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 for NHL Predictions is the Washington Capitals vs New York Islanders.
Washington Capitals vs New York Islanders
Head-to-Head: Capitals 0 – 0 Islanders
This is the first matchup of four on the season between these two sides. These games will be absolutely critical as currently, both the Capitals and Islanders hold the two wild-card spots. The Islanders have the second spot with 49 points and are just one point up on the team chasing them. While the Capitals are at 52 points.
Tonight, look for Ilya Sorokin to continue his dominance. He has solidified his spot as a top goalie in the league this year and against a key division opponent, which will only continue. However, the offence of the Capitals will look to have something to say. Alex Ovechkin continues to score, and Nicklas Backstrom is back in the lineup.
One thing to keep an eye on is Dylan Strome, who was a healthy scratch this weekend. Strome is third on the team in points with 33 in 41 games. A healthier Caps team means some tough decisions had to be made, but one needs to wonder if they are truly better offensively without Strome. On a night when goals could be hard to come by, he may be a boost they want to add.
Prediction: Capitals win 3-2 in Overtime.
Ottawa Senators vs St. Louis Blues
Head-to-Head: Senators 0 – 0 Blues
The Ottawa Senators are coming off of an embarrassing 7-0 loss on Saturday night. This team has been very inconsistent all year. Some days they look like the exciting young team ready to take a step forward thanks to talent infusion like the offseason narratives stated. However, other nights, such as Saturday, they look like the same rebuilding and unstructured team of years past. Look for Saturday’s performance to strike some nerves in the Sens. Although, it sounds like Artem Zub will once again miss a game due to injury, which is a key loss.
The St. Louis Blues are another team that has had an inconsistent year. They too sometimes look like the 2019 team that won a Cup, only to slip back into a team that looks like they should be in the lottery for a few games. This has led to a 21-20-3 record, which places them fifth in their own division and 10th in the West. They are also six points out of a playoff spot. Injuries have started to pile up and it may be a lost season for the Blues. That being said, they clearly have enough talent that no team should take them lightly. This should be a close one tonight.
Prediction: Senators win 4-2.
Calgary Flames vs Nashville Predators
Head-to-Head: Flames 0 – 1 Predators
The Calgary Flames have fought their way back into the wild card picture. Currently in the first wild card but tied for both, they need to keep winning in a tightly contested West. 6-2-2 in their last 10 has them trying to climb back into the top three of the Pacific division. However, consistency is what will be needed. Continuing to play the structured game that gave them so much success last year will be the key to victory. However, it will not be easy as they too face one of the league’s best goalies.
Juuse Saros is another goalie who has solidified himself as one of the best in the league. Despite his efforts, the Nashville Predators currently find themselves a point behind the Blues and 11th in the Western Conference. Most of this is because the skaters who had career years last season haven’t been able to follow that up. Roman Josi, Matt Duchene, Filip Forsberg and co haven’t been bad. But they just haven’t had the spark from last season.
Prediction: Flames win 3-0.