Colorado Avalanche at Detroit Red Wings (-240, 5.5)
One of the NHL's best rivalries has lost some of its luster since the Avalanche stumbled into mediocrity. Colorado is 14-14-0-1 on the season after a horrible November, but managed to stagger wins and losses in the past month.
Detroit continues to uphold its part of the grudge match. The Red Wings are one of the best teams in the league and picked up their fifth win in the last six games Saturday night. Detroit edged Phoenix 5-4 in a shootout, getting two goals from Johan Franzen.
Those five victories have all been one-goal games, with three of them going to additional time. The Red Wings are scoring just under four goals a game during this stretch, but have allowed 3.33 goals against while bouncing between goaltenders Chris Osgood and Ty Conklin.
“When we get down one or two goals we put everything out there,” Franzen told reporters. “We play better that way than when we have a lead. It gives us confidence we can come from behind. If you do it once, you can do it again.”
If the hatred between these teams is rekindled Monday, Detroit has the chops to weather the storm.
Pick: Detroit -240
San Jose Sharks at Los Angeles Kings (+165, 5.5)
Don't look now, but there could be another hot streak brewing in California.
The Los Angeles Kings captured their third win in the past four games with a solid 3-1 victory over Minnesota Saturday night. The Kings defense did a great job holding off the Wild after hanging on to a 1-0 lead for most of the game.
While the offense is scoring under three goals per game, Los Angeles' blueliners are limiting opponents to just 2.7 goals and a league-low 26 shots per game. They gave up 34 shots to Minnesota, but goaltender Erik Ersberg was sharp in his second straight win. He just missed out on a shutout after allowing a goal in the final two minutes of the game.
"Ersberg was great," Kings coach Terry Murray told reporters. "The plays they had at the net were quick plays, hard plays, stuff coming from around the back of the net."
Pick: Los Angeles +165