Each day, Last Word on Hockey takes a look at the games that are happening and gives our nhl 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 Edmonton Oilers vs Boston Bruins.
Edmonton Oilers vs. Boston Bruins
Head-to-Head: Oilers 0-1 Bruins
Our featured game on the NHL Predictions is a heavyweight battle. This may become one of the most exciting games of the entire year. Tonights featured game is the dynamo Boston Bruins pitted at home against the Edmonton Oilers. Boston can become the first team in the entire league to clinch a playoff spot tonight. They also simultaneously collecting the 50th win of their historic campaign. However, this cannot occur with a Bruins win exclusively. The games in Seattle and Pittsburgh each can influence the Bruins’ playoff status as of tonight. For the Bruins, Matt Grzelcyk replaces Connor Clifton for the night. Essentially rotating a d-core of almost seven entirely efficient to elite puck-movers.
The Oilers prepare for a massive test but are well-equipped to take the night. This game pits the top two goal scorers as well. This includes McDavid and David Pastrnak, with the potential of providing the most direct dual between these two powerhouses.
On the topic of tight, powerful clashes, special teams have the ability to dictate the game. Boston’s league-best penalty kill (86.6 percent successful, leading by three percent from second) and Edmonton’s league-best power play (31.7 percent successful.
Two elite, dynamic offences and the variability involved in the game will almost certainly culminate in a game contending as one of the most chaotic and tumultuous for these two fanbases this season. High-end power maxed between both rosters. Records in sight from the Oilers in certain regards and the Bruins in the most holistic. Expectations of at least two stars between the two teams performing to high standards are almost unreasonably low. What is there not to appreciate about this game?
Prediction: Bruins win 5-3
San Jose Sharks vs. St. Louis Blues
Head-to-Head: Sharks 0-2 Blues
Our next NHL Predictions is a good one. Each team comes into this game having lost their previous game in brutal fashion, with the Sharks limited to 13 shots and the Blues losing 6-2 to Arizona despite controlling the pace of play by large. With each team handily outside of the playoff frame, remaining games may best serve to give teams momentum into the offseason or for teams such as the Sharks (currently placed 30th) to content for high draft picks (which are extraordinarily valuable this summer especially). Still, St. Louis can consistently compete through a smaller arsenal of high-end talent they still have. Meanwhile, for the Sharks, Erik Karlsson is chasing history with his electric production this season, looking to hit 100 points.
In previous meetings this season, St. Louis has outscored the Sharks 11 to six, including a 6-3 win in San Jose just one week ago. We predict the Blues to complete the season series sweep tonight.
Prediction: Blues win 3-0
Los Angeles Kings vs. Colorado Avalanche
Head-to-Head: Kings 1-0 Avalanche
This NHL Predictions features two playoff teams. Two stellar Western Conference opponents face off in Ball Arena for the second time this season in the Kings and Avalanche. Colorado looks to run with the momentum acquired from their 6-0 domination of the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night, as the team inches closer and closer to a healthy status. Cale Makar and Valeri Nichushkin both potted four points in that game, each continuing predictably stellar seasons (and for Nichushkin a particularly great stretch of hockey) despite the torture the Avalanche have faced in injuries. Meanwhile, the Kings ride into Denver holding a four-game win streak and seven wins in their last 10.
Tonight’s goaltending battle adds another exciting dynamic to this game; Alexandar Georgiev (4th in goals saved above expected according to MoneyPuck) and Joonas Korpisalo (17th in goals saved above expected according to MoneyPuck) are confirmed in net for the Avalanche and Kings respectively. Between goaltending and the strong 5v5 play of each team, this game should not be short in the octane it provides.
Prediction: Kings win 3-2 (OT)
Nashville Predators vs. Arizona Coyotes
Head-to-Head: Predators 2-1 Coyotes
Our next NHL Predictions is a division showdown. For the Predators, every possible point they can collect holds massive magnitude. With the team six points out with four games in hand on second-place Winnipeg. Tonight presents an especially high chance of closing that gap and placing some pressure on the Jets, with the Predators slated against Arizona. Nashville is 6-3-1 in their last 10 games, including a 6-2 win over the Coyotes in the last week of February. An exciting trend for the Predators involves that of prospect Luke Evangelista, who has put up two goals in the opening four games of his NHL career. Thomas Novak, who has been legitimately effective in his scarce appearances, draws back into the lineup tonight.
With the Coyotes essentially placed in the worst positions to win each night, each small opportunity or exciting narrative for the Coyotes is noteworthy. Perhaps the largest for the Coyotes comes with the exclusively exciting Clayton Keller and Nick Schmaltz duo getting another chance to play spoiler to a playoff-contending team; both players are on pace to set career highs in points, with the former just two points away from breaking his previous career high of 65 points. Tonight is an important night for the Predators, and we predict they play accordingly.
Prediction: Predators win 3-1
Ottawa Senators vs. Seattle Kraken
Head-to-Head: Senators 0-0 Kraken
Seattle’s win against the Ducks Tuesday night was their fifth straight win, strengthening their third-place Pacific Division spot two points up on the Oilers with a game in hand. Ottawa’s loss to the Blackhawks now signals a necessary sense of urgency. who now lay five points behind Pittsburgh for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference with just nineteen games remaining, including this game.
This game itself should provide an intriguing octane as the last game of the night, pitting two offensively-inclined top-six cores featuring the likes of Matthew Beniers, Jared McCann, Claude Giroux, and Tim Stutzle, among others. Tonight’s game should be a test for Senators goaltender Mads Sogaard, who may double his appearances in net with both Anton Forsberg and now Cam Talbot out for extended time and with the Senators looking for a playoff spot. Regardless, the play in front of his and Seattle’s net should prove exciting.
Prediction: Kraken win 5-4
Main Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports