Ottawa Senators - Calgary Flames
Securing their first home win post-Olympics last time out prolongs Ottawa's hopes for a few more games, but even if the Senators launch an unlikely charge there's little to suggest they can succeed in play-off hockey. Another 49 shots allowed meant Craig Anderson had to be at his best to make the victory happen.
The Flames have taken six of the last nine and have enough scoring potential in their lineup to exploit opportunities afforded to them, a 4-1 scoreline over the Sens earlier in the month is fresh evidence of just that. Conclusively leading all defencemen in points is one thing for Erik Karlsson but when you are a -17 for the year his heavy ice time is part of the problem. Effective powerplay impact can invalidate that stat but perhaps surprisingly with such a talented skater leading the rush their PP percentage is barely above average.
Although it didn't come off earlier in the week I'll take Calgary to cause an upset out at 3.15.
Pittsburgh Penguins - Chicago Blackhawks
After coming up short in Boston on Thursday night the Blackhawks are back at it against the East's other frontrunner. It is simply a matter of time before the Penguins clinch the Metro division title, and they should still be aiming to hit the postseason with momentum. Dropping three straight in their own building is a season low and those results all came against Western opposition.
Cutting them some slack because of a raft of injuries is a fair deal, add center Marcel Goc to a list that includes Evgeni Malkin, Pascal Dupuis, Kris Letang and Paul Martin. These clashes against other lineups with serious depth are where that shows most and it can't be left to Sidney Crosby to take it away single handedly, to be fair Sid is closing in on the 100 points mark and by this point almost 20 ahead of any other player in the league.
Seeing Chicago control the outdoor game at the start of the month was convincing enough to confirm they are the more well-rounded roster so back the Hawks at 2.65.
Best Bet: Chicago Blackhawks to win at 2.65.