NHL Betting: Avalanche to foil Oilers

Wins for the Dallas Stars and St Louis Blues last night were huge for both clubs. The Stars, who looked down and out not too long ago, will move into the top eight if they win their games in hand, and confidence is clearly high in St Louis too: they recently announced when play-off tickets would be going on sale. Despite the fact Dallas have only been beaten by the two best teams in the conference this month, they are still big outsiders and worth backing. Back the Stars to win at a value 3.50.

By the end of the night the Chicago Blackhawks could have wrapped up the West. They only need a point against suffering Nashville and have showed no signs of cooling off before the play-offs. Their current six-game winning streak has been characterised by a ruthless attitude: they just get it done. At the other end of the spectrum it's been a season to forget for the Predators, and with seven losses in a row it's only getting worse. They've failed to beat Chicago in four attempts this season and it looks highly unlikely they'll be able to change that tonight. Take the Blackhawks with a -1.5 handicap at 2.06.

It's almost a complete dead rubber in Colorado, with the Avalanche hosting the Edmonton Oilers. Two of the NHL's youngest teams haven't thrived in the shortened season format. Whilst the Avs have known for a long time they wouldn't be play-off bound, Edmonton have fallen out of contention courtesy of a six-game losing streak. It was looking so promising for the Oilers before that, too: they were well amongst it but their offense went missing again and now they look defeated. Colorado have given some respite to their fans recently, taking six points from their last four games - though they are still bottom of the West. Go with the Avalanche to get the two points at 2.35.

Best bet: Colorado Avalanche to win at 2.35