Tampa Bay Lightning at Philadelphia Flyers
A tough ask for Philadelphia tonight as they welcome the Eastern Conference leaders who've already beaten them twice this season and have won three straight coming in.
Going back further to the last eight games only Pittsburgh have managed to defeat Tampa Bay Over the same amount of time the Flyers have only two wins to their name and both of them came past regulation, they thrive on being an offensive team and averaging under two goals through that spell is never going to end well when they don't stack up defensively either.
Nicknamed the "Triplets" line because of their size; Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat would have a strong argument for being the best trio in the NHL right now and if ranked on combined plus/minus their +73 would be untouchable.
They do benefit from Steven Stamkos taking the primary attention of the opposition but it's easy to see why the Lightning are the top scoring team when they have so much skill throughout the lineup.
At the back the Flyers have always identified with being big and physical on the blueline to an extent they can be exploited by the speedier clubs and the Lightning fit that category by name and nature. I'm calling Tampa Bay to lock up the season sweep at 2.18.
Colorado Avalanche at Washington Capitals
An interesting cross-conference clash with the team clubs really surging in the right direction.
The Avalanche have had to deal with constant talk about how they've been a major disappointment this season but just the two points dropped in the previous six and they're suddenly only four out of a postseason place.
Goalie Semyon Varlamov has been lights out the last week including a mighty 54 save shutout of the Chicago Blackhawks and if he stays at that level he produced last year bridging that gap to the wildcard seems very attainable.
On offence Colorado aren't peaking but doing enough and they know it's a simple case of performing yielding results, the team is 10-0 when scoring four goals. I don't see them reaching that mark against the Capitals here it must be said with the shutting down of Detroit on Saturday showing how far they've come this year.
Adding steady presences like Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen has given them solid depth to go alongside a major breakout season for John Carlson. I'm sticking safe in this one and banking on Washington to squeeze through on home ice.
Best Bet: Washington Capitals to win at around 1.90