New York Rangers at Detroit Red Wings
It's five victories from six and 26 goals scored through a real sharp patch for the Wings now that they're mostly healthy for what seems the first time in a long while. The Rangers have had five days off after being whipped by Tampa Bay yet again on Monday, right now the Red Wings look close to TB in terms of skill so I foresee a similar story of New York chasing the puck.
For sure there's no shortage of heart in this side they perhaps just lack that elite offensive level beyond the hands of Rick Nash and Martin St. Louis, Mats Zucarrello embodies that spirit but he isn't getting the rewards for his persistence right now. On a positive note captain Ryan McDonagh has been very good since returning from injury and he'll be tasked with plenty of minutes trying to cover both Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk's forward lines.
Depth scoring is the reason Detroit have lit it up recently however and Stephen Weiss has 9 points in the last 8 tilts playing on the third unit with Riley Sheahan and Tomas Jurco. It'll likely be too much for New York to handle so back the Red Wings at a solid price of 2.12.
Washington Capitals at New Jersey Devils
New Jersey could pull level with their Metro Division rivals with a win tonight but both sides are well behind the leading pair of Pittsburgh the NY Islanders. That gap is only extending too as these two have been operating under a point per game within the last ten although both they at least snapped multiple game losing streaks last time out.
Since a 1-0 win over Washington back on the 14th November that was all about goalie Cory Schneider the Devils have won just two of nine games, Schneider is still overworked and Thursday was only the second time all season they'd succeeded when conceding more than two goals. Admittedly scheduling has put Jersey out on the road for almost two thirds of their games so far and perhaps the lack of chances to build momentum at home has led to their poor 3-3-3 record at Prudential Center too.
For the most part the Capitals' defence is definitely improving to the slight detriment of their attack, to still be 12th in goals for per game is positive and despite the teething problems it'll make them a better team come playoff time. It's one each so far in the season series and I'm taking Washington to seize the bragging rights back again tonight.
Best Bet: Washington Capitals to win at 2.65.