Dallas Stars at Edmonton Oilers
Four wins from five has given Dallas new impetus, they've already shut Calgary and Vancouver down to one goal in 120 minutes of hockey this week which has also signified a much needed improvement on defence. Goalie Kari Lehtonen would always be central to that. This is the first time Edmonton will hit the ice at Rexall Place since making their coaching change and it'll be an interesting atmosphere when the season is reaching write off stage already.
One win from eighteen games is a devastating run of form and the 20 points the team is out of a playoff spot is as many as they've accumulated well over a third of the way through the campaign. Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin were taken 1 and 2 in the 2010 draft leaving their careers forever linked from that point, Seguin is having his best ever season whilst Hall has found himself the subject of significant trade speculation this last week despite regularly being the Oilers' best forward. Their individual efforts have mimicked the offensive capacity of the teams as a whole and it's that area that should see Dallas through.
Philadelphia Flyers at Winnipeg Jets
Philadelphia are out on the road for the rest of the calendar year and after lighting up Toronto with a 7-4 win last night have started the long trip off on a very positive note. This is a team that has struggled to make an impact away from their own arena but the way they recovered from conceding twice early on to seal a blowout victory was very impressive, Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek combined for eight points to move up to first and third in the individual scoring race.
Tonight's contest is an interesting one as Winnipeg's defence is decimated by injury yet continues to hold up quite admirably, this week they've held Buffalo and Boston to one goal despite four of their ideal top six sidelined. Extra responsibility has fallen on Dustin Byfuglien and Grant Clitsome to shoulder significant ice time in the wake of the crisis, coach Paul Maurice couldn't have asked for more so far. Overall the Jets have a solitary loss in regulation through their previous eleven contests which came against league leading Anaheim which just goes to show how commitment has gotten them through this adversity.
Whilst on offence they too have been accused of being reliant on their top line Mark Scheifele and Mathieu Perrault are the form guys to look out for tonight. It feels like a risk to tip Philadelphia such is their inconsistency so bank on Winnipeg to stay hot at 2.05.
Best Bet: Dallas Stars to win at 2.12.