The Colorado Avalanche certainly enjoy home comforts; they sport an unbeaten record at the Pepsi Center in three outings. Dallas are in Denver tonight off the back of being shut out in Phoenix and have managed just one win in their last five. Time spent shorthanded has been a real problem for these clubs, although their stunted powerplays would probably be second on their list of issues, making for an interesting battle of sorts. Milan Hejduk scoring in what will be his 1000th NHL game at 3.50 is one to avoid, as he's without a goal all season. Despite the fact that captain Gabriel Landeskog remains out indefinitely, free agent signings PA Parenteau and John Mitchell have been stepping up in recent games. Back the Avs to continue their home streak at 2.20.
Like Colorado, Edmonton and Vancouver are vying for an open looking Northwest division. The Oilers could replace the Canucks at the head of it with a victory when they collide tonight. No.1 draft pick Nail Yakupov has shown everybody he has a knack for clutch goals, earning some key points for Edmonton late in games. Vancouver's goalie debate rumbles on: Roberto Luongo looks to have stolen the starting job back and will likely play tonight. After taking the first contest over two weeks ago, there's good value to be found in an Oilers win back at 2.60.
The Anaheim Ducks have been moving along nicely under the radar in the West and they meet Pacific rivals the San Jose Sharks for the second time this season. San Jose's perfect streak was ended by Nashville on Saturday and this will be a real test of their credentials now the bubble has burst. Seeing two very good offenses compete should be entertaining; the Ducks are getting contributions from everybody whilst the Sharks' top line and powerplay has been so dominant. Betting starts at 2.50 for both teams, I'd be tempted by a Ducks win including overtime at 1.90.
Best bet: Edmonton Oilers to win at 2.60