St Louis Blues at Chicago Blackhawks
Always a fun contest between two highly favoured clubs who also happen to be bringing some excellent form to the table tonight.
St Louis have squeezed through some overtime periods in the past week to maintain their strong pace and hold a three point advantage over their division rivals.
It seems Chicago are intent on closing that gap sooner rather than later however as they return home from a very productive road trip which they closed out by very impressively winning 4-1 at both LA and Anaheim.
Most media attention surrounding the Blues right now is focused on their signing of veteran goalie Martin Brodeur even though it doesn't seem that likely he can steal too many starts from Jake Allen whilst original starter Brian Elliott is out injured.
In his first full season with the team Allen's record of 8-2-1 shows his long term potential and it'll be an interesting duel with Antti Raanta, the Hawks' own backup hasn't played since October 25th against the Blues.
Outside of Chicago's star names Joel Quenneville has to be happy with how Kris Versteeg and Brad Richards are defying what was expected of them in a supporting role to Patrick Kane on the second line, No. 88 has 13 points in his last 8 games.
I'm a little worried as to how Raanta will go but this is a fixture that often gets edged by the home side as it did back in October and Chicago look in great shape again in front of him.
Philadelphia Flyers at Anaheim Ducks
The Flyers would appear to be lambs to the slaughter at Honda Center this evening, Philly hold the dubious honours of having the worst road record of any team and are also racking up the longest losing streak.
It's four games since they topped bottom club Columbus and that's also their only victory in the previous ten games, to make things worse they were within 12 seconds of taking it to overtime last night in San Jose.
Tough times indeed then for coach Craig Berube who has to pick his guys up instantly, even though the Ducks haven't been too dominant of late they still represent fearsome opposition for a struggling side.
Offensively as a team Anaheim are way down on the last few seasons yet remain amongst the leaders, their last eight victories have all come by a single margin or by shootout.
Bruce Boudreau's struck an odd balance, notorious grinder Matt Beleskey's 12 goals on the year are already more than he's produced in any other season yet skilled youngsters Jakub Silfverberg and Emerson Etem not nearly making a strong enough mark on the goal column.
Still I can't see Philadelphia overturning them so take the short odds of an Anaheim victory at 1.72.
Best Bet: Chicago Blackhawks to win at 2.10