Battle for the lead in the Atlantic Division

January 06, 2015 18:18:05 UK

Montreal’s Jiri Sekac.

The Montreal Canadiens welcome in the Tampa Bay Lightning into the Bell Centre on Tuesday in a clash of the two leaders in the Atlantic Division.

The Canadiens areĀ 9.00 to win the Stanley Cup and Tampa Bay can be backed at 12.00.

It’s the first game back home for the Canadiens since before Christmas and Montreal impressively won all five games on their most recent road swing to play the New York Islanders, Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, New Jersey Devils and Pittsburgh Penguins. Tampa Bay meanwhile arrives in town after doubling up the Senators in Ottawa to make it five wins in six outings for the Lightning. Not surprisingly the good recent form of both sides has seen them open up a five-point lead over the Detroit Red Wings in third place in the Division.

Saturday the Red Wings opened up a five-game road trip with a 4-1 set back in Vancouver against the Canucks. Tomas Tatar was on target for the visitors for his 16th of the campaign, but two goals from Henrik Sedin rounded out the host’s victory after Alexander Edler and Radim Vrbata had earlier given Vancouver the two-goal advantage.

Off the ice the Toronto Maple Leafs made news when they parted ways with head coach Randy Carlyle on Tuesday morning. In many ways the move was not a surprise as Toronto’s tendency to blow hot and cold has continued following last season’s spectacular late meltdown that cost the Maple Leafs a place in the playoffs. In the short term assistant coaches Peter Horachek and Steve Spott will be in charge when the Washington Capitals arrive at the Air Canada Centre on Wednesday and it will be interesting to see who club president Brendan Shanahan turns to moving forward.

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