It's the final night of the regular season, and all 30 teams are taking to the ice later tonight. Unfortunately for neutrals, all of the play-off spots have been sealed but first round match-ups are yet to be decided so a few teams still have something to play for. Most significantly, the Southwest and Pacific division titles are still up for grabs, whoever comes out on top in each of those will face much easier opponents in the post-season.
Detroit host Chicago in the early game of the day, two good teams that will harbour hopes of making the latter rounds. Each game they have played this season has been extremely tight and settled by just a goal or a shootout, expect another close one so backing the Blackhawks at 1.45 with a +1.5 handicap is a safe option. Patrick Sharp is on an excellent goalscoring run of late as well, he's at 2.70 to score.
The most enticing game of the evening however is the Pittsburgh Penguins hosting the Philadelphia Flyers. A play-off series involving these two huge rivals will begin next week and the decades of bad blood between the franchises has already began to surface, with Flyers assistant coach Craig Berube calling Crosby and Malkin “the dirtiest players on their team”. Whilst the Pens are at home, I think Philly will be fired up to seize a mental advantage ahead of what's to come at 3.40.
After a dramatic shootout win for San Jose two nights ago, the Sharks play the Kings once again. Another two teams that aren't best friends and like on Thursday, I do not see this game being settled within three periods, with odds of 3.75 for that to happen.
Best Bet: Chicago Blackhawks with a +1.5 handicap at 1.45.