NHL Picks: Canadiens vs. Senators to go 'Over'

David Lawrence

Friday, April 4, 2014 1:03 PM GMT

Although the Montreal Canadiens are the better team in the standings, they’re expected to give top goaltender Carey Price the night off which could have a big effect on the outcome.

The Montreal Canadiens Can Win Because…
They’re not only playing better, they also have something to play for. The Habs are coming off a loss but that’s to Tampa Bay, who seems to have their number. Even with that loss, they’ve still won eight of their last 10 games. They’re tied with Tampa Bay with 93 points and need to finish with more points than them if they want the No. 3 seed because they don’t have the tiebreak. 

The Sens are dead in the water. They have a chance to play spoiler but nothing really more than that. They’ve dropped 11 of their last 17 against teams with a winning record, so don’t expect too much from them here.

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The Ottawa Senators Can Win Because…
The Canadiens are expected to have Peter Budaj in net. That’s a huge step down from Price, who is their ace. 

Budaj has had a pretty tough time against Ottawa recently, losing each of his last three games against the Sens while posting a gaudy GAA of 5.88. The Sens are expected to counter with Craig Anderson, who gave up five goals in his last meeting with Montreal but was 6-2-0 with a 1.88 in his last eight versus the Habs before that.

The Sens should have an edge in net and that’ll be the difference on the NHL odds.

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Outlook & Pick
With Budaj in net, this is a coin toss on the side. That’s why I’ll take the over instead. The over is 19-8 when the Sens play within their division this year and 13-4 in their last 17 against teams with a winning record. The over has also cashed in five of the last six meetings in this series.

Pick: Over 5.5 at BetMarathon

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