The LA Kings will struggle to contain the Pittsburgh Penguins' rampant offence tonight in Los Angeles, writes Unibet columnist Mike Fuller...
Colorado Avalanche 2.05, the Draw 3.80, Minnesota Wild 3.15 (BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 02.05 GMT)
It's been apparent for a while that these two would be in direct competition for third in the Central Division but at this stage the Avs have a seven-point advantage with three games in hand.
They’ve taken exactly seven points from four meetings with Minnesota so the head-to-head might just be crucial. January has been very good for Colorado Back in the lineup after injury Zach Parise could energise any team and with captain Mikku Koivu out long term his influence becomes invaluable, Parise and Jason Pominville combined for five points in the impressive win over Anaheim on Tuesday.
That was only the fourth time this season they'd beaten a team currently on course for the playoffs away from home; only Buffalo have scored fewer road goals but on current pace that will probably change. With Josh Harding out the opportunity to regain his starting job was missed by Nicklas Backstrom, Darcy Kuemper has played well behind their strong defence but he faces a tough ask to outduel Semyon Varlamov here.
I would say there's a very good chance of the tie coming into play at 3.80, Minny have done well this last week so I think the Avs price of 2.05 is a little too short.
Los Angeles Kings 2.55, the Draw 3.70, Pittsburgh Penguins 2.45 (BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 03.35 GMT)
It took a Jonathan Quick shutout and Anze Kopitar's lone goal to break LA out of a significant losing streak on Monday, but 24 hours later they were right back in it drawing a blank themselves in a loss to Phoenix.
At the moment there's very little to suggest they can keep up with the dynamite Penguins offence especially their league best powerplay which looks a major threat every time it gets an opportunity. With seven points in his last seven it's actually that's actually a bad run for Sidney Crosby below his relentless scoring pace and he's ten points clear of any other player in the charts.
Pittsburgh have taken 15 points from 16 against Pacific teams this season and should be good value when the odds are split at 2.50, maybe even take a look at the handicap the way things have gone for LA lately.
Best Bet: Pittsburgh Penguins to win at 2.50.