Vancouver Canucks vs Detroit Red WIngs
The Vancouver Canucks have been rising through the West and it's down to strong play in the clutch moments, their last four games have all been extremely close but eight points have been taken from those contests.
Without a win for the same stretch are tonight's opponents Detroit as their offence has almost completely dried up, Vancouver's Ryan Kesler alone has as many tallies as the entire Red Wings lineup over the past eight days.
Correlation between the form of Kesler and the team is no fluke just as it wasn't through the run to the Finals in 2011, the American influence goes way beyond scoring as he will often set the tempo with his energy on the forecheck.
Outside Niklas Kronwall I think there are certainly deficiencies within the Red Wings blueline group particularly their durability and tendency to give up turnovers in the defensive zone. Vancouver's pests will be relishing getting in their faces, take the Canucks to make it five straight at 2.15.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs Boston Bruins
A first rematch for Boston and Pittsburgh since the Eastern Conference finals earlier in the year, not that you could call the 4-0 sweep by the Bruins much of a contest.
Over the course of the series the Penguins scored two goals, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malked failed to trouble the boxscore at all just to further the humiliation for the superstars. Head coach Dan Bylsma shouldn't have to do much to fire the Pens up then, though if anything due to form, injuries and departures they are less equipped for this matchup than they were in June.
Boston can boast the best defensive record in the East and because of that have also been the most proficient side 5 on 5, if they stay disciplined this is where they will find the edge. In the wake of such a domination the Bruins are excellent value out at 3.10, though I may be tempted to add in overtime cover for this one.
Best Bet: Boston Bruins to win at 3.10.