Kings vs Canadiens: Recent Trends Point 'Under' as Your NHL Pick

Bruce Webster

Thursday, December 17, 2015 1:37 PM GMT

The Los Angeles Kings enter this game off a 5-3 loss at Ottawa. For the Montreal Canadiens, they come in off a 3-1 home loss to the Sharks, who will be our NHL pick tonight?

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NHL Pick: Under 5
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

 

Quick Struggles in Loss to the Sens
Coming into their game vs Ottawa on Monday night, Los Angeles goalie Jonathan Quick had won his last six starts, allowing just 11 total games over that streak. Well the Sens put that run to bed as they scored five goals off of him in the 5-3 loss. The Kings had won six in a row, but now have lost their last two games. Jonathan Quick is now 16-9 with a 2.28 GAA on the year overall, while on the road he has gone 6-4 with a 2.41 GAA. He should get the start in this game as well and is 2-2 with a 2.71 GAA in his career vs Montreal.

The Kings got off to a good start in the game as they led 1-0 after the first period thanks to a goal by Jamie McBain, who notched his 2nd goal of the year. The 2nd period was a different story as the Sens scored four goals to just one by the Kings in that period. Tyler Toffoli scored his 12th of the year in that period, while Jake Muzzin scored his 4th in the 3rd period to round out the scoring for the Kings. Offensively this is not a great team as they rank 17th in scoring (2.5 gpg) and 20th in power play conversions (18.2%). On the defensive end of the ice they have been very good, ranking 1st in goals allowed (2.2 gpg) and 5th in penalty kill.   

 

Offensive Struggles Continue for the Habs
Montreal is sliding right now as they come in having lost five of their last six games following a 3-1 home loss to the Sharks on Tuesday night. The culprit really appears to be an offense that has really struggled of late Montreal has been a top five offensive team all year, but in their last eight games now they have notched three goals just once The Habs are still 3rd in the league in scoring, putting up 3.1 gpg on the year, but in their last eight games they have averaged just 1.88 gpg. Scoring the lone goal in the loss to the Sharks was Dale Weise, who notched his 10th of the year. 

Also struggling for Montreal has been rookie goalie Mike Condon, who is getting more playing time with the injury to Carey Price. Condon is 0-3 in his last three starts and has allowed three goals in each of those starts. He didn’t start the game vs the Sharks but did relieve Dustin Tokarski, who took the loss. Condon should be back in goal in this one and is 9-8 on the year with a 2.21 GA, while at home he has gone just 5-6 with a 2.33 GAA. This will be his first meeting with the Kings. Montreal has been a solid defensive team this year as they check in at 4th in goals allowed (2.2 gpg) and 3rd i penalty kill (86.7%)

 

Trends
Los Angeles is:

The Under is 4-1-2 in their last seven vs. the Atlantic against the NHL odds

The Under is 67-30-22 in their last 119 vs. Eastern Conference

Montreal is:

The Under is 5-0-4 in their last nine overall

The 4-0-3 in their last seven after scoring two goals or less in their previous game

 

Betting Analysis
I have said it before and I‘ll say it again, “There is little risk in taking an Under in LA games this year”. The Kings have played 30 games this year and just seven of those games have put up more than five goals. That means that 23 of their games have either landed on five or below. Playing under five in their games gives you a 77% chance of at least a push. I’ll take those odds anytime. Now let’s add in the fact that Montreal can score now and the fact that LA allows just 2.14 gpg on the road, while the Habs have given up just 2.11 gpg at home. This one has 2-1 written all over it. Take Under as the NHL pick tonight.