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 Colorado Avalanche vs Tampa Bay Lightning.
NHL Predictions: Including Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning
Colorado Avalanche vs Tampa Bay Lightning
Head-to-Head: Avalanche 0-0 Lightning
Tonights first matchup on our NHL Predictions is a star studded affair. The most recent Stanley Cup Champions will face each other in their first meeting of the season. Colorado had a disappointing loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in their first game back after the All-Star break, falling 2-1 in overtime. Tampa Bay is also coming off an overtime loss to the San Jose Sharks, so both teams will be looking to get back on track.
The usual suspects have been good for the Lightning in their last five games, with four goals from Brayden Point, and seven assists from Nikita Kucherov. The leading scorers for the Avalanche have been Alex Newhook and Samuel Girard over the last five, so look for them to get superstars Nathan Mackinnon and Cale Makar more involved.
The power-play should be a big story in this game. Tampa Bay comes into the contest ranked third in the league on the power-play, and Colorado is ranked ninth. However, both teams’ penalty kill is sitting middle of the road, with the Lightning ranked 15th and the Avalanche ranked 19th. Tampa Bay should be able to use their strength man-up to create opportunities and come up with the win.
Prediction: Lightning defeat Avalanche 4-2
Edmonton Oilers vs Philadelphia Flyers
Head-to-Head: Oilers 0-0 Flyers
Our next game on the NHL Predictions is interconference play. The Oilers and the Flyers will also meet for the first time this season. Philadelphia has lost four of their last five games and has been struggling to get their feet underneath them all season. Edmonton currently sits in fourth in the Pacific division despite continuously stellar play from Connor McDavid, Zach Hyman, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Again, the power-play could play a huge part in this game. The Oilers are ranked number one in the league on the man-advantage and could run up the score on the Flyers. The Oilers should be able to come out on top.
Prediction: Oilers defeat Flyers 5-1.
San Jose Sharks vs Florida Panthers.
Head-to-Head: Sharks 0-1 Panthers
The next matchup on our NHL Predictions is a rematch from earlier in the year. In their second meeting of the season, the Sharks will be looking to avenge a 4-3 overtime loss to even the season series. All eyes will be on Sharks leading scorer Timo Meier, who is one of the biggest trade targets ahead of the trade deadline in just under a month. Meier has three goals in his last five games, and he’ll need to have a big game to push the Sharks to victory. The Panthers have had two big wins in their last two games, beating first-place Boston 4-3 before the All-Star break, and dominating Tampa Bay 7-1 on Monday. They’ll want to continue a streak of strong games to continue to make up ground in the Atlantic Division.
Prediction: Panthers defeat Sharks 5-4.
Seattle Kraken vs New Jersey Devils
Head-to-Head: Kraken 1-0 Devils
The big story of this game will be whether New Jersey’s leading scorer, Jack Hughes, will be able to play. Hughes sat out of team practice yesterday and only played for half today, dealing with “upper-body soreness”. Head coach Lindy Ruff was noncommittal about Hughes playing tomorrow, so keep an eye on this for fantasy purposes. It’s a big game for the Kraken as well. With the Vegas Golden Knights beating the Nashville Predators last night, the Kraken moved back down into second place in the Pacific. Without Hughes, the Kraken should have enough firepower to win. If Hughes plays, the game is a lot closer.
Prediction: Kraken defeat Devils 3-1.
Calgary Flames vs Detroit Red Wings
Head-to-Head: Flames 0-0 Red Wings
Both Calgary and Detroit will want to rebound following losses coming off of the All-Star break. Calgary lost a heartbreaker to the New York Rangers in overtime, and Detroit had a 5-2 loss to Edmonton. The Red Wings are 12-11-3 at home this season, and Calgary is 10-8-8 on the road. Keep an eye on Lucas Raymond for the Red Wings, who is poised to break out in the second half of the season. It might be a rogue choice, but the Red Wings will come out on top.
Prediction: Red Wings defeat Flames 3-2 in OT.
Main Photo: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports