New York Islanders-Dallas
Three huge wins for the New York Islanders may have had their edge taken off by a disappointing 3-2 loss to Carolina on Saturday, and they can hardly afford to slip back into a losing run when the Dallas Stars come to Long Island tonight.
Similarly, a couple of bad games to start the year have put a dampener on Dallas' rise through the ranks. Only briefly did they occupy the West's eighth playoff spot but at least they are no longer playing catch up.
On their day these two clubs can be fast skating, exciting teams to watch and I believe it will open up for a high scoring game since they rarely seem to shy away from going toe-to-toe. Over 6.5 total goals is available at 2.67.
Seeing John Tavares go up against Tyler Seguin is likely to be the highlight as they are their team's respective leading scorers.
Those guys can't be out there all the time though, and the Stars are the more rounded side when playing five on five.
New York have just one win in 10 home games and I'm not sure they're clear of troubled waters just yet, so back Dallas to get it done.
For a club languishing near the foot of the East the Florida Panthers had an excellent December that included two victories over tonight's opponents Montreal.
Over those two prior meetings the Habs have perhaps surprisingly found it tough to break through Florida's defences, managing a total of 40 shots in those 120 minutes of hockey. That they were even afforded a few attempts at the Panthers' 29th ranked penalty kill made it even more disconcerting for Michel Therrien.
Their own defensive standards have slipped lately with 17 goals allowed in the last four games, so look for Aleksander Barkov to try and take advantage of that fragility to extend his five-game point streak.
Florida have taken their last four road matchups versus opponents from the East, so I like the look of them here out at 3.55.
Best Bet: Dallas Stars to win at 2.55
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