NHL Picks: Canadiens vs. Senators

Ross Benjamin

Thursday, November 7, 2013 2:18 PM UTC

Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013 2:18 PM UTC

The Ottawa Senators host the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday at the Canadian Tire Center. Find out where we believe the best value lies for tonights matchup!

According to NHL betting odds Ottawa is a -115 money line home favorite and the posted total is 5.5. The home team has gone 10-2 in the last 12 meetings between these two clubs. Ottawa is a perfect 5-0 in the last 5 at home versus Montreal.

Habs on Temporary Hold

Montreal enters tonight having lost their last 3 in a row. The most recent of those losses came on Tuesday at home in a 3-2 overtime shootout versus the St. Louis Blues. The Canadiens special teams have been outstanding this season. The power play is converting on 23.7% of its chances which is good for 4th best in the NHL. The penalty killing unit has killed off 86.2% of their opponent's man advantages, which ranks 5th in the league. Montreal has been rock solid defensively, while receiving very good goaltending from both Carey Price and Peter Budaj. In 13 starts this season Price has a 2.16 GAA and an outstanding .933 save percentage. The Canadiens backup goaltender Peter Budaj has been terrific in 3 starts with a stellar 1.34 GAA and a superb .953 save percentage. Montreal is currently 5th in the NHL allowing a mere 2.1 goals per game. Defensemen P.K. Subban has shown why he earned the big contract. Subban has accounted for 15-points in the first 16-games of the season.

Senators back on the Right Side

The Ottawa Senators were able to snap a 5-game losing streak on Tuesday night with a 4-1 road win at Columbus. They received another outstanding effort in goal from their backup Robin Lehner who turned away 32 of 33 shots on goal. In his last 2 starts Lehner has stopped 85 of 90 shots on goal for a .944 save percentage. Lehner may get the nod again tonight, as the Senators #1 goaltender Craig Anderson is dealing with a head injury suffered at home on Saturday versus the Dallas Stars. Defensemen Erik Karlsson has been red-hot scoring 4-goals and adding 5-assists over the last 5-games. The 23-year old Swedish born player leads the Senators in scoring with 17-points in the first 15-games of the year, and is an outstanding +5 over the last 3-games. After a temporary drought the Senators captain Jason Spezza has been able to get back on track. Spezza had a goal and 3-assists in the last 2-games, and is 2nd on the team with 16-points.

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Final Analysis

This will be the first time these two division rivals have met since last year’s playoffs. In that series the Senators shocked the #2 seed Canadiens in 5-games. Montreal will surely be playing with a chip on their shoulder as a result of that humiliating first round exit. Despite the win on Tuesday the Senators have vastly underachieved thus far. In addition Ottawa has started the season 1-5 at home. Montreal on the other hand has been a very respectable 4-3 on the road in the early going. My lean for my NHL pick here is on the visitors.

NHL Pick: Montreal +105 over Ottawa

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