New Jersey v Columbus
Straight back to it for a majority NHL's teams today after a swift festive break and the Columbus Blue Jackets - who were running hot beforehand - will be hoping not to have lost any momentum.
The Jackets are in New Jersey seeking to both make it three wins in a row and also overhaul the Devils in the standings, it's the third time the two clubs have met in the season series and Columbus took both prior meetings.
Rather than getting back to the defensive success of last season it's been the Jackets' offensive game pulling them through with an average of four goals over the last seven games, leading the charge is Ryan Johansen but in truth it's been a unified effort to force such a stark change.
It'd be doing a disservice to say New Jersey are there for the taking, last time out they were knocked back by Chicago which wasn't a surprise, however noticeably at home they've also been lighting the lamp more often and that was sorely needed.
Despite Columbus' upturn you get the feeling it won't last simply because they've had to be clinical and rely on solid goaltending from their backups to get it done, back New Jersey available at 2.20.
Dallas v Nashville
Dallas come back with five straight home outings to look forward to and should be feeling good about their chances of pushing the West's playoff spots after a solid December up to now.
Division rivals Nashville are the ones testing the Texas hospitality as one of the few sides to defeat the Stars this month, but even that win and the two either side of it are the Predators' only victories in the past twelve games.
More imminent is the current stretch of one point from eight over which they've allowed 17 goals, this is a Dallas team on the up offensively and compressing the play is a must to stem the flow of chances given up.
Nashville's powerplay might be their biggest hope but even strength they are struggling, there's a clear difference between the teams with the Stars possessing a number of quick, skilled forwards capable of carrying the puck up ice to relieve pressure on their defence.
They've been a disappointment for most of the season and I doubt this is the matchup for Nashville to find their feet, take Dallas to seal a clear victory.
Best Bet: Dallas Stars to win with -1.5 goal handicap at 2.90.
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