New York Rangers at New York Islanders
The traffic's only been going one way in the New York derby this season and that's to Long Island. The Rangers make the trip out of Manhattan tonight trying to put right a trio of three goal defeats but at the same time could move to within just two points of their city rivals. It should be an even better contest as both clubs went perfect last week so somebody is going to see a win streak brought to a painful end. In fact the Rangers scored 16 goals in the space of seven days and have dropped just a point this month.
Rick Nash continues to lead the line with able support from Derick Brassard who assists on pretty much every goal he scores. It's not just their show with Mats Zuccarello also on that unit, further down Kevin Hayes is on a five game point streak and also netted on a highlight reel move against Colorado last Thursday. When it's come down to head to head the Islanders have outworked them so Alain Vigneault knows he has adjustments to make, look for them to use their size advantage through Nash, Hayes and Chris Kreider on the boards and in the paint. The Isles have won so convincingly each time though that the home side over the handicap seems the best value here.
Arizona Coyotes at Colorado Avalanche
A matchup that's unfortunately likely to have a nothing feel to it unless Colorado still fancy their remote chances. While eight points might not seem too insurmountable they'd also have to overhaul four teams to get there and you could argue that all of them are better than the Avs. Victory over Dallas on Saturday snapped the losing run which probably took them out of the race, elder statesmen Alex Tanguay and Jarome Iginla did the business again and are always worth looking out for.
On the other hand Nathan MacKinnon hasn't scored in 10 games, he's also the only man in the top 20 for shots not to have more than 10 goals for the season so it's easy to see why his frustration is building. Injuries to Martin Hanzal and Mikkel Boedker leave the Coyotes light up front, Antoine Vermette is also touted to be traded in the coming weeks. Take the Avalanche to see it through at 1.92.
Best Bet: New York Islanders to overcome a -1.5 goal handicap at 3.05.