NHL Betting: Islanders to put the freeze on powerful Penguins



The New York Islanders showed their resilience in recovering from an early two-goal deficit to even up the series with the Pittsburgh Penguins. It was a superb overall effort from the Isles, who created plenty of opportunities, and goalie Evgeni Nabokov deserves particular credit for recovering from the rough start. A positive for the Penguins was that Sidney Crosby clearly hasn't missed a step, scoring two goals as he returned from injury. That it didn't translate into a victory shows just how well their opponents played. Pittsburgh may have needed that shock to sharpen up their defence but we've seen what the Islanders can do now and it was no fluke. On home ice I think New York are great value out at 3.30.

Minnesota they know they're right up against it, needing to win four of the remaining five meetings with the Chicago Blackhawks to progress. To have any chance some home crowd inspiration is needed as the Wild were thoroughly outplayed and outworked in the last meeting. Chicago's Patrick Kane has revived his trademark play-off mullet but it's his spectacular assists that are catching the eye. Although he's yet to net himself, in his vein of form Kane to score tonight at 2.80 is still a solid option. Such was their supremacy in Friday's victory, it's hard to look past the Blackhawks here at 2.05.

According to the odds, Montreal and Ottawa's series is pretty much a coin flip at this stage; they're tied at 1-1 as the Senators prepare to host Game 3. The fires were stoked in the opening contest by a certain hit that left the Canadiens' Lars Eller with a bloodied face and Eric Gryba banned for two games. Montreal got their revenge two days ago and they were clearly fired up - proceedings might have gone the other way if the Senators had taken advantage of powerplay opportunites. Ottawa's netminder Craig Anderson has been the best player on both sides and I fancy him to steal a win for Sens at 2.30.

Best bet: New York Islanders to win at 3.30