New York Islanders vs New York Rangers
I mentioned yesterday the high profile trade that brought star winger Thomas Vanek to Long Island, now he has the opportunity to make his New York Islanders debut against their cross-city rivals the Rangers.
A matchup versus Montreal last night was remarkably the Rangers' first game of the season at home inside Madison Square Garden, a repair job is needed to sort the damage done by that extended road trip to open up.
Another boost for Alain Vigneault after a tough start as coach is that Henrik Lundqvist should be ready to go, there's few worries that the Swede will be unable to shrug off the indifferent form that mirrored his team in the first few weeks.
Although I feel that Islanders' General Manager Garth Snow gave up too much to get Vanek, the prospect of pairing him with John Tavares is frightening and for now they are an improved team.
Goals have been much needed too as on the road they are yet to hold a team to less than three so it'll be interesting whether the misfiring Rangers can exploit the space they will undoubtedly get. Even if they do manage to shrug off their scoring woes I'm not sure they are a confident enough group defensively to deny the Islanders a win.
Phoenix Coyotes vs LA Kings
Level on 16 points are Phoenix and LA with the game made even more intriguing as both clubs seem to be on upward trajectories, in the reverse fixture only five days ago the Kings skated away with a 7-4 win.
Jonathan Quick remains a puzzling one boasting a below average save percentage of .907, the defence in front of the former Conn Smythe Trophy winner has actually been very solid in allowing more than 30 shots only once.
Look out for the Coyotes defencemen Keith Yandle and Oliver Ekman-Larsson after they were the architects of a win over Edmonton at the weekend, the pair are both huge threats given time at the blueline even more so on the powerplay.
Kings' coach Darryl Sutter makes sure his players are aggressive in pressing the puck especially when protecting the net so they'll be giving up limited point shot opportunities to those guys and for Phoenix it'll be more about moving the puck quickly. This isn't the first time Phoenix have been good value at home, jump on the Coyotes at 2.45.
Best Bet: New York Islanders to win at 2.10.