NHL Betting: Blackhawks to down Blues

There's an early start in St Louis as the Blues welcome the unrelenting league leaders, Chicago. Seven of the Blues' remaining games are at home and although their record at Scottrade Center hasn't been as good as last year, it's still a big advantage. St Louis will bring Brian Elliott back into goal; he hasn't conceded a goal in his last three starts. Injury-wise, the Blackhawks are almost back to full strength after Patrick Sharp made his comeback. Dave Bolland is the only guy left sidelined. Any time you get a team as good as Chicago out at 2.60 it's worth taking.

Buffalo will play their second home game in two days when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight. After grinding out a victory over Philadelphia yesterday afternoon it could turn out to be a very positive weekend for the Sabres. Tampa were also busy yesterday and rallied from 5-1 down against Washington before losing in overtime. That one had to sting after such a resilient fightback, but the Lightning have just one win in seven on the road. There's not much to separate these two as they battle to keep their season alive, but I'll back a slightly less deflated Buffalo team at 2.35.

Pekka Rinne and the Nashville Predators' point-less streak has now reached five games, with it their play-off hopes fading. They have dropped seven points behind Dallas and tonight's opponents, Detroit. Things haven't been going the Red Wings' way either lately, with a pair of shoot-out losses causing them to slip out of the play-off spots on tiebreaking rules. Their fans aren't used to being in this nervous situation, but you have to still fancy them with the amount of experience in their ranks. Nashville look ragged at the moment with injuries ravaging their forwards. I can't see Detroit missing this opportunity at 2.40.

Best bet: Chicago Blackhawks to win at 2.60