The Toronto Maple Leafs will make home advantage count tonight when they face the Tampa Bay Lightning, writes Mike Fuller...
Tampa Bay Lightning 2.55, the Tie 3.85, Toronto Maple Leafs 2.40 – BET and WATCH live on Unibet TV from 23.05 GMT
Rejuvenated by a prolonged homestand and the return to the scoresheet by their new captain, Steven Stamkos and the Lightning are looking to pick up a victory over their Atlantic rivals at the third attempt.
Three straight looks good for Tampa but they’ve all come at home against opponents on a downturn, so in reality they've only won twice versus teams above the Leafs in 2014.
Toronto's form at the season was good but defied the stats that suggested they should be failing, steady improvements have changed that though and recently they've been finding ways to win through a rougher stretch for Phil Kessel on the individual scoring front.
This is the third best home record in the East against a side that has taken two of their last eight road games, at 2.40 the Maple Leafs are absolutely worth backing here.
St Louis Blues 2.75, the Tie 3.70, Chicago Blackhawks 2.30 - BET and WATCH live on Unibet TV from 00.05 GMT
A huge game, not only in the context of the Central Division but also as a scene setter for a potential playoff series that would surely be scintillating.
The Blues were the first club to pass the 100 points mark and have dropped one point in the last nine games, goalie Ryan Miller has played in eight of those after his trade acquisition and allowed just 13 goals so it's fair to say their high profile move to get him has paid off so far.
They’re currently on three in a row and it's perhaps a bit surprising that the Blackhawks haven't managed that feat since the first half of January especially when we know they can take contests over. There's been some trademark line juggling from Joel Quenneville to spark his boys up, the issue is at center where Michal Handzus' presence on the second line is always questioned.
Chicago played their part in a wild one with Philly last night and the most recent time they faced the Blues was on another back-to-back, it ended 6-5 St Louis after a shootout and they've taken maximum points from the three fixtures even though two of those needed a final decider. I doubt the difference in form has been more noticeable than right now, for me it's well worth taking Backes over Toews with an overtime safeguard at 2.05.
Best Bet: Toronto Maple Leafs to win at 2.40