Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Rangers
It's testament to Pittsburgh that a slip to 6-3-1 in the last ten is considered a dip in their relentless pace, and they must be looking forward to properly avenging their 5-0 thrashing at MSG last month after already topping the Rangers back at home. That result seemed bizarre at the time and now only more so considering the respective form of the two sides since, New York haven't used it as a springboard and are still drifting along at around a point per game.
Losing a 2-0 first period lead and their powerplay going 0/7 made Saturday's loss to Detroit a hard one to take, Alain Vigneault must be hoping his side get out to a similar start as using speed to pick the Pens off has often been the best angle to take. There's no doubt this year's Penguins are more resolute under Mike Johnston however, to see their fearsome offence coupled with a defence ranked 6th in goals against per game is strong form for the new coach. Often criticised goalie Marc-Andre Fleury deserves credit too for putting together what could be his best statistical season, by their standards it's been a while since they blew out an opponent so Fleury's input has been much needed.
Look out for Evgeni Malkin to continue his goalscoring hot streak after a couple on Saturday gave him a clear lead within the team. Regardless of the Rangers knack for improving in these contests the price of 2.70 on a Pittsburgh victory is too good to pass on.
New Jersey Devils at Carolina Hurricanes
More Metro Division action here and the first of four meetings between two teams who at the moment don't look capable of making the playoffs. This is the fifth and final game of a homestand for Carolina, so far they've managed to outshoot Pittsburgh, Washington and Detroit yet lose each of those contests. Lack of scoring is clearly to blame although I'm sure the fans will be happy they are keeping each game close, at the start of the season they were being dominated every single night.
New Jersey have been battle hardened by a travel-heavy schedule and picked up a victory in their last away game in Toronto but the five goals they scored were equal to their total for the four road outings before that. A very positive start has deteriorated into three wins in the Devils' last twelve games outside of Prudential Center and usually a distinct lack of offence so under the 4.5 total goal line at 2.18 looks a solid option. After being impressed by the Hurricanes compete level recently I'll back them to get some rewards tonight at 2.40.
Best Bet: Pittsburgh Penguins to win at 2.70