The National Hockey League (NHL) is the most competitive and entertaining. The league comprising 32 teams, 25 in the United States and 7 in Canada, is divided into two conferences, the Eastern Conference and Western Conference, with 16 teams each.
In the Eastern Conference, there are the Atlantic and Metropolitan divisions, while in the Western Conference, there are the Central and Pacific divisions. The league playoff winner is given the Stanley Cup, the oldest professional sports trophy in North America, at each season’s conclusion. 16 teams qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. This season of the NHL has been full of surprises, with a couple of teams exceeding expectations as the season approaches halfway. Here we will look at the latest results in this current NHL season and preview favorites and underdogs for the Stanley Cup.
Here are the results of the NHL games that took place at the time of writing this article, 20th December 2022. Eight games took place on this day, but we will highlight the key ones and recap how the game went.
Columbus Blue Jackets Vs Philadelphia Flyers
This game pits two league underdogs against one another. The Columbus Blue Jackets were seeking to end a four-game losing run while visiting the Philadelphia Flyers, who had won just three of their previous 20 games, in the second game of their current back-to-back set. Philadelphia Flyers emerged winners 5-3 in this game.
Columbus Blue Jackets
The Blue Jackets, who had lost five straight games and eight of their previous ten, scored goals through Kirill Marchenko, Kent Johnson, and Andrew Peeke. In Columbus’ sixth straight defeat, Daniil Tarasov made 34 saves, but the team is lacking players due to injuries.
Philadelphia used its youthful core players Konecny, Tippett, and Morgan Frost to bear the scoring load in a game between the two clubs now at the bottom of the Eastern Conference rankings. Travis Konecny and Owen Tippett scored twice in this game, while Morgan Frost added one to cruise past the Blue Jackets.
Tampa Bay Lightning Vs Toronto Maple Leafs
At Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs squared in an Atlantic Division showdown. Their three-game regular-season series was continued. In their most recent matchup, the Lightning prevailed against the Maple Leafs 4-3 in overtime.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay, whose five-game winning streak was snapped, scored through Vladislav Namestnikov. The Lightning, who have lost only four times in regulation in their last 17 games, had Andrei Vasilevskiy turn aside 36 shots.
Toronto Maple Leaf
The Maple Leafs were determined to get revenge on the Lightning and end a three-game losing streak against them that began in the 2022 Stanley Cup Eastern Conference First Round. They succeeded in doing so by hammering the Lightning 4-1. Michael Bunting, Auston Matthews, Pierre Engvall, and William Nylander got on the scoresheet.
New York Rangers Vs Pittsburgh Penguins
Tuesday night’s divisional duel pits the Pittsburgh Penguins against the New York Rangers. On Sunday night, the Rangers defeated the Blackhawks on the road. In their previous game, the Hurricanes handed the Penguins a road loss. The Rangers defeated the Penguins in the opening round of the playoffs and had a 3-1 regular season record against them.
New York Rangers
For the soaring Penguins, who have won eight of nine games, Sidney Crosby scored his 18th goal and added an assist. Overall, Pittsburgh’s last 20 games have seen them go 15-3-2. Malkin equaled Sergei Fedorov for the second-most points among Russian-born players in NHL history and extended his scoring run to nine games.
Chris Kreider scored twice for the Rangers, who have now lost three straight games, but that was not enough to secure the win for the Penguins. Despite making 21 saves, goaltender Igor Shesterkin suffered his first season-long loss on the road in regulation.
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What are the NHL Season Predictions?
Here we predict the team tipped to win it all this 2022-23 season and an underdog silently en route to pulling an upset and winning it all.
Favorites To Win The Stanley Cup: Colorado Avalanche
Colorado isn’t regressing from the previous year. Although Nazem Kadri, the star center for the Avalanche, signed a seven-year, $49 million contract with the Calgary Flames, the Avalanche kept several of their top players, making a second bid very likely. NHL teams successfully defending their championships aren’t all that unusual.
Underdogs To Win The Stanley Cup: Boston Bruins
Through the first 11 games of the year, Boston’s season is off to its greatest start in Original Six history. The Bruins have a record of 25 wins, four losses, and two games that went into overtime, which shows how long they have been playing as a group. They currently have the best record in the NHL, and they only grow better. They will be in great shape to win it all if they continue on their current course.
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