NHL schedulers weren't very kind when they handed the New York Rangers an almost month-long road trip to start their campaign, with the five game Western leg of that trip now done the Rangers have amassed only two points.
They did knock the Washington Capitals out of the playoffs last season in a very entertaining series but after shipping 25 goals already that seems a long time ago. Rick Nash's placement on injured reserve because of concussion symptoms won't make recovering any easier, even more troubling is the form of star goalie Henrik Lundqvist.
Four of the Rangers nine goals have been scored by Brad Richards who has taken a fair amount of flak in his time on Broadway, the centre's game is well suited to playing under Alain Vigneault so expect his renaissance to continue. Special teams bailed Washington out in Monday's victory over Edmonton in what was otherwise a very patchy effort, already it is looking that the Caps may be relying on their form at home in Verizon Center. Fortunately for them they'll have the crowd with them tonight and should be able to get by a Rangers team low on confidence at 2.10.
More than a few eyebrows were raised when Anaheim were blasted 6-1 in their opening game of the season, since then the Ducks have made it look an anomalous results with four impressive wins in a row.
The Calgary Flames are also riding in the upper positions of the West and have been a pleasant surprise to even their own fans, this'll be an interesting battle between two firing offences. Both are quite happy to mix it up by carrying or dumping the puck into the offensive zone, however the Flames are having most success with fast breaks up ice and have the extra quickness to outmanoeuvre the Ducks' D.
Anaheim have managed to build up a head of steam despite being dead last in both powerplay and penalty kill percentages, pull that together and they'll be a scary proposition for anybody. I see some areas for Calgary to exploit and way out at 2.60 including OT it's good value on a club deserving more than a status as a plucky underdog.
Best Bet: Washington Capitals to win at 2.10.