Chicago Blackhawks at St. Louis Blues
An early start at Scottrade Center for the next installment of what is becoming a great Central Division slug fest. St. Louis's seven game win streak was abruptly halted by a 7-1 thrashing in Columbus on Friday, I think we can dismiss that as an off night when it was only their second regulation loss of 2015.
Chicago squeezed by Winnipeg two nights ago and again Patrick Kane was the man inspiring them, the question is can the Blues keep him quiet.
That task is a little tougher for Ken Hitchcock as he's having to deal with the indefinite absence of top scoring defenceman Kevin Shattenkirk, it's not been the best year for their other key blueliner Alex Pietrangelo but this is a chance for him to step up.
Bringing in highly anticipated prospect Tuevo Terevainen hasn't jumpstarted the Blackhawks' depth scoring as much as they'd hoped in the wake of Kris Versteeg's injury.
The Finn is down on the third line with Andrew Shaw and Bryan Bickell neither of whom are having great campaigns. It might not have happened last time out but the Blues' leading forwards were really been imposing themselves by getting the puck in deep and keeping their opposite numbers contained.
Both previous clashes this season went to whoever was at home and St. Louis should keep that going at 2.30.
Montreal Canadiens at Boston Bruins
Continuing on from their playoff supremacy last May the Canadiens are seeking to further humiliate their historic rivals and close out a season series sweep.
They haven't met Boston since November but their three relatively simple wins were well celebrated, the Bruins would appear to be a much tougher nut to crack now than they were in those early months. Both clubs were winners last night and Montreal sealed a much needed win over New Jersey after a couple of poor losses to Arizona and Buffalo.
Just before Christmas the lights seemed to come on at TD Garden and the Bruins have taken at least a point from all but three games since then. Just 23 goals conceded in 14 outings this side of new year has helped to power that sequence, the giant defensive partnership of 6"9 Zdeno Chara and 6"5 Dougie Hamilton can't fail to intimidate opponents.
I can't see this game being too open as no team allows fewer on the road than the Habs, as visitors they've won seven of the last eight. If either side is to break that I think it will be the Canadiens with their advantage in speed and in form Max Pacioretty. Whilst the potential war of attrition points to the tie at 3.75 my pick is Montreal out at 3.15 as they're definitely in the Bruins' heads with those previous wins.
Best Bet: St. Louis Blues to win at 2.30