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 Boston Bruins and the Buffalo Sabres. Be sure to check out other NHL Predictions for today.
Boston Bruins vs Buffalo Sabres
Head-to-Head: Bruins 2-1 Sabres
Our first and featured game pits the two Atlantic Division foes against each other. Boston will likely go with Jeremy Swayman after Linus Ullmark started on Saturday. However, always check social media before deciding anything on your fantasy lineup. The Bruins boast the second-best goal-scoring offence with 249 goals. However, the defence has been just as solid with only 145 goals allowed. David Pastrnak is closing in on his first 50-goal season and is four away from that mark.
The Sabres will likely go with the ageless Craig Anderson in net. Buffalo did add Devon Levi to their goalie ranks, but will likely spend time in AHL Rochester. Buffalo does have the third-best goal-scoring offence in the NHL. However, the issue has been defence, where the Sabres are 26th and have a zero goal differential. Buffalo is six points off the pace for the second wild card spot. Wins and points here are very important for the young team.
Boston seems to motivated to close out the regular season on a mission and should win.
Prediction: Bruins win 4-2.
Washington Capitals vs Minnesota Wild
Head-to-Head: Capitals 0-1 Wild
The Washington Capitals go into this matchup with the Minnesota Wild having lost three of their last five. Charlie Lindgren is the likely starter in goal for the Capitals, who are trying to stay alive for the playoffs. Washington’s offensive numbers haven’t been as good as in recent years, but the penalty kill is sixth in the league.
Marc-Andre Fleury is the confirmed starter in net for the Wild, who lost 5-2 to the Bruins. Minnesota has still won three out of its last fives games to keep close in a tightening Central Division race. The Dallas Stars, Colorado Avalanche and the Wild are all bunched up at the moment. Minnesota and Colorado are one point behind Dallas for the top spot.
Minnesota had some things go against them, but should bounce back with a win.
Prediction: Wild win 4-1.
Columbus Blue Jackets vs Vegas Golden Knights
Head-to-Head: Blue Jackets 0-1 Golden Knights
Our final game of NHL predictions has the Columbus Blue Jackets going to Sin City to battle the Vegas Golden Knights. The Blue Jackets have lost four of their last give games and seem to be in the mix to getting the most ping pong balls in the draft lottery. This is a long way from the pre-season expectations that had some thinking playoffs when they signed Johnny Gaudreau. Michael Hutchinson may get the call in net for the Blue Jackets.
Jonathan Quick has seemingly found himself since the trade from the Los Angeles Kings. Quick has stabilized the net after numerous injuries to keepers like Logan Thompson and others. He will be the likely starter in net for the Golden Knights. Vegas had its winning streak snapped after a 7-2 loss to the Calgary Flames the last time out. The Knights have put themselves back in the conversation for the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs. Vegas won the earlier meeting in the season via shootout.
Vegas needs points to keep Los Angeles at bay while Columbus is playing out the string.
Prediction: Golden Knights win 5-2.
Main photo by: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports