NHL Betting: Blues will maul Panthers

Since captain Claude Giroux guaranteed his team would make the play-offs, the Philadelphia Flyers have won two out of three.

The skipper knew full well when he made those comments that it could come back to haunt him, but so far their impact has been positive. 

To be fair, it couldn't have got much worse for the Flyers and they still aren't off the bottom of the Metro division. I do think they'll take another two points tonight when they host an indifferent Washington Capitals.

Yet as they attempt to beat a club currently occupying a play-off spot, the Caps will be missing Alex Ovechkin and his contribution of almost a third of their total goals. 

In other news for Philly, big locker room personality Max Talbot has been traded away but few players would appear to be a better fit for the Flyers' ethos than the man they received - Steve Downie. He loves to make hits and agitate opponents, while boasting an underrated scoring touch too. 

It's figured he'll be thrown onto the top line with Giroux and Vinny Lecavalier. The latter already has four goals in his last two games and is set to be a part of an even better balanced unit. Back the Flyers to make it three consecutive road losses for Washington at 2.25.

Trailing everybody in games played are the St Louis Blues but as a result of having suffered just one loss in regulation, they are still right on the heels of the league's best. 

I can't see them dropping any points this evening in Florida eight. Early last month the Blues inflicted a 7-0 humilation on the Panthers and that contest got pretty ugly towards the end of the third period as physicality became the strategy for salvaging some pride. As proven by those 60 minutes of St Louis domination, it's a nightmare match-up for Kevin Dineen to contend with. His Florida forwards are simply outmatched in size and ability to play at both ends of the ice. 

In a great team, it's impossible to ignore the individual prowess of Alex Steen right now. He leads the NHL with 11 goals and he's even thrown in a couple of game winners recently just to make sure everybody is watching. Only San Jose can better the Blues' goals for average of 3.70 and surely St Louis will bypass the handicap once again.

Best Bet

St Louis Blues to overcome a -1.5 goal handicap at 2.50

Follow Mike Fuller’s NHL betting tips every day