The Habs are the much hotter team winning 8 out of their last 10 games. See who we like as our betting pick in what should be a very competitive matchup.
Ice time is set for 7:00 pm ET tonight at the Bell Centre in Montreal Quebec, Canada.
According to 5Dimes Sportsbook, Montreal is a slim -115 betting favorite at home and the total for the game is 5 goals (-125). Last Saturday, the Canadiens defeated the Penguins on the road, 4-1 behind the amazing goaltending of Carey Price and Pittsburgh will look to return the favor, but easier said than done the way that their offense has been playing lately.
It's a bit earlier, but I was looking for some confirmation and have none yet. We'll have to assume the Marc-Andre Fluery will be in net for the Pens and Carey Price will be in goal for the Habs. Carey Price and the Montreal defense has been superb as of late. They did lose their last game to the Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-2, but prior to this loss Price was 8-1 with 1.44 GAA in his last 9 starts and the Montreal offense provided 3.3 goals per game during that period of time.
Price will need to be his best as Pittsburgh has the more aggressive offense, averaging nearly 3 goals per contest for the season. While both of these goalies sport a 2.20 GAA for the season, Marc-Andre Fluery has lost 5 out of his last 6 starts. He's basically been allowing around 3 goals per game, but the Pittsburgh offense hasn't been up to the task in supporting him. Someone on Pittsburgh has to step up on the offensive end. These are very generous NHL odds if you're a Montreal bettor.
Pacioretty is the leader on this squad and he has to be licking his chops at the thought of playing Pittsburgh who has been slumping as of late. #67 has been on fire as of late with goals in each of his last 3 games and 4 goals out of his last 5 games.
In 2 games versus Pittsburgh, he had one goal and one assist. Pacioretty also leads Montreal with 142 shots on goal and a +21 in the plus/minus differential. Pittsburgh and Marc-Andre Fluery will be hard-pressed to stop this native of the United States from applying pressure on the offensive end.
Another player that will be key to victory for the Habs will be defenseman P.K. Subban. Subban is 2nd on the team in scoring and leads the team in assists with 19. Subban sees a ton of icetime (25:13) and that's due to the importance of his defensive presence and as you see, Montreal has one of the best defensive clubs in the NHL and this is due in part to P.K. Subban. Pittsburgh had been having difficulties scoring goals and against a defense such as this, it won't get any easier. The only way that I see Pittsburgh winning this game is if it's very low scoring.
While Sidney Crosby is still looking to net his first goal of 2015 to go along with 5 assists, centerman Evgeni Malkin has been playing very well as of late. In 2 out of his last 3 games, he's scored 1 goal and 1 assist in each game. I look for him to be a possibly factor in this game. Along with Sidney Crosby, the Penguins will need someone to come up with a big game such as Chris Kunitz (12 goals, 13 assists) ,Steve Downie (5 points in his last 5 games), or defenseman Kris Letang who is recovering from a back injury. Letang logs a lot of icetime and his contribution to this team will be key.
NHL Pick- Montreal Canadians -115 at The Greek (these odds are a steal)