Bay Lightning vs Winnipeg Jets
Head-to-Head: Lightning 0-0 Jets
Our featured game of today’s NHL Predictions sees the Winnipeg Jets playing host to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Tonight marks the first of two meetings this season between the two. Last year the season series was split one game each in two high-scoring games as each team scored a combined 11 goals over both games.
Tampa Bay will look for a response after a forgetful showing against the Minnesota Wild. The Lightning lost 5-1 as backup Brian Elliott allowed four goals on 32 shots. Andrei Vasilevskiy will start as Tampa finishes their three-game Western Conference road trip. The Lightning’s “big three,” Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos and Brayden Point, have been leading the team offensively. Kucherov has 54 points in 37 games, showcasing his elite playmaking skills with 41 assists. Point leads Tampa Bay in goals with 22, while Stamkos has scored 17.
The Jets are on a three-game winning streak, most recently topping the Calgary Flames 3-2. Sam Gagner notched the game-winning goal scoring his seventh of the season. Winnipeg has been stout defensively, and with the strong goaltending of Connor Hellebuyck, they rank 2nd, allowing 2.55 goals per game. Hellebuyck is an absolute workhorse and has a 19-9-1 record while starting 29 of the Jets’ 38 games this season.
With the high-powered offensive capabilities on both rosters, and considering the 22 combined goals scored last season, don’t be shocked to see a high-scoring game tonight. The deciding factor will come from the special teams, as Tampa’s 4th best powerplay will look to capitalize against the Jets’ 4th ranked penalty kill.
Jets win 4-2