Chicago Blackhawks - Montreal Canadiens
At a time when results have often been more unpredictable than usual the Canadiens have picked up more points than anybody over the last 10 games. Valuable momentum comes hand-in-hand and Montreal's seven wins from eight with 29 goals netted has anticipation rising for a run at the Cup.
Max Pacioretty in particular is leading an inspired charge and it's become a career year for the winger. Last time out a 4-2 victory over St Louis was a big boost for the Hawks as the short absences of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane may have cost them home advantage presumably versus Colorado in the first round.
It's three wins in a row for the reigning champions but it's eight since they managed to hold a foe to under two goals and that's a high for the season. Curiously Montreal coach Michel Therrien has left his starting goaltender and top defensive pairing behind for this trip, I'd perhaps be more worried about the absences of Carey Price and Alexei Emelin if they weren't in such good scoring form.
Despite the 2-1 slugfest between them back in January have a look at over the 5.5 total goal line at 2.05. For the game I'll take Montreal including overtime at 2.38.
Anaheim Ducks - San Jose Sharks
A fifth clash between these two great state and division rivals with home advantage the decisive factor in each of those, Anaheim will be hoping that is the case for them as a win for them wraps up the Pacific title.
It's a little difficult to assess how the Ducks are shaping up for the play-offs as their last nine games have all been against clubs not destined for the postseason, whilst this favourable stretch allowed them to steal a march on tonight's opponents they also haven't been as dominant as you'd perhaps expect.
That did change Monday in Vancouver though and goalie John Gibson registered a shutout on his first NHL start, Bruce Boudreau has a dilemma ahead of him with the slumping starter Jonas Hiller and rising rookie Frederik Anderson vying to start the play-offs.
In the Ducks’ only victory of the season series he readily admitted Hiller kept them in it early on, who scores first is so important and no club has a better first period goal difference than San Jose.
I'd take the Sharks should it come down to a best of seven later on and I believe they're worth backing tonight too.
Best Bet: San Jose Sharks to win at 2.70.