Columbus Blue Jackets(39-28-5) vs Boston Bruins(45-17-8)
The Blue Jackets come into this game as one of the hottest teams in the NHL, they are currently on a 7-game win streak, 8-2-0 in their last ten and two points behind the Flyers for the third spot in the Metropolitan division. The Blue Jackets since the deadline have shown how their forward depth is playing a major role, Cam Atkinson being back and healthy helps a ton and they’re certainly making a serious case for the playoffs now. But the Bruins themselves are 8-2-0 in their last ten, and coming off a shutout win over one of the best teams in the NHL. The Bruins are also home, where they play very solid hockey, the Blue Jackets last 7 wins, 4 of them have come at home and 3 on the road. The Blue Jackets are obviously coming into this game as the underdogs but with their recent play, the Bruins cannot overlook them. The Bruins indeed do have one of the best rosters and playing some of the most consistent hockey as of late but they still are welcoming a very tough Metro opponent. This is going to be a nail-biter for sure, I would not be surprised to see this be a low scoring game and possibly head to extra time. Tonight I am going to have to go with the Bruins ending the Blue Jackets streak at seven. Going Bruins.
Florida Panthers(35-27-7) vs Montreal Canadiens(26-34-12)
This is a huge game for the Panthers, as the Devils dropped their game Sunday night, they now sit 5 points behind the Devils with three games in hand. This is a MUST win for the Panthers, against a non-playoff team and a game that starts their week, a win starts the week out on the right foot for sure. The Panthers are 7-2-1 in their last ten coming off a bad loss to Edmonton, as Montreal is 3-5-2 in their last ten, on a 2-game skid, coming off a loss to Toronto. Good news I guess for Montreal is that Carey Price was seen at practice the other day. The Panthers have really proved their worth here late in the season, due to the play of Barkov and his career year, Trocheck, Dadonov, Yandle the list goes on. The Panthers have a very solid forward group, accompanied by a solid blueline. The play of veteran goaltender Roberto Luongo is going to be crucial here on out. A must win for Florida, going Panthers tonight.
Los Angeles Kings(39-27-8) vs Minnesota Wild(41-24-7)
This is going to be a GREAT game, the Kings are playing a little better hockey as of late but are coming off a bad shutout loss at home vs New Jersey. The Kings do come into this game on a two-day rest and really need to pick up a point or two. The Wild though at home are not going to be an easy test, the Wild are 6-4-0 in their last ten, on a 2-game win streak, coming off a win vs Arizona and Vegas. The Kings have Dallas, St. Louis and Calgary on their tail, competing with Colorado and Anaheim, the path to the playoffs is not going to be easy for L.A. and another reason why I see them falling off also, by the way. Minnesota is certainly the better team, they are without Jared Spurgeon, but their back end and the front end is still very solid, if Devan Dubynk plays well, stands strong I don’t see Minnesota dropping this. One way I see L.A. taking this game is by Jonathan Quick stealing it, which is possible but very difficult. The Kings and Wild have met one time prior to this during December in L.A. in which the Kings won. Going to Minnesota here where the Wild have lost just 6 games this year at, going Wild tonight.