Dallas-New York Islanders
A second matchup in the space of 6 days for Dallas and the Islanders after New York prevailed on Monday, when a second period explosion saw them overturn a 2-0 deficit and run out 7-3 victors.
It was a third win in a row for the Isles and sixth straight on the road as their gathering momentum makes them a more dangerous proposition by the game. In contrast, the Stars have crashed to five consecutive losses as Lindy Ruff elected to play goalie Kari Lehtonen in both games of a back to back Thursday/Friday, and on top of failing to snap the streak he may suffer some fatigue from his excessive workload. They really need him, and finding the balance of how often to play your starting goalie is always a fine balance.
John Tavares amassed five points in Monday's contest and another three a day later so he's had a productive week, whilst immensely talented rookie Ryan Strome also scored his first NHL goal and Thomas Vanek saw a 10 game point streak ended on Friday.
Even accounting for Dallas' desire for revenge there's no way a slumping side deserves such heavy favouring in the odds, so back the Islanders to add to their troubles for a second time.
New York Rangers-Philadelphia
It’s never a gentle encounter between these two Metro Division combatants, and even though Philadelphia lost in the matinee game yesterday both clubs will be feeling positive about recent results, with seven victories in their last 10 games.
The Flyers were on top early on yesterday against Tampa Bay but got burned by some bad plays in the neutral zone, and then multiple times they conceded too quickly when they did manage to get back into the contest.
Rangers fans and Swedes everywhere will be delighted that Henrik Lundqvist is heating up just in time for the Olympics, as whilst their offence remains not the most potent they need some big stops from their franchise goalie. They've only allowed four goals in their previous three Madison Square Garden outings.
Last time they met back in October a unsurprisingly feisty battle at Wells Fargo Center ended 2-1 to Philadelphia, and whilst the Flyers have been defying the usual costs of their poor temperament and extended time spent killing penalties lately, it may well cause them trouble against a useful Rangers powerplay unit.
On top of that the back to back will cause not only some tiredness for Philly, but also likely result in backup Ray Emery featuring in net so I'm favouring the Rangers to win at 2.15.
Best Bet: New York Islanders to win at 3.20