Vancouver Canucks at Boston Bruins
Shawn Matthias' hat trick powered Vancouver to a 5-2 win over the Bruins 11 days ago and I'm sure they'd love to complete the double at TD Garden. This is Boston's first home game since that loss and up until their victory over Chicago on Sunday the road trip hadn't gone well. It was no surprise that Patrice Bergeron was the man to step up and inspire that much-needed victory, he's known as one of the best defensive centers in hockey rather than as an elite scorer but invariably his goals are important ones.
Stopping the Sedin twins is Bergeron's task tonight have a combined 14 assists in their last four games. Vancouver have been sharp offensively this month and have won five of seven, enough to keep them above the playoff scrum in the West for now. An injury to Ryan Miller is ill-timed but I'd put Eddie Lack as one of the best backups in the league. In fact when Miller left the game against the Islanders at the weekend his replacement stopped all 27 shots that followed. I'm taking Lack to see this one through too as Boston haven't proved a turnaround in form just yet and they've actually lost on their last two home outings.
Calgary Flames at New York Rangers
The Rangers are really rolling and have just one regulation loss in their previous 12 contests. The offence has done an excellent job bailing out some nervy nights from stand in goalie Cam Talbot, averaging over four goals a game this month means only Tampa are now more productive. It's an interesting matchup with Calgary who are kicking off an extensive road trip that could well define their season. Against the top attacking sides the Flames have tended to give up a bit too much room and New York worked that to their advantage during a 5-2 success back in December even though they spent plenty of time on the back foot.
Even if they manage to keep a lid on Rick Nash there's still the second line threats of Derek Stepan and Martin St. Louis who happen to be bang in form too. I like what the Flames have done this year but reckon they'll be on the end of a handicap defeat in this one. Back the Rangers over the -1.5 start at 2.70.
Best Bet: Vancouver Canucks to win at 3.20