Los Angeles Kings at Toronto Maple Leafs
LA wrap up a three game sequence against Eastern Canadian clubs with a visit to the streaking Maple Leafs, so far they've beaten Ottawa and been thrashed by Montreal.
A better performance than Friday night will be needed if they are to get anything here as Toronto can now be referred to as the hottest team in the East, an impressive 4-1 victory over Detroit yesterday moved them up to an 8-1-1 record in the last ten.
Jonathan Bernier has backstopped the majority of that success and this is a rare opportunity to get one over his former employers, the Kings saw him as expendable and although I doubt they'll be losing too much sleep over their decision to have Martin Jones backing up Jonathan Quick they'll appreciate how good Bernier can be on his day.
For a team that likes to trade chances the Leafs have really improved 5 on 5 and it has to be a good sign when their leader in ice time Dion Phaneuf is second in plus/minus among defencemen, I've never been his biggest fan but this is shaping up as a great individual season for the skipper.
LA's mediocre form boils down to their sporadic offence and the lack of production coming from their star forwards; Anze Kopitar, Marian Gaborik and Justin Williams are all running at under a point every other game which has forced Darryl Sutter to start toying with his lines.
Go with the form book and back Toronto to pull off a fifth straight victory.
Calgary Flames at Chicago Blackhawks
Right back to it for the Blackhawks after their eight game winning streak was halted by the NY Islanders last night.
Calgary are experiencing their first major adversity of the season now they haven't won in four and this rounds out a tough road trip for them.
Before that fourth loss in a row coach Bob Hartley had been very philosophical in the media stating he wasn't feeling too concerned about the dip, in my view it was exactly the right attitude for a man leading a young team performing way above what was expected of them.
Central to their success all year has been the number of goals supplied from the blueline, they like to get the puck down low to create the space to reverse the puck up to the likes of Mark Giordano and Dennis Wideman at the point.
Last time the Flames were at United Center they won but Chicago gave them very few chances to set up in the offensive zone, shots ended up 50-18 in the home side's favour and Jonas Hiller flat stole the game.
He was a concern before yesterday's contest and Jonathan Toews didn't seem quite 100% so it wouldn't be a surprise to see him used a little less than usual, on the plus side Patrick Sharp has been eased back in from his own injury which alleviates some of that stress.
It's the wrong time to tip Calgary for an upset so take the short odds of the Blackhawks grabbing two points at 1.78.
Best Bet: Toronto Maple Leafs to win at 2.80