NHL Predictions: March 18 Including Pittsburgh Penguins vs New York Rangers

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 Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers. Be sure to check out other NHL Predictions for today.

NHL Predictions: Pittsburgh Penguins vs New York Rangers

Carolina Hurricanes vs Philadelphia Flyers

Head to Head: Hurricanes 3-0 Flyers

Our first game on the NHL Predictions is a Metropolitan Division showdown. The Philadelphia Flyers host the Carolina Hurricanes. These two teams met just a week ago as Carolina secured a 1-0 victory.

These two teams are in opposite directions. Carolina is fighting for the top seed in the division with New Jersey on their heels. They’ll have to do this without Andrei Svechnikov who is out for the season. That has not slowed them down though. With the Flyers being a basement dweller, the two points should be in the favour of Carolina.

Prediction: Hurricanes defeat Flyers 4-2

New Jersey Devils vs Florida Panthers

Head to Head: Devils 1-1 Panthers

Our next game on the NHL Predictions is a crucial matchup. The New Jersey Devils travel down to Florida to take on the Panthers. This is the first game of a back-to-back scenario for the Devils.

New Jersey enters the this game after dropping two straight to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Andrei Vasilevskiy defeated the Devils twice in a row and had a 3.53 gsax combined in those games. It’s been a tough week for the Devils in terms of the teams they’ve had to play. Florida is on the outside looking in, but is playing better hockey. After putting a beat down on Montreal, they are inching closer and closer. This is a huge two points for them as the race is on.

Prediction: Panthers defeat Devils 4-3

Montreal Canadiens vs Tampa Bay Lightning

Head to Head: Canadiens 0-2 Lightning

The next game on our NHL Predictions is an Atlantic division battle. After a successful road swing up north, the Tampa Bay Lightning return home. Awaiting them is the Montreal Canadiens. Tampa Bay has played better as of late, which is good because they were on a big losing skid. With Vasilevsky starting the last two games, expect Brian Elliot to give him a breather in this one.

Montreal has nothing left to play for other than Connor Bedard. And after losing 9-5 to the Panthers and giving up 7 in the opening period, that’s as ugly as it can get. The injury bug has plagued them late in the season as they are without key players.

Prediction: Lightning defeat Canadiens 5-1

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Ottawa Senators

Head to Head: Maple Leafs 1-1 Senators

Our next game on the NHL Predictions is a Canadian affair. The Toronto Maple Leafs take on the Ottawa Senators. This should have a playoff-type feel with Ottawa fighting for every two points.

One player who has lit the world on fire is Tim Stuetzle. He currently leads the team in points (76) and goals (34). In addition, he has 10 points in his last five games and 13 this month. Ottawa has been one of the hottest teams lately, and will need that heat to continue. Coming to town is a good Maple Leafs team. They’ll enter this game in the second of a back-to-back. Despite dropping two straight, they are one of the best teams in the league. Ottawa will also want to keep things at 5v5 with Toronto having the third-best power-play unit. This will be a great game, to say the least.

Prediction: Maple Leafs defeat Senators 4-2

Pittsburgh Penguins vs New York Rangers

Head to Head: Rangers 1-2 Penguins

Our featured game on the NHL Predictions is a rematch from the other night. For the third time in a matter of a week, the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins faceoff. Pittsburgh took the first game in overtime thanks to Kris Letang, and the Rangers got redemption on home ice.

The Rangers big guns have been having fun. Mika Zibanejad and Artemi Panarin are the players to watch for if you are the Penguins defence. Despite the talk of the town being Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby is entering his 18th straight season being a point-per-game player. That is pretty remarkable stuff.

The biggest x-factor comes between the pipes. Igor Shesterkin should be the starter, but that is subject to change. His opponent across the ice is Tristan Jarry. He has had a tough month of March, with a brutal 4.39 goals against average and a .851 save percentage. With Shesterkin in net anything is possible, but with the Rangers clicking like they are, the two points belong to them.

Prediction: Rangers defeat Penguins 3-2

Main Photo: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports