Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Islanders
First place in the Metropolitan Division has been bouncing back and forth between these two since the season began and it's at stake again with the Islanders currently holding a single point advantage.
In three previous duels it's one win apiece with the Isles taking the other in a shootout and they possess the longer winning streak coming after racking up three straight on the road topped off by the impressive shutting out of their city rivals the Rangers on Tuesday.
Although it's back to back victories for Pittsburgh just four wins through the last ten games has been the cause of them losing top spot. Last weekend the Pens squeezed by Montreal to lock up their first road win going all the way back to the end of November and last time they were here on Long Island it was pretty easy for New York.
Sidney Crosby has emerged from a relative scoring slump but Evgeni Malkin has arguably been more valuable to the Pens this year than the reigning MVP because of his consistency despite frequently seeing his linemates changed up.
New York have shown they can match up well against that star power and with their added momentum I think they're the right call here.
Winnipeg Jets at Chicago Blackhawks
This is Winnipeg's third trip to United Center and so far it's been a surprisingly happy hunting ground, they're actually responsible for two of the five regulation home defeats suffered by the Blackhawks all season.
Since a 5-1 victory by the Jets here just before Christmas only some late rallies and wins over struggling Minnesota have kept Chicago on point so another upset doesn't seem out of the question.
Even those successes against the Wild took serious efforts from goalie Corey Crawford and over the past ten a goals against average of just under 3.00 has led them to losing their spot as the top ranked defence.
Winnipeg got by Dallas last night to extend their point streak to four, that includes ties with LA and Anaheim as well as an 8-2 thrashing of a usually very solid Florida club earlier in the week.
In recent weeks Mathieu Perrault and Evander Kane have been coming through to support the scoring of their consistent top line which should really help going up against the Hawks' trademark depth.
It's a risk considering they iced last night but way out at 4.10, it's worth taking Winnipeg in this one, after all there's only four points separating them in the standings.
Best Bet: New York Islanders to win at 2.40