St Louis Blues at Nashville Predators
A second critical division game in the space of 24 hours for both of these two as they hit the ice for the last time in 2014.
St Louis broke a four match winless run by cruising by Colorado last night, a win for the Blues will tie the season series at two each and also bring them level with the Predators on 49 points.
That shouldn't be the case after Nashville blew a three goal lead in Chicago yesterday to lose in overtime, the upside to that could be that being more stringently tested in comparison to their opponents sets them up better for an important contest like tonight's.
Nashville's scoring production has picked up in the last few weeks with 25 goals in the last six games behind strong spells for Colin Wilson, Craig Smith and Mike Fisher.
In the past those guys have often been playing first lines roles but with the emergence of Filip Forsberg and the Mike Ribeiro signing they are under less pressure as well as getting easier line matchups.
Each of the three contests has been settled by the one goal scored in the last 10 minutes of the third and they look incredibly well matched, however I would give Nashville a major edge in goaltending especially with Brian Elliott still unavailable to Ken Hitchcock.
The tie is certainly worth looking at for 3.70 but the Predators have just three Bridgestone Arena losses all season so I'm backing them to get it done.
Vancouver Canucks at San Jose Sharks
San Jose are hoping two avoid three successive blows from division rivals after dropping away to Anaheim and LA either side of Christmas.
Before that they'd taken full points from a five game homestand and all in all it's eight without defeat at the 'Shark Tank'.
At one stage the Canucks were the most proficient road side in the NHL but four losses in a row out on their travels has seen that honour taken away from them so this isn't an ideal place to come to turn that around.
Take out the blowout of Arizona and the Canucks offence is running barely over a goal a game through the previous five with the top line struggling to make an impact, just 14 shots on net against Anaheim was a notable season low.
Watch out for the San Jose powerplay to stay hot, in fact any time they can set up in the offensive zone their array of excellent passers will be dangerous.
Despite the two defeats I think they're still on an upward curve so take the Sharks to get back on track in their own building at 2.15.
Best Bet: Nashville Predators to win at 2.18
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