Main Photo: Jerome Miron-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 between the Dallas Stars and the Vegas Golden Knights.
NHL Predictions: Dallas Stars vs Vegas Golden Knights
Tampa Bay Lightning vs Detroit Red Wings
Head-to-Head: Lightning 0-2 Red Wings
Our first game on the NHL Predictions has playoff feel to it. The Detroit Red Wings look to keep their playoff hopes intact in an all-important divisional matchup. The Red Wings are 2-0 this season against the Lightning, outscoring them 11-6 on the way. Detroit had 64 points and are tied with the Buffalo Sabres for the final wild-card spot. Detroit has been playing solid hockey and are 7-3-0 in their last ten, including a 4-1 win over the New York Rangers on Thursday night. Captain Dylan Larkin leads the team in goals and points with 22 goals and 35 assists for 57 points in 56 games.
The Lightning sits in 3rd place in the Atlantic Division with 76 points. The Bolts have a 5-2-3 record over their last ten games, including a wild 6-5 overtime loss to the Sabres most recently. Nikita Kucherov leads Tampa Bay with 21 goals and 60 assists for 81 points. Brayden Point had a four-point performance against the Sabres and leads the Lightning with 34 goals this season. Expect a tightly contested game as the Red Wings continue to fight for their playoff lives with each passing contest.
Prediction: Red Wings defeat Lightning 3-2 in Overtime
Chicago Blackhawks vs San Jose Sharks
Head-to-Head: Blackhawks 1-1 Sharks
The San Jose Sharks host the Chicago Blackhawks in a meeting between two teams cemented at the bottom of the NHL standings. This marks the third meeting between the two clubs this season, with each team picking up one win in the previous two. Patrick Kane‘s name continues to be linked to the New York Rangers as the long-time Blackhawks superstar could be playing in his final games with the Blackhawks organization.
Chicago has put together a four-game winning streak entering tonight’s contest, while the Sharks are 4-5-1 in their last ten, including a 6-2 loss to the Nashville Predators most recently. Kane is playing the best hockey of the season, with seven goals and three assists in his last four games. Sharks defenceman Erik Karlsson continues his season of resurgence, leading the Sharks with 18 goals and 58 assists for 76 points. Leading scorer Timo Meier remains sidelined with an upper-body injury.
Prediction: Blackhawks defeat Sharks 5-4
Calgary Flames vs Colorado Avalanche
Head-to-Head: Flames 1-1 Avalanche
This next game on our NHL Predictions has playoff points on the line. The Calgary Flames look to rebound from a 4-3 overtime loss to the Vegas Golden Knights as they visit the defending Stanley Cup Champion, Colorado Avalanche. The two western conference clubs have split their season series to this point, with each team picking up one win. The Avalanche are coming off a 5-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets but will be playing on the back side of their current back-to-back set.
Colorado is beginning to get healthy and still has a conference title within reach. They are 6-2-2 in their last ten games and have a four-game winning streak entering tonight’s game. Calgary continues to battle for a playoff position as they sit outside the picture with 66 points. They are 4-3-3 in their last ten and have been led offensively by Elias Lindholm and Tyler Toffoli, who each have 51 points on the campaign. Look for the short rest between games to affect the Avalanche as the game progresses.
Prediction: Flames defeat Avalanche 4-2
Dallas Stars vs Vegas Golden Knights
Head-to-Head: Stars 1-0 Golden Knights
Our night’s feature match on our NHL Predictions includes two of the top teams in the Western Conference. The Central Division-leading Dallas Stars take on the Pacific Division Golden Knights in a premier matchup of the night. The Stars won a 4-0 shutout victory in their only other meeting with Vegas this season. Jamie Benn, Joel Kiviranta and Ryan Suter gave the Stars a 3-0 lead before Tyler Seguin sealed the victory with an empty net goal in the first contest.
The Stars are looking to change their fortunes of late as they enter tonight on a five-game losing streak, including a 4-3 loss to the Blackhawks in their last game. Jason Robertson has seen his torrid start to the season cool off in the second half, as the Stars’ forward has scored just six goals in his last 16 games. Robertson leads Dallas with 35 goals and 37 assists for 72 points in 58 games. Jake Oettinger is expected to get the nod in goal for the Stars.
Vegas is 6-1-3 in their last ten games and have been getting their offence by committee. Leading scorer Chandler Stephenson has 12 goals and 37 assists for 49 points in 58 games. Goaltenders Logan Thompson and Adin Hill have been sidelined with injuries recently, forcing the Golden Knights to turn toward third-string netminder Laurent Brossoit.
Look for the Stars’ potent offence to take advantage of the Golden Knights’ current goaltending situation on the way to ending their lengthy losing streak.
Prediction: Stars defeat Golden Knights 5-2