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 Vancouver Canucks and the Winnipeg Jets.
NHL Predictions: January 8th Vancouver Canucks vs Winnipeg Jets
Florida Panthers vs Dallas Stars
Head-to-Head: Panthers 0-1 Stars
The Florida Panthers head to Texas for a meeting with the Dallas Stars. This is the second game of the season between the two cross-conference clubs. Dallas won the first meeting in Florida by a score of 6-4.
If the Panthers plan on being a part of the playoffs this season, the time is now for them to string together some wins. Florida has won their last two games but are 4-6-0 over the previous ten. They are currently six points out of a wildcard position. In addition, the Panthers have the 20th-ranked powerplay cashing in on 20.8% of opportunities despite Aaron Ekblad notching two powerplay markers in Florida’s most recent outing.
The Stars have dropped their last two games as they continue to battle with the Jets for first place in the Central Division. The Stars rely on their lethal special teams, as they have the league’s fifth-best powerplay and penalty kill. Captain Jamie Benn is quietly having a solid season for the Stars with 15 goals and 21 assists for 36 points in 40 games.
Look for the Panthers to split the season series with Dallas as they pick up the win tonight.
Panthers win 3-2
Columbus Blue Jackets vs Washington Capitals
Head-to-Head: Blue Jackets 0-1 Capitals
The Washington Capitals host the Columbus Blue Jackets as the two Metropolitan teams meet for the second time this week. The Capitals crushed the Blue Jackets by a score of 6-2 on Thursday night.
The Caps will be the home team this time, and they have been on fire lately. They will be getting some reinforcements as Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson will make their season debuts tonight. Their 16th-ranked powerplay will receive a massive boost from the playmaking abilities of Backstrom.
The Blue Jackets picked up a 4-3 shootout win over the Carolina Hurricanes as they will be playing the second night of a back-to-back set. Kent Johnson scored the shootout winner for Columbus. The Blue Jackets sit second last in the NHL standings, four points ahead of the last-place Chicago Blackhawks.
Capitals win 7-4
Vancouver Canucks vs Winnipeg Jets
Head-to-Head: Canucks 0-2 Jets
Our featured game of today’s NHL Predictions is an all-Canadian matchup between the Vancouver Canucks and the Winnipeg Jets. Winnipeg will be looking to improve to 3-0 over the Canucks this season, as they won both of the previous two meetings. The Jets have been flying high of late, with a four-game winning streak coming into tonight’s contest. Pierre-Luc Dubois has had the hot hand lately, scoring two goals in the Jets’ 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Winnipeg trails the Stars by just one point for the lead in the Central Division. Nikolaj Ehlers, Blake Wheeler and Cole Perfetti returned to the lineup against the Lightning.
The Canucks have a 5-5-0 record over their last ten games. Overall they have a 17-18-3 record this season that has them in sixth place in the Pacific Division. Elias Pettersson and Bo Horvat lead the Canucks offensively with 46 and 43 points, respectively. Horvat has a team-leading 28 goals in 38 games. Spencer Martin will start for Vancouver, who is still missing regular starter Thatcher Demko due to a lower-body injury.
The Jets continue their impressive streak and pick up their fifth straight win tonight.
Jets win 3-0
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