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 the Colorado Avalanche. Be sure to check out our NHL predictions for the coming days.
Head-to-Head: Penguins 1 – 0 Avalanche
It’s our featured game of NHL predictions and it’s a big matchup with Stanley Cup playoff implications. A struggling Tristan Jarry is the projected starter for the Penguins, who are one point off the last Eastern Wild Card spot. Pittsburgh has lost four straight games and is in actual danger of missing the postseason. The Penguins defence actually did well in the last game. However, the Ottawa Senators topped Pittsburgh, 2-1, last time out. Pittsburgh is middle of the pack in many categories and not up near the top in offence like it usually is.
Alexandar Georgiev is the likely starter in net for the Avalanche, who have won six straight games. Colorado has scored five goals in three straight games and got eight in their win over the Montreal Canadiens. Mikko Rantanen is close to reaching the 50-goal mark as he’s got 47 so far. Colorado continues to win despite injuries to players like Artturi Lehkonen. The Avs are two points out of the Central Division lead with a pair of games in hand.
Pittsburgh is going to face a tall order stopping a Colorado offence that’s been firing on all cylinders as of late.
Prediction: Avalanche win 4-2.
Arizona Coyotes vs Edmonton Oilers
Head-to-Head: Coyotes 0 – 1 Oilers
Our last game of NHL predictions is a Pacific Division battle between the Arizona Coyotes and the Edmonton Oilers. Ivan Prosvetov is the projected starter for the Coy0tes, who had their recent winning streak snapped. Arizona has been playing pretty well in the last couple months of the season. There’s plenty of young promise with the Coyotes’ goal-scorers. However, there are still going to be some growing pains like the first meeting of the season in December. Edmonton downed Arizona, 8-2, in the first meeting of the season.
Stuart Skinner is the probable starter in net for the Oilers, who have won four straight games. Edmonton’s top-rated offence is playing like it as it’s scored at four goals during the winning streak. Connor McDavid is two away from 60 goals while Leon Draisaitl has a shot at 50 goals. The German currently sits at 44 goals with 11 games left to go in the regular season. Edmonton is likely locked into the third spot in the Pacific barring disaster.
The Oilers look good, but the Coyotes won’t roll over for them. Edmonton should pick up the win, but also take a look at McDavid possibly getting to 60 goals in this one. Might be worth a play if you have a couple of extra dollars lying around.
Prediction: Oilers win 4-2.
Main photo by: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY