Avalanche Put 9-Game Home Win Streak on Line vs. Canadiens

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, February 13, 2018 3:35 PM UTC

Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018 3:35 PM UTC

Every game remaining is big for both the Canadiens and Avalanche as they fight for wild-card spots in their conferences. Montreal makes its only visit to Denver on Wednesday.

Montreal Canadiens at Colorado AvalancheFree NHL Pick: AvalancheBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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Just three games on Wednesday’s NHL slate, with Canadiens-Avalanche starting at 9:30 p.m. ET – no national TV so check it out on NHL Center Ice.

It’s the last meeting between the clubs; on Jan. 23, the Canadiens were -145 NHL betting home favorites and beat the Avalanche 4-2. That ended Colorado’s 10-game winning streak at the time. Jonathan Drouin was the well-deserved No. 1 star with a goal and two assists. Nicolas Deslauriers, Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher also scored for the Canadiens and Carey Price made 20 saves. The Avs, down 3-0 at one point, got third-period goals from Nathan MacKinnon and J.T. Compher. Jonathan Bernier had 36 saves. The former Toronto Maple Leafs goalie is now 1-10-3 in his career vs. the Canadiens.

The home team has won four straight in this series; the Habs are just 2-8 in their past 10 trips to Denver.

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Canadiens Nearing Sell Off?

Right now, neither the Canadiens (51 points) nor Avalanche (64) would be in the playoffs. Montreal hasn’t officially been pronounced DOA yet, but it’s getting close with five other teams ahead of them for the second wild-card spot in the East. The Avs have a much better shot with only two teams ahead of them in the West.

This starts a likely season-defining four-game road trip for Montreal, which is just 8-16-1 away from home and has lost its past three on the road (in Philadelphia, Carolina and St. Louis) each by two goals. The Habs have been off since losing 3-2 in a shootout at home to Nashville on Saturday. Price, the former Vezina and Hart Trophy winner, has just one win in his last six decisions. He’s 15-20-5 with a 2.92 GAA and .907 SV. Not his usual numbers by a long shot. Offensively, Montreal ranks 28th in goals and doesn’t have a plyer with more than Max Pacioretty’s 33 points. There’s talk he’s very available ahead of the Feb. 28 trade deadline with Pacioretty set for free agency.

Since Montreal ended Colorado’s 10-game run, the Avs are just 3-5, although seven of those were on the road where the team is 11-14-3 compared to 19-7-1 at home. Colorado is off a 5-4 win at Buffalo on Sunday, however. Colin Wilson had a goal – his 100th career -- and an assist, and Bernier stopped 28 shots. MacKinnon, the team’s leading scorer, missed his sixth game with an upper body injury.

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Mirai Nagasu is the first ever American woman to land a triple axel in Olympic competition.

And it was so, so awesome. #GoAvsGo https://t.co/nvNOlTO5Jw

— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) February 12, 2018

Will it be Bernier or Semyon Varlamov on Wednesday in net for the Avs? Varlamov has allowed eight goals on 77 shots in three February games after missing a month with a groin injury. He’s 13-11-2 with a 2.90 GAA and .910 SV compared to Bernier’s 17-10-2 record, 2.74 GAA and .916 SV. Then again, Bernier for some reason can’t beat the Canadiens.

Regardless, go with Colorado on Wednesday’s NHL pick to get some payback vs. Montreal and tie a franchise record with its 10th straight home victory. The nine-game run is the club's longest home streak since moving to Denver in 1995. Montreal is only 1-8 in its past nine road games.

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