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 the New York Rangers vs Washington Capitals. Be sure to check out our other NHL predictions for the day.
New York Rangers vs Washington Capitals
Head-to-Head: Rangers 1-2 Capitals
Our first and featured game of NHL predictions has the Rangers battling the Capitals for the final time this season. New York has lost two straight going into this one and will likely go with Igor Shesterkin in goal. However, always check social media before locking in a starter. The Blueshirts have been getting off to slow starts and that’s not helped them in the last few games. New York is talented enough to find its way back into games. However, they’ll need to start better when the Stanley Cup Playoffs start.
Darcy Kuemper will likely get the call in between the pipes for the Capitals, who have lost four of their last five. Washington in in danger of missing the post-season for the first time since 2012-13. Scoring dried up in the last few game games for the Capitals, who have six games left to catch the two wild card spots in the East. Wins are needed and it’s desperation time in the District of Columbia.
The Rangers know they have to start better and they should. New York pretty much finishes off Washington’s playoff chances in this one.
Prediction: Rangers win 4-2.
Boston Bruins vs St Louis Blues
Head-to-Head: Bruins 1-0 Blues
The Boston Bruins are going for their 60th victory of the season in a rematch of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final. Boston has already sewn up the President’s Trophy for the best overall record this season. Linus Ullmark should get the start with being in games on back-to-back days. The Bruins are second in goals scored and first in goals allowed.
Jordan Binnington is the likely starter in net for the Blues, who were routed 6-1 by the Nashville Predators on Saturday. St Louis will miss out on the post-season for the first time since the 2017-18 season. The Blues are struggling in allowing goals and shots, which is the reason they’ll miss out on the playoffs.
Boston looks unbeatable at this point in the season. The B’s could rotate some players into the lineup, but look strong no matter what they put out.
Prediction: Bruins win 5-1.
Philadelphia Flyers vs Pittsburgh Penguins
Head-to-Head: Flyers 0-2 Penguins
It’s the Battle of Pennsylvania as the Philadelphia Flyers take on the Pittsburgh Penguins. Carter Hart is the projected starter in net for the Flyers, who had their recent winning-streak stopped against the Ottawa Senators. However, Samuel Ersson might be needed if Hart can’t go. Philadelphia has played on Saturday night as well as Pittsburgh.
Casey DeSmith is the likely starter with the Penguins also playing two games in two days. Pittsburgh is coming off a 4-3 loss to Boston, where David Pastrnak got a hat trick. The Penguins and Florida Panthers are in a dogfight for the final wild card spot. Pittsburgh needs to get wins, but rivalry games are almost never easy.
DeSmith has played like the better goalie for the Pens. The Flyers will present a challenge, but Pittsburgh should win.
Prediction: Penguins win 4-3.
Ottawa Senators vs Columbus Blue Jackets
Head-to-Head: Senators 2-0 Blue Jackets
It’s two teams that are playing out the string with the Ottawa Senators taking on the Columbus Blue Jackets. Ottawa is looking for the season-sweep against Columbus. Cam Talbot could be back in the lineup in goal after his injury. The Sens will be coming off back-to-back games like the Jackets will be.
Jon Gillies is projected to be the starter for the Blue Jackets. Columbus has lost four straight games going into this one and are in line for getting a shot at Connor Bedard.
The Senators just look like the better team and should get the victory.
Prediction: Senators win 4-1.
New York Islanders vs Carolina Hurricanes
Head-to-Head: Islanders 0-3 Hurricanes
Our final game of the first set of NHL Predictions features the New York Islanders taking on the Carolina Hurricanes. Semyon Varlamov should get the start with the Isles playing back-t0-back games. New York is in one of the wild card spots, but still isn’t completely out of the woods. They still need victories to keep Pittsburgh and Florida at bay. The Isles defence has been one of the reasons for their strong play in the second half.
Frederik Andersen is the projected starter in net for the Hurricanes, who are trying to seal up the divisional crown. Carolina will also be playing on back-to-back nights much like many of the teams playing on early on Sunday. The Canes defence is also very good and can close out a games.
This should be a low-scoring one, but Carolina gets the win.
Prediction: Hurricanes win 3-2.
Main photo by: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports