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 Colorado Avalanche and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
NHL Predictions: Colorado Avalanche vs Pittsburgh Penguins
San Jose Sharks vs Tampa Bay Lightning
Head to Head: Sharks 0-0 Lightning
The first game on our NHL Predictions is interconference play. Erik Karlsson and the San Jose Sharks take on Victor Hedman and the Tampa Bay Lightning. San Jose has already started to sell pieces off, and Tampa is fighting for a playoff position.
One key area to this game will be special teams. Tampa Bay has the third-best power play in the entire league. It is led heavily by Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov. However, San Jose may be a basement dweller of a team, but they have the league’s sixth-ranked penalty kill unit. That area of the ice is an x-factor, but the Lightning are a more superior hockey team overall.
Prediction: Lightning defeat Sharks 4-2
Edmonton Oilers vs Detroit Red Wings
Head to Head: Oilers 0-0 Red Wings
Our next game for the NHL Predictions sees a pair of superstar forwards shining brightly. The Edmonton Oilers take on the Detroit Red Wings.
If Detroit wants any chance at taking the two points, they will need to find a way to slow down Connor McDavid. He has 92 points on the year and is on a historic pace. Edmonton scores a lot of goals and has the league’s best power play. Detroit is not shy either to scoring and is led by captain Dylan Larkin.
Prediction: Oilers defeat Red Wings 5-3
Seattle Kraken vs New York Islanders
Head to Head: Kraken 0-0 Islanders
Our next game on the NHL Predictions is the first for a team since a major trade. The New York Islanders host the Seattle Kraken. This is the first look at him in an Islanders jersey since the move and the extension.
One area Horvat will help improve is the Islanders dead last powerplay unit. He has 11 goals on the year, whereas the team as a whole has 20. The Islanders are great defensively and have one of the best goaltenders in Ilya Sorokin.
Seattle returns from the break winning three of their last five games. The team averages 3.61 goals against per game, which will something to watch for as the Islanders do not give up much. With both teams fighting for the playoffs, this will have a playoff-type feel to it.
Prediction: Kraken defeat Islanders 3-2
Colorado Avalanche vs Pittsburgh Penguins
Head to Head: Avalanche 0-0 Penguins
Our featured game on the NHL Predictions is a star-studded affair. The Colorado Avalanche travel to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins. Both teams are fighting for a playoff spot as the second half of the season begins.
Each team has high-calibre forwards. There is no shortage of talent in this game with Sidney Crosby, Nathan MacKinnon, Evgeni Malkin, and Mikko Rantanen paving the way. Cale Makar and Kris Letang highlight the back end which should make for a fun game to watch.
One major key in this game is goaltending. Within the last five games, the Penguins allowed six goals on two occasions. They’ll need Tristan Jarry or Casey DeSmith to be at their best. Alexander Georgiev has been great in his first season in Colorado. His 13.5 goals saved above expected ranks 10th in the league.
Colorado has the eighth-best power play, whereas the Pittsburgh penalty kill ranks 10th. This has the makings of a great hockey game.
Prediction: Avalanche defeat Penguins 5-2