Toronto Maple Leafs v Buffalo Sabres
The Sabres have made some drastic changes of late, but immediate endorsement came last night as they beat Toronto 3-1 in their first outing since general manager Darcy Regier and head coach Ron Rolston were relieved of their roles at the start of the week.
While the search for a new GM is underway, former coach Ted Nolan has taken on an interim role. The show must go on in the meantime, and It's a back to back against the Maple Leafs with tonight's second leg on the road. Doing the double over Toronto would raise Nolan's stock immediately.
The firings came on the back of a shootout win over LA, so despie the chaos, the Sabres have actually scooped two on the bounce. Goalie Ryan Miller has been stellar, alongside captain Steve Ott who has led admirably from the front.
Toronto will be glad to get back to home ice at Air Canada Centre tonight. They've won just once in the last five games and haven't netted more than once in regulation through any of those games, so it may be tough to ignite instantly.
Buffalo start out at intriguing odds of 4.05 and having already taken two points from the Leafs it's hard to pass that up.
New York Islanders v Detroit Red Wings
Four straight overtime losses has Detroit reeling a little, and it's made even worse by the fact they've all come at the Joe Louis Arena, which is anything but a fortress right now.
A brief break in their home stand sends the Red Wings on a trip to another club in a rut :the New York Islanders. Mike Babcock will look at the Isles and see a lineup struggling at each end of the ice rather than just the defensive concerns he has about his own side.
Both clubs' backup goalies have been pushing for more starts all season and indeed Kevin Poulin has featured much more often of late for New York with Evgeni Nabokov unable to provide the stability they need.
What those two can't be held responsible for is the Islanders' dreadful penalty killing that sits dead last at 73.4%. Tonight, against a solid special team like the Red Wings, any penalties will cost them dear.
To me Detroit have looked the more likely to break out of their current funk, so back the Red Wings including OT and a shootout.
Best Bet: Detroit Red Wings to win including overtime at 1.94.