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 Montreal Canadiens and the New York Rangers. This is the only set of NHL Predictions for Sunday with there only being three games on the slate.
Vancouver Canucks vs Carolina Hurricanes
Head-to-Head: Canucks 0-1 Hurricanes
The Vancouver Canucks are struggling right now during this four-game losing streak. It seems that dysfunction follows them on and off the ice. The controversy surrounding the Tanner Pearson injury is the latest black mark on the franchise. Collin Delia is the projected starter for Vancouver, which is 30th in goals allowed going into Sunday’s action. The Canucks’ penalty kill is also at a league-worst 66.1 percent efficiency.
The Carolina Hurricanes have won two straight games despite another goaltending gaffe by Frederick Andersen. Pyotr Kochetkov is the likely starter with Carolina playing back-to-back games. The Canes defence is stingy with them being tied for fourth in goals allowed. Sebastian Aho leads the team in assists with 23.
Carolina is starting to fix some of the issues it had, so playing Vancouver is another chance to get on a roll.
Prediction: Hurricanes win 5-1.
Montreal Canadiens vs New York Rangers
Head-to-Head: Canadiens 0-1 Rangers
The Habs are in the first of back-to-back games, so Jake Allen is the current projected starter. However, check social media before setting any fantasy hockey lineups. Cole Caufield leads the team in goals with 25 while captain Nick Suzuki is tops in assists. The Canadiens have lost three of their last five games. Despite the young talent, Montreal is 30th on the power play.
Igor Shesterkin probably draws the start after the team has been off since its wild 2-1 win over the Dallas Stars on Jan. 12. Artemi Panarin might be a game-time decision because he missed practice due to illness. Mika Zibanejad is one goal away from another 20-goal season. New York is tied for fourth in goals against with Carolina, as it tries to contain some potent attackers in Montreal’s top six. The Blueshirts have also won four of their last five.
Never underestimate the Canadiens, but the Rangers should continue their run here.
Prediction: Rangers win 4-2.
Arizona Coyotes vs Winnipeg Jets
Head-to-Head: Coyotes 0-1 Jets
It’s the Arizona Coyotes (the former Winnipeg Jets) taking on the current Winnipeg Jets. Arizona has lost eight straight games and are in a race to the cellar with Vancouver. Karel Vejmelka is the confirmed starter for the Coyotes. Arizona is surprisingly eighth in shooting percentage, but struggles in many of the other major categories. Things might be bleak, but there’s hope with young players like Logan Cooley and Dylan Guenther coming in the future. The end of the 2022-23 season can’t come soon enough for the Coyotes.
Connor Hellebuyck is the current projected starter, but David Rittich could get some game time against struggling opposition. Mark Scheifele is closing in on 30 goals with 26 tallies already. Josh Morrissey has 39 assists and has put his name into the Norris Trophy conversation. The Jets defence is stingy with them being third in goals against and fourth on the penalty kill.
Arizona is young, but can put together a good game. However, Winnipeg’s recent run of four wins in the last five games should lead it to another victory.
Prediction: Jets win 5-2.
Be sure to check out more of our NHL Predictions in the coming days.