NHL Picks: Flyers vs. Canadians

Joe Freda

Saturday, February 16, 2013 3:15 PM GMT

Will the Flyers add to their tally in this spot or can Montreal’s road trip momentum continue at home and are they a viable choice for our hockey picks against the Flyers?

The Montreal Canadiens picked up a pair of road wins this week at Florida and Tampa Bay, surviving overtime and a shootout, respectively. Saturday’s NHL betting slate has Michel Therrien’s club returning home against the Philadelphia Flyers, who are 6-1 in their last seven meetings with Montreal. 

Canadiens, Bourque edge out Panthers

Montreal came away with a 1-0 victory in Thursday’s overtime triumph against the Florida Panthers, cashing as minus 117 choices. Canadiens right winger Rene Bourque scored with a backhander at the 2:10 mark of the matchup’s extra stanza, with mate Alex Galchenyuk assisting.

Montreal’s Carey Price made 26 saves in goal, with his mates killing off a pair of minor penalties. Bourque was called for goaltender interference during the contests first two minutes, while defenseman Josh Gorges served his time for a tripping call in the third period.

The tight battle plunged below the ‘total’ of five, ending a 3-0 streak for the OVER in the Canadiens’ prior trio of contests. Montreal finished with 32 shots on goal, while edged out in faceoffs won, 26-22.

Flyers, Bryzgalov blow lead in N.J.

Philadelphia dropped the front end of its back-to-back spot with Friday’s 5-3 defeat as a 134 road dog against the New Jersey Devils. The Flyers led 3-1 after the first period, followed by goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov giving up three unanswered goals.

Flyers right winger Wayne Simmonds got his squad on the board with a power play goal in the first period, following New Jersey’s Marek Zidlicky departure for hooking. Simmonds’ mates Mike Knuble and Matt Read added to the lead with shots from 40 and 32 feet out, respectively.

The duel’s combined eight goals jumped above the ‘total’ of five by the middle stanza, moving the OVER to 3-1 in the Flyers’ last four games. Philadelphia outshot New Jersey, 28-19, while killing the Devils’ sole man-advantage after Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen left the ice for tripping.

Back Montreal as home ‘chalk’

Bookmaker.eu opened the NHL odds with Montreal as a 145 home favorite, while first posting the ‘total’ at 5 ½ (UNDER minus 130). Timonen (9 PTS, 15 GP) is listed as “questionable” for the Flyers, suffering from a lower body injury after Friday’s affair.

I am adding a ticket on Montreal in this spot, looking for the Bourque and Co. to pull off a tight win at home. The Canadiens are 4-1 in their last five matchups against clubs with losing records, while logging a 5-2 mark in their most recent seven spots that came after a victory.

Price comes in off a stellar outing in goal for Montreal, picking up his league-leading eighth win. The 25-year-old has some improved momentum and will look to make up for last Saturday’s 6-0 debacle for the Habs at Bell Centre against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Philadelphia is 1-2 in its three spots with no rest that came on the road, held to 2 GPG in those affairs. The Flyers may have to entertain giving veteran backup goalie Brian Boucher a start here, with the veteran called up from the Adirondack Phantoms earlier this week.

The Flyers are 1-5 in their last six matchups away from home, while Montreal notched 4 GPG in last season’s pair of home duels with Philadelphia. Look for the Canadiens to pick up just enough octane again here, while Price stays hot for a cashed ticket.

[gameodds]7/218603/43/us[/gameodds]

NHL Picks: Montreal Canadiens -145 (Bookmaker.eu)

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