It’s a short list of games in the NHL on Friday night February 2nd. Reigning NHL Stanley Cup winners, the Pittsburgh Penguins, will be on the ice. Surprise package expansion team Vegas Golden Knights will also play. The NHL regular season is nearly two-thirds of the way finished. There is still plenty of space for teams to jockey as the NHL Playoffs loom.
NHL Predictions: February 2nd
Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
The two of the best teams in the Metropolitan Division take to the ice on Friday night. Both hockey clubs have been playing well over their last 10 games. The Penguins are seventh in scoring this season with 156 goals. The only problem is the Penguins defense has given up nearly the same amount at the other end (155). The Washington Capitals aren’t scoring as freely as last year when the team posted the best points total in the regular season. Washington’s goalies see 32 shots per game. There is a good chance Sidney Crosby and company will sneak a couple past Braden Holtby or Phillipp Grubauer.
Prediction: Pittsburgh Penguins
Detroit Red Wings vs. Carolina Hurricanes
The Detroit Red Wings go into the weekend as the fifth team in the Atlantic Division. The Red Wings are fighting for a playoff spot and travel to the Carolina Hurricanes. The Hurricanes are bottom of the Metropolitan Division. Dylan Larkin is the Red Wings’ top points scorer with 38. He goes up against a poor Hurricanes defense that has given up 154 goals. Carolina right wing Sebastian Aho may not play on Friday night due to a concussion recently sustained. He will be a big miss for the team.
Prediction: Detroit Red Wings
San Jose Sharks vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
Two of the NHL’s best teams will go head-to-head in Columbus. The San Jose Sharks, second in the Pacific Division have lost three games recently. It has allowed Vegas Golden Knights to stretch their lead in the division. The Sharks are 16th in goals scored with 142 while allowing 136. Columbus Blue Jackets don’t score many goals and are -6 in goals this season. San Jose should end its losing run with a win in Columbus. A combination of poor scoring and injuries should prevent Columbus from picking up a win.
Prediction San Jose Sharks
Vegas Golden Knights vs. Minnesota Wild
The Vegas Gold Knights are having the best season for an expansion team in NHL history. Currently nine points ahead of second place San Jose, Vegas is third in the league in goals scored. The defense has been just as good as it has allowed the fifth fewest goals in the NHL (128). The Golden Knights have the second most ROW (wins in regulation or overtime). Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury has kept two shutouts and has posted a 1.77 goals against average. He is flying high and should win the Vezina Trophy this season. Minnesota Wild should get rolled over by the Knights. Problem is the Knights lost to Minnesota in their previous meeting. Could this game be different? Vegas will play back-to-back nights.
Prediction: Minnesota Wild
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