NHL Betting: Toronto to shake the Devils off their back



Ottawa must be motivated for their fifth and final meeting of the season with the Boston Bruins; so far they've lost all four games with their division rivals by a one-goal margin. In fact, the Senators have only won one of the last 14 match-ups, stretching back to January 2011. Going off form, tonight could be the night, Boston putting in two poor showings recently and Craig Anderson back to his best in the Ottawa net. We've seen it before this season, though, and the Bruins always pull through. Take the home side at 1.95.

After Toronto's huge win over Montreal on Saturday they are back in action against the freefalling New Jersey Devils. In terms of play-off qualification, the Maple Leafs have a seven-point cushion to fall back on, but they may not need it with the likes of Phil Kessel and Nazem Kadri firing. It's nine outings without a win now for the Devils, all since losing star winger Ilya Kovalchuk to injury. His absence up front is clear to see and has badly affected their powerplay in particular. Devilishly, New Jersey's legendary goalie Martin Brodeur has been stuck on 666 career wins through that bad run. I can't see that changing tonight. Back Toronto with the handicap 2.90.

The Phoenix Coyotes are still in with a decent chance of making the post-season, but with a lot of the other contenders in action tonight they need a result against San Jose. This is also a big game for the Sharks, who are not immune from being dragged into the scrap; their form has faded again after going seven for seven around the turn of the month. Although Phoenix have struggled for overall consistency they are a strong home team and I think their defence will relish this match-up, with San Jose struggling for goals again. Go with the Coyotes to make things interesting at 2.40.

Best bet: Toronto Maple Leafs with -1.5 handicap at 2.90