Detroit Red Wings at Nashville Predators
Nashville went down to a very rare Bridgestone Arena defeat against Minnesota on Thursday but still own the best home record in the league. Although it's probably the toughest game they can have away at the league leaders I'm sure the Red Wings are looking forward to finishing off a testing, but relatively successful road trip. Not for the first time I'll pick out Shea Weber and Roman Josi as the best defensive partnership in the NHL for providing major offence as well as shutting down their opponents' biggest threats.
Combined they have contributed as many goals as the entire Detroit defence. I think LA executed the perfect strategy against the Red Wings earlier in the week when they allowed just 20 shots and got the shutout. Look for Nashville to try to do the same pressing a quick forecheck onto those blueliners who aren't as comfortable moving the puck. There'll be no Henrik Zetterberg again for the visitors, although Pavel Datsyuk is making up for that with 11 points in his last seven games. Back the Predators to show why they are top of the NHL tonight.
Toronto Maple Leafs at Montreal Canadiens
Montreal are having it all their own way in Canada's oldest NHL rivalry, there's 30 points between the two teams and the Habs have won both meetings so far this season. The most recent of those was two weeks ago here at Bell Centre when they took it via the shootout. Overall Michel Therrien must be delighted with the way his team are playing, Montreal have gone without a point once in their last 12 outings. Only in the bizarre world of the NHL could the Leafs be adjudged to have won a trade in which they picked up a player who may never get play hockey again. Nathan Horton is that acquisition but the important part long term is the departure of David Clarkson and his mammoth cap it.
It's not like Toronto are any weaker now anyway, Clarkson was hardly contributing and it gives them a chance to promote some prospect hungry to make an impression like Brandon Kozun. Despite taking their last two games I can't see them making an impression tonight as they are yet to secure a road success in 2015. It seems to expose their defensive flaws and the only thing that got them a point a couple of weeks ago was the performance of goalie Jonathan Bernier. Take the Canadiens to open up a bigger gap this time round and overcome the handicap at 2.35.
Best Bet: Nashville Predators to win at 2.05.