The Pittsburgh Penguins have wrapped up their division already and will take one of the guaranteed top three play-off seedings that comes with it. They're unlikely to want to relinquish the conference's top spot though as they hunt two points against the Tampa Bay Lightning, a side they've knocked off twice this year.
Tampa are eight points off the play-offs with nine games left, only something extra special can get them in now. They're running well at home though with 11 points from the last 12, however they haven't played a top side through that stretch and I reckon that will show tonight. Take Pittsburgh to complete a season sweep of the Lightning at 2.15.
Switching to the West and two extremely important match-ups. The first of which is the Detroit Red Wings hosting San Jose. Detroit are precariously perched in eighth and the Wings could really do with a win tonight, as the next few critical games are all out on the road.
San Jose might also need a pick me up after being shut-out in Columbus on Tuesday. It was a shock result as the Sharks have been red hot over the last two weeks.
A criticism that could be levelled at Joe Thornton and company, is that less than a third of their points total have been accumulated on the road. Joe Louis Arena hasn't been an insurmountable fortress for Detroit this year, but I still think the Red Wings will have enough in front of their own fans at 2.35.
On the first day of this month the Minnesota Wild and St Louis Blues faced off with the Wild six places and eight points ahead in the standings. The Blues took a 4-1 victory that night and have kicked on to win all their games since.
Add that to Minnesota's slump and the two teams are now tied. It's actually been 141 minutes of hockey since St Louis last conceded. Remarkable back to back 1-0 wins typifying their reinvigorated defence and goaltending. Back them to prolong Minnesota's wobble at 2.55.
Best Bet: Detroit Red Wings to win at 2.35 against the San Jose Sharks
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