New Jersey Devils at Boston Bruins
These are two teams going in opposite directions in the standings, as Boston are hunting five in a row as they go about rectifying their disappointing opening ten games. In contrast only Buffalo and Columbus have fewer points than the Devils over their last ten outings. A tough schedule is partly to blame but half of their victories this season came in the first five days. Goalie Cory Schneider desperately needs a break after starting every single time for the Devils this season, the tiredness is showing as he's been pulled from the last two games but without Martin Brodeur clearly Pete DeBoer doesn't fancy his backups.
A number of defensive injuries, including captain Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug, mean Boston's offence has added additional pressure onto Tuukka Rask to improve on his disappointing start, they've kept their opponents to two or fewer in each of the previous four.
Up front Brad Marchand is trying to extend a point streak to five games and Swede Carl Soderberg, who leads the team in scoring, has been their model of consistency for everybody to follow. You’ve got to go with the Bruins here but add the -1.5 handicap for a bigger payout of 2.55.
Calgary Flames at Carolina Hurricanes
Chalk Calgary's early success up as the biggest surprise of the first month or so of 2014/15. They're accelerating too with four wins from the last five tying for second in the very competitive Pacific Division.
November has been good to the Hurricanes too and they've picked up something in all five outings, in fact the only overtime loss came two nights ago in Washington. It's a run they'll need to extend to affirm themselves as a potential playoff team after that dreadful October, 19-year-old Elias Lindholm has the clutch hands with three of their four game winning goals and five in total this month. Just overshadowing Jonas Hiller in terms of the spectacular has been the Flames attack, and it seems many of their young players are opening up breakout seasons.
Captain Mark Giordano has just been outstanding and clearly leads all defencemen in points, there's also diminutive rookie Johnny Gaudreau with eight points through five, and he's always trying to make plays. Somehow Calgary haven't been made favourites for this one so it's an easy decision to take the in-form Flames.
Best Bet: Calgary Flames to win at 2.65.