Main Photo By: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
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 Vegas Golden Knights vs Minnesota Wild. Be sure to check out our earlier NHL predictions for the day.
Vancouver Canucks vs New York Islanders
Head-to-Head: Canucks 0-1 Islanders
Our first game features the Vancouver Canucks versus the New York Islanders. The Islanders won first meeting of the season, 6-2, on Jan. 3. Collin Delia is the slated starter since Vancouver played the night before against the New York Rangers. However, always check social media before the game for any confirmation of starting goalies. The Canucks have lost three of their last five, including the first two legs of the Metro New York road trip. Vancouver is 11th in goals for, but 31st in goals allowed.
The Islanders will likely go with Ilya Sorokin in goal as they go for their fifth straight win. Bo Horvat gets to see his old team again and looks to build off getting a goal in his first game on Long Island. The Isles are tied on points with the Pittsburgh Penguins for the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. New York is 20th in goals for, but ninth in goals against.
The Islanders are starting to put it together at the right time. Vancouver will be motivated, but the hosts should get the win. It may be worth it to toss a prop bet on Horvat scoring against his old club.
Prediction: Islanders win 4-1.
Vegas Golden Knights vs Minnesota Wild
Head-to-Head: Golden Knights 0-0 Wild
Our featured game features two teams looking to make moves in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Vegas stopped a losing streak with a 5-1 victory at the Nashville Predators two nights ago. Logan Thompson will likely get the start in goal for the Knights. Vegas does a solid job out of staying out of the box as its tops in least penalty minutes. Reilly Smith leads the team in goals with 18 while Chandler Stephenson is on top of the assist category with 34. Tuesday’s win helped Vegas back top of the Pacific Division, but it will be a dogfight with the Seattle Kraken.
Marc-Andre Fleury is the probable starter in goal for the Wild, who have lost two straight games. Minnesota is 22nd in goals for, but 10th in goals allowed. The Wild are tied with the Calgary Flames for the second Wild Card spot in the Western Conference. Minnesota hasn’t scored more than three goals in the current five-game stretch. Kirill Kaprizov leads the team in goals with 28 and assists with 33.
Both teams are in need of points to keep up in their respective races. However, Vegas seems equipped to get the victory here.
Prediction: Golden Knights win 4-3.