NHL Betting: Vancouver to get one over Winnipeg

New York Rangers - Minnesota

Bad form on their travels for Minnesota and bad form all round for the New York Rangers makes their face-off an interesting one for the wrong reasons. 

Having only taken five points so far this month the Rangers have dropped back to 12th place in the East. Another road trip for the Wild got off to a bad start in Pittsburgh and their away record is really holding them back, with only one win from the last seven and no more than two goals in any of those contests. In contrast, when at home their success rivals anyone. 

For the Rangers the rank form of Henrik Lundqvist has to be a concern, especially as he only just signed a new lucrative long-term contract. It's seven games since he allowed fewer than three goals and it would end up his worst individual season in the NHL by far, should the stats persist. 

Amongst the defensive group - with the exception of Ryan McDonagh - it seems like a number of previously reliable guys are underperforming. The leadership of Marc Staal has been missed because of injury and it's the same story up front with captain Ryan Callahan. 

Neither side looks too attractive at the moment but after New York's let down on Friday and the Wild's better ability to keep the puck out of the net, back Minnesota including OT/shootout at 2.00.

Vancouver - Winnipeg

The Vancouver Canucks are one of only two teams not in action tomorrow night so a home meeting with the Winnipeg Jets is their last chance to satisfy their fans before the festive break. 

Not that Canucks followers aren't already buoyed by their efforts in recent weeks. They've shot through the ranks courtesy of an eight game win streak earlier in the month and on Friday got back to winning ways by beating Chicago. 

Sitting on 37 points from 37 games shows the Jets need to elevate themselves from a middle of the road team. They've been part of a lot of high scoring contests in the past two weeks and their inability to put wins together means they've been really hit and miss. 

Despite being ineffective for most of the campaign, Winnipeg's powerplay has sharpened up of late and it comes back to the physical presences of their top guys such as Blake Wheeler and Evander Kane. 

Defence has to be the key to the Canucks strong run and it might be more than a coincidence that they've tightened up since Alexander Edler dropped out of the line-up injured. Of their leading men for ice time, the Swede was the only man in minus figures. Kevin Bieksa, Chris Tanev and Jason Garrison are all providing big time on both sides of the puck. 

You have to go back to October to find the last time the Jets won away at one of their Western Conference competitors, so take Vancouver with a -1.5 handicap.

Best Bet

Vancouver Canucks to win with a -1.5 goal handicap at 2.55

Follow Mike Fuller’s NHL betting tips every day