Toronto Maple Leafs 2.45 Draw 3.80 Montreal Canadiens 2.55
A fitting way to get us underway as Canada's two most prestigious teams battle for early bragging rights.
A fan park has been setup in Toronto's Dundas Square and fresh optimism has returned that the Leafs can at least make an impact this season as it's now 10 years without a playoff series victory.
No doubt they've been casting envious glances over at Montreal, the Canadiens are looking to go one step further from their conference finals defeat and with their talented squad look well placed to be in the mix again. A busy offseason for the Leafs saw them shake up a lot of their depth players so their third and fourth forward lines will still be getting to know each other, all in all there could be up to eight new faces making their club debut which could go either way if they're running on adrenaline.
In contrast the Habs have refrained from making major alterations, many of their leading lights are yet to peak and possess plenty of speed and skill up front. Look out for Max Pacioretty to make a huge impact, he finished fourth in the league for goals last year and is 2.67 to score tonight. Montreal edged three of five meetings last year and I'll take them at around 2.60 to secure the season's first two points.
Los Angeles Kings 2.20 Draw 3.80 San Jose Sharks 2.90
A second Stanley Cup banner will be lifted to the rafters at Staples Center tonight and I'm sure having their own close rivals in the building to see it will make the ceremony that much sweeter.
Even worse for Sharks fans is the way LA defeated them in the playoffs first round last season, they cruised out to a 3-0 series lead but contrived to be only the fourth club in NHL history to lose in Game 7 from that position.
It's a strange time in San Jose as their GM Doug Wilson declared the team to be rebuilding without making any real changes to their core, fans wanted to see bigger alterations after that shocking collapse. Joe Thornton has been removed as captain and shunted around the depth chart in preseason games without a successor being named.
Seeking that elusive title defence the Kings return with an almost identical roster that is clearly one of the NHL's strongest, a cup hangover is always possible and they always do their best work come the postseason so it wouldn't be a surprise to see them start slowly. Despite I'd back the hosts tonight as to me the Sharks have regressed over the summer.
Montreal Canadiens to win at 2.55
Los Angeles Kings to win at 2.20