The Senators will need to be their best tonight at home as they face one of the best teams in the league with one of the best defenses in the NHL in the Montreal Canadians. See who we like as our betting pick in this matchup.
Ice time is set for tonight at 7:30 pm ET at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
According to the NHL odds the Canadians are the slight -112 betting favorite and the total for the game is 5.5 (+105)
Ottawa will need a complete effort as they face the likes of P.K. Subban on defense in order to pull this game out at home.
Carey Price vs. Craig Anderson
Although not confirmed as of yet, this is likely the matchup that we'll see at the goalie position. Montreal is one of the stingiest teams on defense in hockey and the main reason for that is the goaltending of Carey Price (23-10-2, 2.19 GAA). After dealing with two consecutive losses due to the pressure of Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay, Price came back with an expected win against Columbus as he faced just 17 shots on goal.
As for Craig Anderson (11-10-6, 2.35 GAA), he's been fantastic in net this season, but has lacked the offensive support from his team to be a winning goalie. That said, the Senators are coming off of a 5-1 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. Tonight, the level of opponent is much greater for the Senators and I wouldn't expect another blowout.
Max Pacioretty and P.K. Subban
With a combination such as this on the offensive and defensive ends of the ice and a great goalie in Price, Montreal will come out on the winning end more times than not.
Subban has established himself as one of the best defenseman in the game with his ability to defend the goal. Along with defending the net, Subban sets his teammates up on the attack and doesn't mind getting aggressive when necessary. He's the perfect example of a well-balanced defenseman that see's a ton of ice-time.
Pacioretty on the other hand, has been on a massive tear. He's coming off of a 2 goal game in which he peppered Columbus with 7 shots on goal and has scored a goal in each of his last 5 games. Pacioretty has 153 shots on goal to lead Montreal and is a major force on the power play. Will Craig Anderson be the first goalie to stop Max Pacioretty in 2015? It's not likely.
Offense is a different story for the Senators. Although they managed to score 4 goals against the Dallas Stars, they gave up a 3-1 lead in the 1st period.
He doesn't lead his team in points, but Mike Hoffman has one thing in mind and that's scoring goals. Hoffman is coming off of back to back games in which he's scored a goal and leads the Senators with 15 goals on the season. He doesn't get a ton of ice time, but nobody on his team is even close to Hoffman's +18 in plus/minus differential. Could we see Hoffman "light the lamp" for a third consecutive game? Tonight will be the ultimate task for the native of Kitchener, Ontario as he goes up against a top-notch goalie.
Montreal is on a different level than Ottawa and with odds like this, I'm leaning towards the Canadians as my NHL pick in what should be a hard fought matchup.
NHL Pick- Montreal -107 at Pinnacle