Welcome back to another day of NHL Predictions. Each day, Last Word on Hockey looks at the games 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 Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Be sure to check out our other bunch of NHL Predictions for Saturday.
Minnesota Wild vs Buffalo Sabres
Head-to-Head: Wild 0-0 Sabres
The Buffalo Sabres kick off a four-game homestand as they host the Minnesota Wild tonight. The Sabres are 7-2-1 playing their best hockey of the season, and are 7-2-1 over their last ten. Despite sitting outside of a playoff position, Buffalo is the highest-scoring team in the league, averaging 3.94 goals per game. In addition, the Sabres have been making teams pay with the man advantage and the second-best powerplay in NHL.
The Wild also have been on fire lately, with an 8-2-0 record over their last ten. In their latest victory, they topped the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-1. Defence has been a strong suit for the Wild as they rank ninth in average goals against per game, averaging 2.76. Minnesota also ranks ninth when it comes to shots allowed, allowing 29.7 per game. They will be without Mats Zuccarello for the contest as he is dealing with an upper-body injury.
This one will be an entertaining clash. However, the Sabres get the edge as they take advantage of the highly penalized Wild.
Sabres win 4-2
Seattle Kraken vs Ottawa Senators
Head-to-Head: Kraken vs Senators
The Seattle Kraken continue their trip through Canada as they visit the Ottawa Senators. The Kraken have reeled off three straight wins outscoring their opponents 14-4. Seattle is fourth in goal scoring this season and our getting scoring throughout their lineup. Jared McCann leads the Kraken with 18 goals. Seattle is coming off a 5-1 win over the Maple Leafs.
The Senators shut out the basement-dwelling Columbus Blue Jackets in their last outing. The Sens have solid special teams, capitalizing on 28% of their power play chances and killing 82.1% of their penalties. Drake Batherson leads Ottawa with ten powerplay goals. The Senators are 4-0-1 in their last five home games and 11-8-1 at home overall.
The Kraken continue their tear through Canada tonight as they pick up another win.
Kraken win 5-3
St Louis Blues vs Montreal Canadiens
Head-to-Head: Blues 0-1 Canadiens
The Montreal Canadiens and St.Louis Blues battle this season for the second and final time. The cross-conference opponents played on October 29, with the Canadiens prevailing 7-4. The Blues are currently in fifth place in the Central Division and have a two-game winning streak on the line tonight. Jordan Kyrou and Robert Thomas pace the Blues on the offensive side of things with 38 and 37 points, respectively.
The Canadiens must have been paying attention to Connor Bedard’s record-breaking performance at the 2023 World Juniors. Montreal has now lost seven straight as they continue to fall down the NHL standings. The New York Rangers handed the Canadiens a 4-1 loss in their last game, with Joel Armia scoring his first goal of the season for Montreal.
While all streaks must end, tonight is not the night as the Blues will hand Montreal their eighth straight loss.
Blues win 3-1
Detroit Red Wings vs Toronto Maple Leafs
Head-to-Head: Red Wings 0-0 Maple Leafs
In our featured game of the night, the Detroit Red Wings head to Toronto to take on the Maple Leafs. The two Original Six rivals have played each other once this season, ending with a 4-2 Maple Leafs victory. There is a ton of history between the two clubs, including the 2014 Winter Classic and the 2017 Centennial Classic. Toronto topped the Red Wings in both of the outdoor games.
Maple Leafs’ superstar Auston Matthews performs well against the Red Wings with 16 goals and 13 assists for 29 points in 18 games. After scoring a hat trick four times last season, the Leafs’ sniper has yet to accomplish the feat this season. Look for Matthews to continue his high-scoring ways against the Wings tonight.
Overall, Toronto has stumbled lately, with a 5-4-1 record over their last ten giving ground to the Boston Bruins in the Atlantic Division standings. The Leafs trail the Bruins by 11 points and have just a four-point lead over the third-place Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Red Wings are also slipping as of late, with a 3-6-1 record over their last ten games. Detroit will be playing on short rest after dropping last night’s home game to the Florida Panthers 3-2. Robby Fabbri notched his first goal of the campaign after making his season debut this week. Fabbri will be a welcomed boost to Detroit’s forward group, which captain Dylan Larkin leads with 33 points in 35 games.
Look for the Maple Leafs to get back to their winning ways tonight.
Maple Leafs win 6-2.
Check out our other NHL Predictions coming up today and the rest of the week.