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 the Chicago Blackhawks vs the Edmonton Oilers.
NHL Predictions: Including Chicago Blackhawks vs Edmonton Oilers
Chicago Blackhawks vs Edmonton Oilers
Head-to-Head: Blackhawks 0 – 2 Oilers
The Chicago Blackhawks and the Edmonton Oilers will wrap up their season series Saturday in our NHL predictions featured game, with the Oilers attempting to sweep Chicago in their third meeting. The Oilers will want to put a tough 3-2 overtime loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets behind them, and Chicago will be looking to carry the momentum forward from a 5-1 win over the Calgary Flames.
While Connor McDavid is the obvious player to watch for Edmonton, the Oilers’ last five games have been all about Zach Hyman. He’s had five goals and seven assists and is two goals away from besting his career-high 27 goals in a season. Hyman adds to a high-powered offence for the Oilers, with perennial scoring threats McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins all contributing over 20 goals this season. All this has meant that the Oilers have scored the third-most goals in the league, and will rely on their star power to win.
The story has been the exact opposite for the Blackhawks. A disappointing season has meant that the Blackhawks have only scored 115 goals, good for the worst in the league. They sit at the bottom of the Central division and are only above the Blue Jackets in the league. The one bright spot has been the play of Max Domi, leading the team with 14 goals. However, the Blackhawks simply don’t have enough in the tank to pull out the win.
Oilers win 4-1
Vegas Golden Knights vs New York Islanders
Head-to-Head: Golden Knights 0 – 1 Islanders
It’s been a rough few weeks for both the Golden Knights and the Islanders. Vegas is currently on a three-game skid, and have won just one of their last seven games. The Islanders snapped a six-game losing streak with a win over the Detroit Red Wings last night. The Islanders won the last meeting between these two teams, so the Golden Knights should be looking for revenge.
The Golden Knights have struggled since captain Mark Stone’s injury, going 1-5-1 since he was ruled out with an upper-body injury on January 13th. However, the returns of William Carrier and Shea Theodore bring the Golden Knights closer to the return of the dominant lineup they had at the beginning of the season. However, none of Vegas’s top four goal scorers have hit the back of the net in the last six games, and they will need to step up in Stone’s absence.
The Islanders squeaked out a 2-0 win against Detroit Friday night, on the back of goals from Anders Lee and Brock Nelson. The Islanders haven’t scored more than two goals since January 16th, and it will be a battle to see which offence can get going and come out on top.
Islanders win 2-1.
Buffalo Sabres versus Minnesota Wild
Head-to-Head: Sabres 1 – 0 Wild
Currently on a five-game win streak, the Buffalo Sabres are moving up in the playoff conversation. They sit fourth in the Atlantic division and have one of the most dynamic offences in the NHL right now. Buffalo is coming off a dramatic 3-2 overtime win against the Dallas Stars and will look to continue their current momentum.
The Wild have been stuck in the middle of the pack this season, currently third in the Central division. Kirill Kaprizov has been great again, with 27 goals on the season, and Matt Boldy has had four goals in the last five games, proving that his recent contract extension was warranted.
The Sabres won the last meeting between these teams in a high-scoring 6-5 overtime win. It should be another close one between two teams fighting for notoriety in the league.
Sabres win 4-3 in OT.
Columbus Blue Jackets versus Seattle Kraken
Head-to-Head: Blue Jackets 0 – 0 Kraken
In their first meeting of the season, both the Blue Jackets and the Kraken will be looking to rebound off of a 5-2 loss. The Blue Jackets dropped a game to the Vancouver Canucks Friday night, and the Kraken lost to the Calgary Flames. Expect both to come out of the gate strong.
Seattle has had a better season than many expected, with a stronger defensive system than they had last season. However, their struggle has continued to be goaltending, with both goaltenders sitting below a .900 save percentage. Despite the less-than-stellar goaltending, the Kraken should have enough firepower in their skaters to come out on top.
Kraken win 4-1.
Arizona Coyotes versus Anaheim Ducks
Head-to-Head: Coyotes 0 – 1 Ducks
The last game in our NHL predictions will see The Ducks and the Coyotes meet for the second time in four days, with the Ducks besting the Coyotes 5-2 in the first meeting. Both teams have played a game in the interim, with the Ducks winning against the Colorado Avalanche 5-3 and the Coyotes beating the St. Louis Blues 5-0.
Both the Ducks and the Coyotes have struggled this season, with Anaheim at the bottom of the Pacific division, and the Coyotes only above the Blackhawks in the Central. John Gibson will likely get the start for the Ducks, facing off against Karel Vejmelka for the Coyotes. Neither team has any hope of the playoffs this year, but it will be fun to watch them fight over Connor Bedard in the draft.
Ducks win 2-1.
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