Dallas Stars at New Jersey Devils
The boys from Jersey are on a downturn after going three straight without a victory, and have conceded 14 goals in that short space of time. This should be a fun contest as both clubs are currently averaging over three goals for and against, and over 5.5 total goals currently has odds of 2.18.
With a few exceptions it's not been an outstanding year for goalies up to now and this season seemed like a good opportunity for the two on show tonight, Kari Lehtonen and Cory Schneider, to really push on to elite status, but as you can tell from those defensive stats hasn't quite happened yet. Mike Cammalleri has been the Devils' standout forward so far notching five goals and rookie Damon Severson is already being trusted with over 20 minutes of ice time a game on the blueline. Although they are a little banged up Dallas have discovered their attacking vibrancy, Tyler Seguin has jumped up to tie for second in individual points with Jamie Benn and Jason Spezza following along behind.
New Jersey are lacking momentum now and their opponents have taken three of the last four which includes some impressive road wins, so for that reason I'd jump on the Stars at 2.65.
Tampa Bay Lightning at Winnipeg Jets
After successfully snapping a four-game losing streak at home to a desperate Carolina, the Jets are back in flight again at least for the moment. It was the kind of win against a fellow struggling team that papers over their cracks moving forward, most notably their inability to get on top five v five and a powerplay that is still yet to make its mark.
Admittedly confidence is huge in the NHL but in the Lightning they're coming up against a much better balanced unit that can expose their flimsy blueline. An overtime victory in Calgary was the Bolts most recent outing and they are still adapting to the blow of key defenceman Victor Hedman being forced out for at least a month.
Two of the biggest rookie successes last campaign were their very own Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat. Sophomore seasons can sometimes be more difficult with added pressure but they are handling it capably up to now. Tampa were undoubtedly a letdown when they succumbed to Edmonton on Monday but I believe it's the right call to back them again tonight.
Best Bet: Tampa Bay Lightning to win at 2.40.