There will be wins for the Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers in tonight's NHL action, writes Mike Fuller...
New York Rangers 2.35, the Tie 3.75, Carolina Hurricanes 2.65
Well we had the Rangers on Wednesday and turns out trades at the deadline affected them quite seriously.
Their captain may be gone but they definitely got better by bringing in Martin St Louis, despite the 3-2 OT loss to Toronto that night. It's easy to forget he led the league in points last year at the age of 37, some renewed chemistry from their time together in Tampa with Brad Richards should assist a quick transition to playing for New York.
After battling to an impressive victory in San Jose it's Carolina who should feel confident about putting together a streak, sorting out their powerplay would help but in closely fought matchups they've excelled and as long as they don't concede early they can keep a lid on the tempo.
Eric and Jordan Staal along with Manny Malhotra make them one of the best faceoff teams, the Canes rank much higher than their league position when scoring first and leading after the first. It's three games without a win for the Rangers and Carolina's record at PNC Arena is actually pretty strong, certainly good enough to warrant being favourites but evidently the odds don't agree so take advantage of that.
Buffalo Sabres 3.25, the Tie 3.80, Florida Panthers 2.00
Roberto Luongo is back in Florida with the club for which he has more wins than any other goaltender, the only downside is a potentially firey coexistence with Tom Thomas was avoided when he was sent to Dallas a day later.
Although Luongo was having a strong season in Vancouver, it's clear too many bridges had been burnt. They might have little chance to make the playoffs but he can steal some games for the Cats. Buffalo played last night in Tampa so have had only a short trip to Sunrise, on top of events over the last week it's a very stringent test of their resolve.
It'll be a fourth clash between the East's bottom two and Florida have taken the two this side of New Year. I can't look past them at 2.05.
Best Bet: Carolina Hurricanes to win at 2.60.