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 Pittsburgh Penguins vs Detroit Red Wings. Be sure to check out our other NHL predictions for today.
Carolina Hurricanes vs Buffalo Sabres
Head-to-Head: Hurricanes 2-0 Sabres
Our opening game of NHL predictions is a big one for both the Carolina Hurricanes and Buffalo Sabres. Carolina is still trying to keep the New Jersey Devils at bay in the Metropolitan Division. Frederik Andersen is the projected starter, but always check social media before locking in a starter if you play daily fantasy. The Canes were shutout by the Nashville Predators last time out. Carolina’s offence has been inconsistent since the loss of Anderi Svechnikov.
Rookie Devon Levi is the projected starter for the Sabres, who are still alive in the Stanley Cup Playoff race. However, Buffalo needs wins and its always tough to top Carolina. The Sabres found a way to beat the Red Wings last time out in a wild 7-6 shootout. However, Buffalo needs to tighten things up on defence if it wants to win. The Sabres are six points back with five games left to play.
Buffalo is hungry for points, bug so is Carolina. The defence of the Hurricanes carries them through.
Prediction: Hurricanes win 4-2.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs Detroit Red Wings
Head-to-Head: Penguins 0-2 Red Wings
Our featured game of NHL predictions has the Penguins trying to get back into a wild card spot. The New York Islanders and Florida Panthers are each one point ahead of Pittsburgh with three games to go. Tristan Jarry is the likely starter in goal for the Penguins. Pittsburgh has won three of its last five games. The Penguins defence when they play well gives the team a chance to win. However, the blueline has been inconsistent in the last five games. The previous two games against Detroit have been filled with offence.
Detroit was eliminated on Thursday night, but its also won three of its last five games. The Red Wings did drop a wild one with the Sabres on Thursday night. Detroit has averaged over four goals a game in the last five. Ville Husso is the projected starter for the Red Wings, who can still play spoiler.
Pittsburgh’s defence has been up-and-down, but it does just enough to win. The over on a 6.5 play might be worth a look.
Prediction: Penguins win 5-4.
Vegas Golden Knights vs Dallas Stars
Head-to-Head: Golden Knights
It’s a possible Western Conference Final preview between the Vegas Golden Knights and Dallas Stars. Laurent Brossoit is the unconfirmed starter in goal for Vegas, which has won three of the last five. The Knights have scored at least four goals in those three victories. However, goaltending might be a question coming into the post-season.
Jake Oettinger is the likely starter for the Stars, who have won four of their last five games. Dallas has give up two goals or less in each of those victories. The Stars are tied with the Colorado Avalanche on 100 points, but Colorado has a game in hand. Points are going to be a premium if the Stars want to avoid a good Minnesota Wild squad.
This is a tough one to call, but Dallas seems to be on form a little bit more.
Prediction: Stars win 3-2.
Edmonton Oilers vs San Jose Sharks
Head-to-Head: Oilers 2-0 Sharks
The Edmonton Oilers look stay strong against a stumbling San Jose Sharks squad. Edmonton has won six straight games and will likely go with Jack Campbell in goal. The Oilers have been doing well on both ends of the ice. Connor McDavid and company can scored, but it’s been the defence the last few games. Edmonton has only given up two goals in the last four games. McDavid is two points away from 150 this season.
San Jose has lost two straight games after winning three in a row. Kaapo Kahkonen is the projected starter for the Sharks. Erik Karlsson is closing in on the first 100-point season since Brian Leetch in 1991-92. Karlsson has been a bright spot in a dark season for the Sharks.
Edmonton can be a problem in the West if the defence plays as well as it has been. It could be worth a look to put some money down on McDavid getting to 150.
Prediction: Oilers win 5-2.
Anaheim Ducks vs Arizona Coyotes
Head-to-Head: Ducks 2-0 Coyotes
Our final game of NHL predictions is a battle for Connor Bedard. The Anaheim Ducks likely goes with Lukas Dostal in net as it’s trying to stop a nine-game losing streak. It’s been a bad run for the Ducks, who have good young talent.
Someone has to win this and the Ducks stop their streak.
Prediction: Ducks win 3-2 in a shootout.
Main photo by: Brian Bradshaw Sevald-USA TODAY Sports