The Atlantic division is the only one in the Eastern conference where all five teams have good chances to make it to the playoffs. New York Rangers sit second behind highflying Pittsburgh, but they will have a hard mission in retaining this position following the match against the Maple Leafs in Toronto.
Match: Toronto vs NY Rangers
Odds: William Hill 2.20
Both teams played on Saturday and had Sunday off, so the players are well rested ahead of this vital confrontation. There are only 10 rounds left and the Maple Leafs are sitting fairly comfortable on the fifth position, six points ahead of the first team chasing a playoffs spot. The team has improved its effectiveness dramatically and despite being frequently outshot by opponents, Toronto emerged victorious in four of the last five games. Even though some of these victories were achieved by a narrow margin, all of them were secured in regulation time.
The Rangers surprised punters with a 6-1 victory over the leading Pittsburgh, but succumbed to the Penguins two nights later when they faced them away from home. A rare victory away at Carolina brought them back in the race, but 42 points in 38 games are hardly enough to bring them the peace of mind they need. The player that the visitors count on tonight is goalkeeper Lundqvist, who stopped 48 shots against the Hurricanes and led his team to a clear 4-1 victory.
Those who expect a high scoring game could be disappointed, because both teams have strengthened up their defensive and have in-form goalkeepers in the net. Toronto is favorite to prevail, with home ice advantage and their head to head record suggesting that the odds of 2.20 offered by William Hill are worth taking.