NHL Betting: Columbus to go down in Flames



Tampa Bay host the New Jersey Devils to kick off tonight's action. It'll be a second game behind the Lightning bench for their new coach Jon Cooper. His leadership started with a bad tempered win over Buffalo on Tuesday, a game that showed there's plenty of fight left in this Tampa team. A sidelined Ilya Kovalchuk undoubtedly hurts New Jersey's offense, but they don't thrive in high scoring games anyway, only winning once this season when the opposing team has scored more than three goals. I think the Lightning are good value to kick on under Cooper at 2.42.

There's another chance to see the Western Conference topping Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks duel. The Ducks have now suffered four heavy losses in a row since beating the Hawks six days ago. The hallmarks of their earlier success - controlling the puck in the opponents zone and clinical work on the powerplay - have evaporated and their slump needs to be addressed soon. Chicago's lead at the top of the West may have opened up again because of Anaheim's troubles, but a charging Pittsburgh are threatening their overall lead of the NHL. Back the Blackhawks at 1.95, and with the Ducks' woes the -1.5 handicap is worth a look too.

It's the end of an era in Calgary. Jarome Iginla has been a name synonymous with their franchise for the last 17 years, but with his chance to win a Stanley Cup running out and the Flames looking unlikely challengers now or in the next couple of seasons, Iginla has been traded to Pittsburgh. Their seasons rumbles on without him though, starting with a match against the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight. Columbus did the hard part hauling themselves back into play-off contention, only to go winless in the last three. After only taking two of their first seven home games, Calgary have now won eight in a row at Scotiabank Saddledome. Take the Flames at 2.15.

Best bet: Calgary Flames to win at 2.15