NHL Betting: Canucks to ride the Avalanche

A lot of attention will be focused on Pittsburgh this evening. For the fourth and final time this regular season it's the Penguins versus their big rivals the Philadelphia Flyers. Pittsburgh's winning run is still alive at 11 games with another late comeback win building the momentum further. They now have a clear lead atop the East. No doubt the Flyers would absolutely love to spoil it for the Penguins though. They took the only meeting at Consol Energy Center this year, so Philly are just too enticing out at 3.65. This is always a fun game to watch: there has been an average of eight goals scored in those contests. Over 6.5 is 2.33 tonight.

News emerged this morning of this season's second coaching casulty, Guy Boucher being relieved of his position with the Tampa Bay Lightning with his side down at 14th in the East. Without time to bring in a successor the Lightning's assistants will take charge of a vital divisional match-up tonight against the Winnipeg Jets. Both clubs are looking to avoid three losses in a row. Winnipeg still lead the Southeast despite two heavy defeats by Washington and a terrible goal difference that they need to shrug off quickly. I actually think this is the perfect opportunity for the Lightning's new start against a team that will give you chances. Go with them and a -1.5 handicap at 4.50.

Another intra-divisional matchup tonight will involve Vancouver, the Canucks looking to close out a mostly positive week with a victory over a labouring Colorado Avalanche. It started badly on Monday with a loss to Minnesota but three wins since then has brightened their outlook considerably. What will provide them with even more belief for this game is the Avs' terrible record against them in recent years whatever the circumstances; you have to go eight games back to January 2011 for their last win. The Canucks are just a better team, so back them at 2.30.

Best bet: Vancouver Canucks to win at 2.30