Los Angeles Kings at Carolina Hurricanes
There were celebrations all round in Raleigh last night as the Hurricanes became the final team to register a first victory of the season. It may have come against the West's bottom club Arizona but they all count. Even with the knowledge that another point tonight could well take them out of last place in the NHL I think they will struggle to get it against the reigning champs.
LA are already three games into a road trip that's yielded just the one point so far though that will surely change tonight when they have capabilities to comfortably shut down Carolina's lack of offence. They do have Eric Staal, Jeff Skinner and Nathan Gerbe back in the lineup but all of them are still feeling their way back from injury, Alex Semin has been extremely poor and their lack of forward depth is being laid bare. At the back netminder Cam Ward posting a 25 save shutout during yesterday's win doesn't make up for a terrible .840 save percentage on the season, neither he nor Anton Khudobin has covered himself in glory.
Odds of 3.65 for any home side are extreme however in this case I feel they are justified, take the Kings to breeze through at 1.85.
Arizona Coyotes at Washington Capitals
A clash of clubs looking to bust three game losing streaks, as I've already mentioned it's the Coyotes under greater stress in the basement of their conference. I haven't had much chance to talk about the Caps so far this season and it was all looking bright under new head coach Barry Trotz until this losing streak unfolded. Long term I actually have high hopes for them, this team has long needed the defensive steel that Trotz is instilling and their control on shots against has been excellent, it's just goalie Braden Holtby who's lagging a bit right now.
Deadly duo Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom have been a little subdued up front admittedly; defenceman Mike Green actually leads the Caps in scoring, that hasn't stopped them continuing to make the powerplay an extremely dangerous unit. Basic mistakes are at the root of Coyotes coach Dave Tippett's major issues and he needs his leaders to step up at the back otherwise they will continue to miss out. Arizona are winless in five attempts on the road and I'm taking Washington comfortably over the handicap in this one.
Best Bet: Washington Capitals to overcome -1.5 goal handicap at 2.67.