It's New York versus New York for the second time this season and as ever, it would seem that the Rangers and Islanders are moving in different directions.
Exactly a week ago the Rangers took a 4-1 win and while they've kept on winning, the Isles' losing streak has continued. We are starting to see the sort of hockey we expected pre-season from the Rangers and although I'll always be tempted by the long shot, I can't see anything other than a win for them at 1.82. You'll perhaps find a better option with a -1.5 handicap on the home team at 2.50.
Toronto's new found intimidating style isn't winning them any friends in the East, but it's definitely been effective as they have the best road record in the conference.
In Carolina they will face a team also surging up the table, but the Hurricanes are a little less physical in their approach. There's a huge difference in the number of fights these clubs have had, but don't be expecting Carolina to back down as they proved earlier this month in the reverse fixture. A team on a four game win streak back at 3.00 looks good value to me though, so take Toronto.
If you want to see goals, probably don't watch Nashville. The Preds on average concede the fewest goals-per-game, but also score the least too.
Their opponents Phoenix, have seen slightly more action, but taking on fewer than 4.5 total goals at 1.80 looks a good bet.
The Coyotes definitely have a hold on this matchup after knocking Nashville out of the play-offs in 2012 and winning the first game between them in 2013 too. During that play-off series all the ties were settled by small margins and I'd expect that to be the case again. Go with Phoenix, including overtime and shootout, at 2.08.
Best Bet: New York Rangers with -1.5 goal handicap at 2.50
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