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 Tampa Bay Lightning vs New York Islanders. Be sure to check out our other NHL predictions in the coming days.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs New York Islanders
Head-to-Head: Lightning 2-0 Islanders
Our first and featured game is an Eastern Conference battle. Tampa Bay will likely start Brian Elliott after playing the night before. However, check social media before setting your daily fantasy lineup. The Lightning are coming off a 6-3 loss to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Tampa was on a three-game winning streak before the setback to the Rangers. The Lightning had only given up one goal in the previous three before the loss to the Blueshirts.
Ilya Sorokin is the projected starter for the Islanders, who are still trying to hold off the Pittsburgh Penguins in the wild card race. New York is tied with the Florida Panthers for the top wild card spot. However, the Penguins are one point back. The Isles have lost three of the last five games and need points to keep the pack back.
Tampa is already set into their first-round matchup and New York needs at least a point.
Prediction: Islanders win 3-1.
Carolina Hurricanes vs Nashville Predators
Head-to-Head: Hurricanes 0-1 Predators
The Carolina Hurricanes will try to keep top spot in the Metropolitan Division against the Nashville Predators. Antti Raanta is the likely starter for the Hurricanes, who have won three in a row. Carolina has done it with defence with three goals allowed in three games. The Canes have been bolstered by the emerging Jesperi Kotkaniemi in the second half.
Kevin Lankinen is the projected starter for the Predators, who are still technically alive for a wild card spot. Nashville is three points away from the Winnipeg Jets and Calgary Flames for the final spot. The Predators have won three of the last five despite making some deals at the deadline to sell assets.
Nashville has shown some toughness, but Carolina should pick up the win.
Prediction: Hurricanes win 4-2.
New York Rangers vs St Louis Blues
Head-to-Head: Rangers 1-0 Blues
The Rangers are looking to build off the win against the Lightning. Jaroslav Halak is the projected starter for the Rangers, who won three of the last five. Vladimir Tarasenko will be making his return to St. Louis for the first time since the trade. New York is three points behind the New Jersey Devils for home ice in the first round. Jacob Trouba may be out
Jordan Binnington is the likely starter for the Blues, who have also won three of the last five. It’s a little too late as St Louis is out of post-season contention. The Blues have scored at least four goals in those three victories.
Prediction: Rangers win 5-2.
Philadelphia Flyers vs Dallas Stars
Head-to-Head: Flyers 0-1 Stars
The last game of NHL predictions is the Philadelphia Flyers taking on the Dallas Stars. Felix Sandstrom is the likely starter for the Flyers, who have lost four straight games. Philadelphia has given up at least four goals in all of those setbacks.
Dallas will go with Jake Oettinger in net. The Stars have won three of the last five games and are tied with the Colorado Avalanche for the Central Division lead. Jason Robertson got over the 100-point mark the last time out. Dallas has gotten at least four goals in those victories.
The Flyers are playing out the string while the Stars are trying to win a division title.
Prediction: Stars win 5-1.
Main photo by: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports