New York Rangers at Pittsburgh Penguins
The other New York club has already knocked off the Penguins this week and avoiding a damaging double defeat should be high on Pittsburgh's priorities when the Metro Division race is tightening up. The Rangers succumbed to a similar fate earlier on Tuesday and even though a win over Columbus on Friday eased some worries it's only two goals scored across three matchups this week. A playoff collision is highly possible but they won't see each other again this regular season, the three meetings so far going the way of hosts. Perhaps the biggest surprise performer on the Rangers is blueliner Kevin Klein who had the OT winner the last time these two met, on current goal scoring pace he'll have more than his cumulative total from the six full years in the NHL prior to this.
I might suggest that's an indictment on the lack of production from the rest of New York's defence which compared to Pittsburgh probably accounts for the difference between their respective offences and powerplay units. At 3.70 the tie is definitely in play but I think on home ice the Penguins will snatch this one.
Buffalo Sabres at Detroit Red Wings
Ugly scenes in Buffalo with the loss at home to Philadelphia last night making it a deflating ten defeats in a row, and the Sabres have been relegated back to the foot of the East. The silver lining would of course be getting the best chance at the first overall pick in June's entry draft but there's an awful lot of tough nights to endure if that's the limit of their ambition. Detroit were the ones to make it eight dropped on Tuesday when they won 3-1 at First Niagara Center, both Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar netted in that contest and have been central to the Wings winning their two outings in the interim so look out for those two skilful wingers to make an impact again.
Score three against the Sabres and you're usually guaranteed a point because of their anemic offence which shouldn't be a problem especially if the PP unit continues to roll. Just before Christmas too Buffalo visited Joe Louis Arena and were brushed aside conceding six goals, they're an abject road side and average over four goals against on their travels. I can't endorse the Sabres even at the longest odds I think we've seen all season, instead look at over a -2.5 goal handicap in Detroit's favour at 2.90.
Best Bet: Pittsburgh Penguins to win at 2.20.