Chicago Blackhawks vs Phoenix Coyotes
On a night of numerous significant clashes near the top of the NHL, one particularly enticing encounter pits two clubs that both have 16 points from their last ten games; Chicago and Phoenix.
Taking the previous four of their wins past regulation could either be considered lucky or gritty but it all adds confidence to the Coyotes' locker room, managing to top St Louis in their own back yard when they were similar outsiders to tonight must have added to their belief even further.
Chicago have been ruthless in their dispatching of lesser opposition, but against clubs currently on course for the postseason, their record is much less convincing and Phoenix are pushing that top bracket at the moment. What a recent favourable run has done for the Hawks is allow them to build up some ominous offensive momentum and if the current trend continues they will soon be the league's top scorers.
It's a hallmark of this Joel Quenneville side that somebody always chips in and when it comes together as it has recently they can put up four or five on anyone. In spite of Chicago's strength it wouldn't be surprising to see Phoenix steal this one, fortunately the odds seem to think otherwise so jump on the Coyotes out at 2.65 including overtime.
Vancouver Canucks vs San Jose Sharks
Three points from a very testing four-match Californian road trip was no disaster for the Vancouver Canucks, their only win of that run came in the house of tonight's opponents San Jose.
A welcome one it was too as John Tortorella had already seen his side lose twice to the Sharks in the first month of season, going further back it'd actually been nine consecutive wins in the fixture for San Jose.
So dominant were Joe Thornton and his teammates in the early weeks that their now snapped recent winless run of five was hard to believe, an aura of infallibility no longer exudes from the Sharks play giving opponents the purpose to get at them.
Lookout for the energy of Mike Santorelli and Brad Richardson to thrive on that as they've been major bonuses for Vancouver, extra depth at center provided by those two has allowed Ryan Kesler to move up and form a potentially terrifying line with the Sedin twins. This has more to do with the drop off of the Sharks rather than Vancouver's development since those October contests, but take the Canucks at 2.45.
Best Bet: Vancouver Canucks to win at 2.45.