NHL Picks: Lightning to Strike Back vs. Canadiens

Ross Benjamin

Monday, October 13, 2014 2:37 PM GMT

The Canadiens/Lightning will face each other tonight for the first time since meeting in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Our sports handicapping expert provides a NHL betting preview article on this game, and it includes a money line free pick.

Eastern Conference Playoff Rematch
The Lightning will host the Canadiens on Monday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum with the opening face-off slated for 7:35 PM ET. According to NHL betting odds, the Lightning is a -135 money line favorite, and the posted total is 5.5. This will be a rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series in which the Canadiens swept the Lightning in 4-games. It must be noted that the Lightning were without the services of their top goaltender Ben Bishop in that series. Bishop was injured just before the end of the regular season. The Lightning was able to go 3-1 versus the Canadiens during regular season play, and all 4 of those games stayed under the total.

 

Go Habs Go
The Canadiens are off to a terrific 3-0 starts to the season, and all of those wins have come on the road. Tonight will be their 4th road game in the last 6-days. They will return to Montreal for their home opener on Thursday against the Boston Bruins. Montreal has picked up where they left off last season when they advanced all the way to the Eastern Conference Semifinals, and were eliminated by the New York Rangers in 6-games. Carey Price has developed himself into one of the top goaltenders in the world. He was terrific in both the 2014 Men's Olympic Hockey Tournament in Sochi, Russia where he backstopped Team Canada to the Gold Medal, and also during the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

 

High Expectations
The Tampa Bay Lightning has high expectations entering this 2014-2015 NHL season. Those expectations can certainly be construed as realistic based on the current roster, and their accomplishments from a season ago. The Lightning amassed 101-points during the 2013-2014 regular season campaign while finishing 3rd overall in the Eastern Conference. They’re 1-1 so far this season, winning their home opener last Thursday 3-2 over the Florida Panthers, and then losing at home on Saturday to Ottawa by an identical 3-2 score. The Lightning have the luxury of opening the season with a 4-game in 6-day home stand which concludes tomorrow versus the New Jersey Devils.

 

Final Analysis
This is a favorable spot for the home team tonight. They will be facing a Montreal team playing at the tail end of 4-game in 6-day road trip, and will be out to avenge their embarrassing 4-game sweep at the hands of the Canadiens during last season’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. Back home team with your NHL picks.

Free NHL Pick: Lightning -135 over the Canadiens at 5Dimes

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":354808, "sportsbooksIds":[19,43,227,1096,999996,93,238,123,139], "LineTypeId":5, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]