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 Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings. Be sure to check out our other NHL Predictions.
Carolina Hurricanes vs Columbus Blue Jackets
Head-to-Head: Hurricanes 1-1 Blue Jackets
The Carolina Hurricanes take on the Columbus Blue Jackets in a clash between two teams on the opposite end of the Metropolitan Division standings. Tonight mark’s the third meeting of the season between the two clubs. Carolina picked up a 4-1 win over Columbus in their home opener on Oct. 12. More recently, Columbus topped Carolina 4-3 in a shootout on Jan.7. Carolina enters the game on a four-game losing streak; however, starting goalie Frederick Andersen could return for tonight’s contest. Columbus remains in the thick of the Connor Bedard sweepstakes with a 12-26-2 record. They rank 31st in the NHL standings with 26 points and are 2-8-0 over their last ten.
Hurricanes win 5-1
Dallas Stars vs New York Rangers
Head-to-Head: Stars 0-1 Rangers
Meeting for the second and final time this season, the New York Rangers host the Dallas Stars. The two cross-conference clubs met on Oct.29. The Rangers scored three unanswered goals in the third period to seal a 6-3 victory. New York picked up a 4-3 shootout win in their last game against the Minnesota Wild. They may be without Chris Kreider, who was listed as day-to-day following the game, with no update available when writing this. The Stars will be looking to sweep their three-game Eastern Conference road trip. They picked up victories over the Florida Panthers and the New York Islanders through the first two games of the trip.
Rangers win 4-2
Nashville Predators vs Montreal Canadiens
Head-to-Head: Predators 1-0 Canadiens
The Nashville Predators visit the Montreal Canadiens in their second meeting this month. Nashville won the first game 6-3. During their recent stretch, they have climbed back into the Western Conference playoff picture. The Predators are 6-2-2 over their last ten, with goaltender Juuse Saros playing a pivotal role in their ascension in the standings. He has made 135 saves on 140 shots in his previous three starts. Montreal is in freefall mode, and it isn’t such a bad thing with the possibility of drafting generational talent Connor Bedard. They are 2-7-1 in their last ten and lost their most recent game 4-0 against the Seattle Kraken.
Nashville wins 3-1
Seattle Kraken vs Boston Bruins
Head-to-Head: Kraken 0-0 Bruins
The Boston Bruins return to the TD Garden following a sweep through their California road trip. The Seattle Kraken also have a perfect road trip entering the game. They have won six straight, including the last five on the road. Seattle has been getting some exceptional offensive production through the winning streak. They have scored 30 goals over the six games while giving up 11. Boston enters without a regulation loss at home this season. They have an incredible 19-0-3 record on home ice. David Pastrnak was named the NHL’s first star of the week as he seven goals and one assist during Boston’s three-game road trip.
Bruins win 4-2
Vancouver Canucks vs Tampa Bay Lightning
Head-to-Head: Canucks 0-0 Lightning
The Tampa Bay Lightning face off against the Vancouver Canucks in their meeting of the season. Vancouver received some unfortunate news on the injury front, as forward Tanner Pearson will be sidelined for the rest of the season. They have dropped the first two games of their current five-game road trip. Tampa Bay won the last match 6-3 over the Columbus Blue Jackets, led by a four-point performance from Russian superstar Nikita Kucherov. The Lightning’s high-powered offence will have no problems dismantling Vancouver’s weak defensive play.
Lightning win 6-2
Winnipeg Jets vs Buffalo Sabres
Head-to-Head: Jets 0-0 Sabres
The Winnipeg Jets continue their Eastern Conference road swing as they visit the Buffalo Sabres and look to bounce back from a 7-5 loss to the Detroit Red Wings. Winnipeg had a five-game winning streak before suffering the defeat. The Jets have been getting plenty of offensive support for Vezina-calibre goaltender Connor Hellebuyck. Buffalo will be trying to rebound from two straight losses. Led by Tage Thompson, the Sabres score the most goals in the NHL, averaging 3.87 per game. Nine points out of third place in the Atlantic division, Buffalo has made significant strides forward this season.
Jets win 4-3 in Overtime
Toronto Maple Leafs vs Detroit Red Wings
Head-to-Head: Maple Leafs 1-0 Red Wings
In our featured game of the night, the Detroit Red Wings host the Toronto Maple Leafs. The two Original Six franchises are playing for the second time in a week as Toronto handed Detroit a 4-1 loss last Saturday. Detroit is coming off a high scoring 7-5 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Detroit’s young guns, Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider led them offensively. Seider notched four assists, while Raymond scored one goal and added two assists in the contest. While they have shown significant growth this season, there is plenty of room for improvement as they sit in sixth place in the Atlantic.
Toronto has been stellar this season and ranks second in overall NHL standings with a 26-9-7 record. Offensively, they have been getting consistent performances from their big four. Mitch Marner leads the team with 50 points in 42 games. Auston Matthews and William Nylander each have 47 points, while captain John Tavares isn’t far behind with 42. Toronto enters tonight’s contest on a three-game winning streak and are 7-2-1 over their last ten.
Expect Toronto to continue their winning ways and pick up their second win over Detroit this week.
Maple Leafs win 5-1