Tampa Bay Lightning vs Edmonton Oilers
The biggest turnaround from the Eastern Conference last season has to go to the Atlantic division leading Tampa Bay Lightning.
Based on the change of expectations it'll be a big loss to see them fail to knock off Edmonton at home. Going by points accrued per game, the Oilers are the worst team in the NHL and although they come in to this matchup on the back of a win that victory came versus the only club with fewer wins than them over their last ten games.
A fresh look for the Bolts has been provided by the development of players getting their major league shot after a couple of years learning the pro game in the AHL or in Europe.
Alex Killorn, Tyler Johnson and Radko Gudas all fall into this category now aged 22 or 23 and are making valuable contributions particularly on offence in backing up Steven Stamkos and Martin St Louis. They should have a field day against Edmonton's tame defence, I've got Tampa to take this game with ease at 1.85.
Carolina Hurricanes vs New York Islanders
An all-Metro Division clash pits the inconsistent New York Islanders against a Carolina club that snapped a five match losing streak on Tuesday; that was only the Hurricanes' second home win of the campaign and both have been over Philadelphia.
Third choice goalie Justin Peters is experiencing the starters lifestyle with both Cam Ward and Anton Khudobin wiped out of the lineup, over this season and last Peters' personal records reads a bleak 5-16-2 which can't be great for his confidence.
He's getting little help too as Carolina's skaters have failed to register more than twice in the previous six contests, more specifically chalk the top line of Eric Staal, Alex Semin and Jiri Tlusty as a worry because as a group they are way down on last season's production.
There's been some offensive cooling for New York to contend with too however they are still getting telling player from their leaders. Thomas Vanek has three points in four since being acquired but more attention should be on another winger Kyle Okposo as you'll see his and Frans Nielsen's name right up their in the top 10 for scoring. Back the Islanders to bypass a one goal handicap for a 3.60 payout.
Best Bet: Tampa Bay Lightning to win at 1.85.