The Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers share a state but not a division these days. Tension should still be high though as two points are very much needed by both clubs.
In their first Madison Square Garden appearance of the year the Rangers contrived to get shut-out, but answered back the following night by winning the derby of New York.
On his Sabres debut earlier in the week, Matt Moulson managed to net a pair of goals and perhaps more importantly for the future, find some instant chemistry with Cody Hodgson - who coincidently is the only man on the roster to score more than Moulson's two for Buffalo this season.
There has been plenty of chat about Sabres’ attempts to toughen up. Most notably through adding in 6ft 8” John Scott, a man who possesses little discernible hockey talent.
Scott plus fellow goon Patrick Kaleta are serving suspensions for contemptible hits and I think they've actually improved with those two forced out of the line-up.
I'm going to call the Rangers inconsistencies here and say they aren't worth backing at short odds of 1.82. Go for the big pay-off of Buffalo out at 3.70.
Heading out on the road for over two weeks promises to be tough on the Nashville Predators as they try to keep pace in the ultra-competitive West.
They start in Phoenix against the Coyotes. Whilst these would have been seen as two similarly gritty outfits in recent seasons, this time round there's no comparison in terms of offence.
Phoenix aren't too far off having twice as many goals for and they know Pekka Rinne won't be in their way tonight too. Nashville's best guys aren't much above a point every other game and it's not as if they are under-performing - they just aren't elite scorers.
Filip Forsberg is perhaps the most talented of the forward bunch but he's a rookie still adapting to the NHL, tucked away in a fourth line role. Seeing as there is no outstanding unit, Barry Trotz is relying on splitting ice time evenly to make sure they can play at full tilt every shift. At the moment they aren't getting the bounces and it shows.
Phoenix are yet to disappoint at home when called upon, so take the Coyotes in regulation at 2.00.
Back the Phoenix Coyotes to win at 2.00
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