The Washington Capitals have clearly been the best team in the NHL this season and they are sitting as a +400 favorite on the odds to win the Stanley Cup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com as the regular season winds down.
One team that seems to be heating up in time to challenge the Capitals for the Eastern Conference title is the Pittsburgh Penguins, who are up to +1400 to win the Stanley Cup on the betting board. Pittsburgh is 8-1-0 over its last nine games, including an impressive 6-2 win at home over the Capitals.
Other potential contenders to win the Stanley Cup in the Eastern Conference include the New York Rangers (+1600 to win the championship), Florida Panthers (+1600), Tampa Bay Lightning (+1800) and New York Islanders (+2800).
The Isles have slipped in the NHL standings amid a 3-5-2 slump over their last 10 games.
Over in the Western Conference, the St. Louis Blues are 10-2-0 in their last 12 games, a surge that has put the team in position to potentially win the Central Division. St. Louis is going off at +1200 on the Stanley Cup odds at the sportsbooks.
The Chicago Blackhawks (+700) have won two of the last three Stanley Cups and are still considered to be the team to beat in the Central Division. However, a lackluster 4-5-2 record over the Hawks' last 11 games has dropped Chicago to four points behind the co-leaders in the standings for the division's top seed.
Dallas (+900) and St. Louis are tied atop the Central Division standings with identical records of 45-22-9. The Central also features two likely wild card contenders in the Nashville Predators (+2500), who were 12-2-2 over their last 16 games heading into Monday night's action, and the Minnesota Wild (+3300), who have won five straight games.
Chicago could have its work cut out for it navigating through this tough field this spring.
The playoff picture in the Pacific Division boils down to the Los Angeles Kings (+700), Anaheim Ducks (+800) and the San Jose Sharks (+1600). The Kings and Ducks are jostling for the division title down the stretch and home ice in a potential matchup between the two teams in the second round of the playoffs.