Ottawa Senators at Boston Bruins
Ottawa are now 4-3-2 since promoting Dave Cameron to head coach which likely isn't a fast enough pace to bring them back into contention but to his credit the three regulation defeats have all come against in form opposition. Tonight is a really important game in their recovery effort, the Bruins sit one spot above them in the Atlantic and aren't making much ground up on those above them either. Take out the wins over Buffalo and Boston have been pretty average against their division so far this year, most recently it was Toronto taking the bragging rights on Wednesday night with another ropey performance from goaltender Tuukka Rask.
They've looked sluggish all year and there's no doubt that Ottawa can use their speed to good effect, Bobby Ryan netted a hat trick last time out and a scoring streak from him would be of huge for the team. The Senators won here at TD Garden last month and their odds are long enough to make it worth backing a repeat of that at 2.60 including OT/shootout.
Montreal Canadiens at Pittsburgh Penguins
Pittsburgh ran over Tampa Bay last night and are looking to put one over another strong Atlantic Division outfit preserving their lead of the Eastern Conference in the process. It won't be easy with Montreal the ones eyeing that position and on the cusp of racking up a sixth victory in a row, goalie Carey Price has been simply superb the last few weeks and over the past nine games the Habs have allowed only twelve goals. After his trade pick up yesterday David Perron should be ready to make his Pittsburgh debut, the winger must feel like he's hit the jackpot getting the rare chance to go from bottom club to bonafide contender as his new team's back to back wins are as many as Edmonton have amassed since November 9th.
The trade makes sense from a team point of view too, because of injuries the Pens needed another skilled forward capable of playing in the top six and I don't think it's a push to say he could put up 60+ points in a full season alongside Crosby or Malkin. Christian Ehrhoff goalscoring return from injury yesterday means coach Mike Johnston is fully restocked on defence too and when they've impressed despite the turmoil I'm intrigued to see what this roster can do with a stable lineup. These are two good teams but I'm calling the Penguins to end Montreal's streak at 2.08.
Best Bet: Pittsburgh Penguins to win at 2.08.